Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
One version of the old adage is that good friends are better than pocket money. Comedian/businessman Rohan Gunter must be highly ranked in the 'good friend' category, based on the effort he is making to secure treatment for his paralysed colleague, up-and-coming dancehall artiste El Rich.
Gunter, in collaboration with Magnum Tonic Wine and members of the Wellington community, has joined forces to host a fund-raiser dubbed 'The El Rich Benefit Concert'. El Rich was a 2010 finalist in the Magnum Kings and Queens of dancehall competition. However, he suffered an injury to his spinal cord in October 2011 when another player fell on top of him during a football game.
According to Gunter, it's painful to see his friend paralysed.
"I have done work with El Rich for quite a while. He is a talented person and a great friend. The condition that I saw him in brought tears to my eyes, so I was moved to assist with his health expenses," he said.
Gunter revealed that a concert was held for the young artiste in December which raised $40,000. However that is not enough to cover El Rich's required therapy. "The doctor says that there is a possibility that he could walk again, provided that he gets therapy. But each time he does therapy it costs $3,500, so that's why we are keeping another event so that his treatment will be consistent," Gunter said.
The El Rich Benefit Concert will be held at Wellington Primary School, St Andrew, on February 11, starting at 7 p.m. There is no official admission fee, but it is expected that those attending will make donations. "We are not charging at the gate because we want people to lend their support freely, but there will be an area for donations," he said.
The event is also being sponsored by Container Satdaze and will feature former contestants in the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall competition. Some artistes already confirmed for the event include Chozenn, Juggla, Tanto Blacks, Singer Blinger, Hurricane, Melloquence, Posh, GarrIzon and Ice Man, among others.
There will be a designated parking area and the Wellington Town Police Station will assist with security.
"El Rich is a good youth. It could have happened to anybody and when you see bad things happen to good people, it's the best time to lend your support. I don't like to see the condition of my friend, so I am just trying to see what I can do to help. Please assist if you can," Gunter said.