Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor
Jamaica has been blessed with a surplus of talent that has risen to the fore over the years in music, dance, painting, sculpting, the theatre, politics, economics, and all spheres of life. This vast talent pool has not only equipped us in forging our own national identity, but has also, more important, distinguished us as a race and people above and beyond the ordinary!
There are those, however, within our own shores who will continue to deny, frustrate and submerge the talent and contribution of those they consider to be of inferior social status on the clumsy and distressing inculcated proposition, of some, and the temerity born of prejudice and self-hate by others, that when it comes to the arts, and all things cultural, our supposedly redeeming values are best found outside our shores.
Sadly, while there are those among us who steadfastly hold that view, the irony is that there are foreigners who look to us here on the rock to lead the way with our music, dance, literature and politics, in forging the new multicultural identity that is the new world.
In recent times, however, our elected and civic leaders have demonstrated the maturity needed to celebrate and embrace our own.
And for those who did not and still do not get it, our Independence was not gained so we could ape our colonial masters in ways and precepts, but to establish our own identity.
And so it is that, after years of being reviled as a "nawsi-dutty-rasta-bwoy", the multi-talented, iconic and, yes, very controversial Peter Tosh, was posthumously awarded this country's third-highest order - The Order of Merit - with the assignation The Honourable, on Heroes Day.
Now talk about irony of ironies as, indeed, those who knew Tosh best, argue that the controversial singer/performer, would have been more likely than not to regard this conferral with nonchalance, if not downright disdain; while those who sat in judgement of him, his music and Rastafarian lifestyle and beliefs, would give their eye teeth, to be so honoured!
Anyway my dears, to celebrate the conferral of the Order of Merit on the late revolutionary musical legend, the Tosh Estate, in conjunction with Pulse Entertainment Limited, hosted a charming post-conferral reception at the oh-so luxuriating, lush, Villa Ronai, over there in Old Stony Hill that was truly a fabulous outing!
Dears, guests arrived to a running montage of Peter Tosh's videos, showcasing his last concerts and videos, which included his very last performance, at Pulse's Superjam. And with welcoming libations being served up, as well as some delicious finger food, the mood was relaxed and retrospective, as guests simply enjoyed the ambience and the music of Tosh.
lyming to Peter Tosh
And so it was, one fabulously lazy Monday afternoon, in the cool and balmy hills of upper St Andrew, in one of the city's most unique spots, lyming to the music of Peter Tosh, while his offspring and former colleagues basked in the memory of the musical giant and the official acknowledgement of his contribution to our musical heritage, and it made for a beautiful do.
There was an official interlude that saw Pulse's Chairman Kingsley Cooper speaking to the contribution and legacy of Tosh; as did Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill; and the beautiful style maven Niambe McIntosh, who received the Order, on her family's behalf, responding to the various entreaties on behalf of her siblings. This interlude provided guests with an opportunity to interact with hosts and the late singers' offspring, and it made for all that. And then, it was back to enjoying and celebrating the moment, dears how!
It was fab like that and nothing but, with those celebrating included: hosts Kingsley Cooper and companion, the fab Romae Gordon; representing the Tosh family were the singer's children: Andrew Tosh, Michelle Tosh; Dave Tosh, Tosh One; and Stephen Tosh; representative of the Tosh Estate, Cory Lashever; Tourism Ministers, Dr Wykeham McNeill; Junior Minister Damion Crawford; Sandra Minott-Phillips, wife of Finance Minister Peter Phillips; Justice Hillary Phillips; Justice Ingrid Mangatal; Justice Nicole Simmonds; Mexican Ambassador Dr Luis Martinez-Fernandez; Panamanian Envoy Ambassador Jorge Constantino Gonzalez; Chargé d'affaires of the European Union, Jesus Orus Baguena; the late Peter Tosh's former manager Herbie Miller, the esteemed James Samuels; the stunning Carmen Clarke; Guerney Beckford; the charming Myrtha Desulme; artist and entrepreneur Carlyle Hudson; the lovely Jheanelle McFarlane; Mediamix's Lenny Little-White; Colin Leslie; music industry power player the charming Sharon Burke; Vitus Evans; Claudia McGann and her son Julian Campbell; the fabulous Carlene Samuels; Gillian McDaniel of the Entertainment Advisory Board; the legendary Copeland Forbes; the stunning model, singer and actress Nicole Grey; CMS Petite winner - Ameala Kirlew; the fab Puma Grant; Olevia Segree; Davia Lynch; Pat Meschino of Billboard Magazine; David McFadden of Associated Press; plus a number of others.