Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
The National Organisation of Deported Migrants (N.O.D.M) has collaborated with record label 9-5-8 Music to host a new event on the entertainment calendar, Family Fun Day Pon Di Riva.
The day and night event will be hosted at Martha Brae Water Wheel in Falmouth, Trelawny, on December 1.
According to Patricia 'Keba' Richards of 9-5-8 Music, the event is geared at empowering people. "This event is very important and we want corporate Jamaica to look on us. The British High Commission has sponsored us to create job opportunities for deported migrants, due to the negative stigma that is attached to them when they come home. Many cannot fully operate in the system because many left the island from as young as two years old. Not even justices of the peace want to sign for them because they don't know them," Richards said.
The promoter/producer said she hopes the hoped-for success of this event will assist N.O.D.M in launching upliftment programmes. "We are aiming to have a pilot programme to create opportunities through fish farming and agriculture, and we already have the land for this. Music will be our main fund-raising source, by hosting more events like comedy nights, parties, and so forth," she said.
Family Fun Day Pon Di Riva will commence at 9 a.m. and feature special attractions during the day for the children, such as water slides, a bounceabout and story time, as well as a deejay contest which will feature young artistes. The winner of the deejay contest, to be selected by the children, will walk away with $25,000 cash prize.
Music will be provided by Guinness Sounds of Greatness champion Sound Trooper. Among the performers are Tommy Lee Sparta, I-Wayne, Merciless, Jimmy Riley, Foxy Brown, Wayne Daniel and Italo Scorcher. Richards will also premiere her new female artiste, Rug Rat.
"I encourage patrons to come out early because Tommy Lee will perform at 11 p.m., so get your tickets early. Each ticket will have number on it. We will select one lucky patron based on the ticket number to give $20,000, so come early for the gate prize," she encouraged.
Family Fun Day Pon Di Riva is being promoted as a family event and will cost adults $700 and children $200 for entry.
"If we get over 1,500 people we are looking to host a gospel concert in April which will feature Yolanda Adams. This event is for a good purpose, we are trying to create opportunities for people," Richards concluded.