Sat | Jul 31, 2021

Buju Banton Foundation, Audiomack bring music to Mount Olivet Boys’ Home

Published:Thursday | April 15, 2021 | 12:12 AM
Thankful boys from Mount Olivet play the donated musical instruments.
Thankful boys from Mount Olivet play the donated musical instruments.
Buju Banton
Buju Banton
From left: Rosemary Duncan, director, Buju Banton Foundation; reggae and dancehall icon Buju Banton and Patrick Newman, director, Mount Olivet Boys’ Home.
From left: Rosemary Duncan, director, Buju Banton Foundation; reggae and dancehall icon Buju Banton and Patrick Newman, director, Mount Olivet Boys’ Home.
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The residents and staff at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Manchester are singing songs of gratitude for the gift of shiny new musical instruments, courtesy of the Buju Banton Foundation and music streaming platform, Audiomack. The presentation was made this week, and a delighted Buju Banton was there in person for the handover.

The Grammy-winning reggae and dancehall artiste delivered a short and powerful message which showed just how humbled he was at the opportunity to enrich the lives of these future leaders. “When we are able to empower disenfranchised boys, who are so often left behind, it is truly a blessing. Thanks to Audiomack for partnering with the Buju Banton Foundation in gifting Mount Olivet Boys’ Home with musical instruments. Many of the boys at the facility have big dreams of becoming great musicians. The Buju Banton Foundation is committed to providing resources and skills to help bring their dreams to successful fruition,” said the iconic reggae and dancehall artiste.

The instruments included a five-piece drum set, keyboards and stands, saxophone and guitars.

Facility director, Patrick Newman, was full of praise as he and four residents accepted the equipment from Buju Banton and director of the Foundation, Rosemary Duncan, on Tuesday. “Your donation of musical instruments is an indication of your commitment to unearth the talents of the boys and provide an additional avenue for them to learn to play an instrument and to continue the strong tradition of Jamaica, producing great players of instruments. Furthermore, the Buju Banton Foundation is proof that each person can make their contribution to provide an invaluable service to all those who need a nurturing hand to blossom,” an appreciative Newman stated.

He also used the platform to chide those who he said have, for too long, been ambivalent in the approach to nurturing, protecting and directing boys by simply paying lip service. “The results are what we are reaping today – mayhem, destruction and heartlessness,” Newman said.

The director pointed out that the Buju Banton Foundation “has gone above lip service and is providing hope to the hopeless and a sense of direction to the lost”.

In closing, he sounded like a preacher. “Long may you continue this God-blessed foundation, which is surely needed to help our boys who are seeking a second chance. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I have a good feeling.”

Rosemary Duncan gave some insight into the journey which led to Tuesday’s presentation. “When Audiomack issued its US$5,000 donation to the Buju Banton Foundation, Jason Johnson, vice-president of marketing and brand strategy, emphasised that ‘Audiomack is not only about moving music forward but focused on helping to move forward the lives of those who are underserved’,” she shared. Duncan added, “The Buju Banton Foundation is honoured to partner with such like-minded organisations to empower, educate and elevate marginalised youths.”

Buju Banton established the foundation in January 2019 to serve at-risk boys. He reiterated its mission by way of his personal experience: “I know what it is for a child to go without basic necessities. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams and lots of determination. Unfortunately, daunted and unable to achieve your destiny due to lack of a helping hand. It is not an easy road, my children. However, Jah has blessed me. I have made it my mission, through the Buju Banton Foundation, to help, by giving light to youth living in the darkness of poverty, thus ensuring they, too, have equal opportunities to succeed.”

The legendary musician has been mobilising famous friends to join in his mission to assist the youths. Audiomack and Kanye West are among those who have heeded his call.