Tue | Dec 5, 2023

I wear my QORIHC crown with pride – Pamputtae

Black Queen ‘inspired’ at ceremony

Published:Wednesday | April 5, 2023 | 1:05 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
QORIHC 2023 recipient Bridget Anderson expressed her joy at receiving her crown.
QORIHC 2023 recipient Bridget Anderson expressed her joy at receiving her crown.
Pamputtae and sons Jahzere (left) and Kevon at the QORIHC awards at the Courtleigh Auditorium in March.
Pamputtae and sons Jahzere (left) and Kevon at the QORIHC awards at the Courtleigh Auditorium in March.
Black Queen after her QORIHC performance.
Black Queen after her QORIHC performance.

When entertainer Pamputtae was officially informed by Laurell Nurse, founder of the Queens Of Reggae Island Honorary Ceremonies (QORIHC), that she had been selected for recognition in 2023, she had no idea what to expect, and so she immediately went into research mode, finding out all that she could about QORIHC.

“To be honest, I had never heard of QORIHC before so I looked it up and I attended the launch. By then I realised that QORIHC is a great organisation that is looking out for the women in the industry and has honoured many outstanding women in the past,” Pamputtae said.

At the ceremony, which was held recently at the Courtleigh Auditorium in St Andrew, Pamputtae was not only a recipient, she also performed. And, she had a memorable red carpet moment which many are gushing about. Her 22-year-old son, Kevon Smith, was seen lovingly fixing her gown and ensuring that his mother exuded glamour from every angle.

“My sons [Kevon and nine-year-old Jahzere] are like that. They are very proud of me. My aunt Sophia Banton ... she is like my mother because my mother passed away when I was 10 ... she was there, too. It was a very proud moment. Honestly, mi feel so good collecting the award,” the Grateful singer said.

In a social media post, she wrote, “It’s indeed an honour to be one of the QORIHC honorees for 2023 amongst some of Jamaica’s powerful and phenomenal women. The journey wasn’t an easy one but as I stay focused on my goals ... as I know I am destined for greatness ... as I pursue my heart’s desire, I must thank my team for their hard work and dedication to my career. [To] my fans and the team at QORIHC who saw the hard work and decided to award me, I thank you from the deepest depths of my heart.”

Pamputtae, during the ceremony, performed her soul-searching hit song, Single Mother, bringing some in the audience to tears.

“People came up to me after and were like, ‘the song is so powerful’. Both man and woman seh ‘Pamputtae, yuh mek mi cry’. But Single Mother is a song that is real. I know the struggle. I had my son at 15,” she shared.

Another honoree who expressed her joy at receiving her crown was decorator, booking agent and artiste manager, Bridget Anderson.

“I would just like to say thanks to QORIHC for awarding sisters who have worked tirelessly in this entertainment industry. Kudos to Laurell Nurse for conceptualising this project to honour sisters in the industry, I myself have been through quite a struggle last year, having some health challenges and I give thanks that while I am still alive I can be acknowledged a little for my contribution in the music business. Nuff respect to Laurell Nurse and all the best with her future endeavours with QORIHC,” Anderson said.

Interestingly, among those who were inspired by the awards ceremony was Black Queen, who was one of the night’s performers. She spoke from the heart.

“It was a monumental night for women in entertainment because the music industry has never treated us too kindly. The industry wants women to look pretty and dress a certain way, to give in to self-hate and body modification and to sing songs about love and sex. They want them to act a certain way and if they don’t, it becomes much harder for their voices or their music to be heard. So this is an important show for women, especially black women, to be recognised for their contribution to the industry at different levels,” Black Queen stated.

She added, “This gives me more energy to go out there and defend black consciousness, black enlightenment and to continue to associate our heritage with positivity. Forever black and proud. There were a lot of powerful women with great stories who overcame great obstacles and I was inspired by their stories. These women are a beacon of greatness.”

The list of honorees this year was longer than usual as it combined the years 2022 and 2023. Tribute Queen for 2023 was Althea Laing and among those receiving their crowns were Audrey Reid, Yendi Phillipps, Chevelle Franklyn, Sherine Scarlett, Monica Jackson, Pebbles, Jennifer ‘Jenny Jenny’ Small, Debbie Bissoon, DJ Yumi Hi-Power, Lorna Wainwright, Dorothy Smith and Charmaine Munroe.

Started in 2016 by Nurse, the Queens Of Reggae Island Honorary Ceremonies recognises women who have played a vital role in the entertainment industry.