Like so many states across the Caribbean and the south-eastern region of the United States, Jamaica has experienced the torment of Hurricane Matthew. A seriously weird; late season storm, Matthew has managed to both give fair warning and surprise us! A lot of the countries affected have not seen a storm of this magnitude in many decades, and some were unable to adequately prepare.
Reaching up to a category 5 storm, winds sustained at 150 mph, an apparent double eye and a strut as slow as 5 mph. Matthews irregular dance made its exact path indiscernible until the last moment. Fear and anxs seems to travel ahead of the storm, while the entire world pays attention.
Due to Hurricane Matthew’s irregular path, Jamaica was speared from any real hurricane conditions. There were tropical force conditions, some flash flooding, houses were damaged, some crops were lost, but not a single soul perished. The same cannot be said for all the other affected nations. Matthew continues its sweep across the entire region causing devastation and deaths in
St. Vincent & the Grenadines – 1 fatality
Columbia – 1 fatality
United States – 4 fatalities
Haiti – nearing 900 fatalities
and is still battering the south eastern US states. Jamaica, Cuba, Dominica Republic and The Bahamas were also seriously affected.
Our thoughts are with the people that have lost, be-it livelihood or belongings, or most importantly human lives. We hope that these wounds will soon heal. We call on the world to render there solidarity with people who have lost in this way. It is times like these we remember that one event can shape the lives of many, across great distance.
For more on Hurricane Matthew or its projected return to the Caribbean, check out our IslandRiches Youtube channel.
Soca, sun and skin are the main ingredients to the colourful cocktail that is Jamaica Carnival.
Every year around Christmas time in Jamaica, the whispers of what is to come for the next carnival season begins. When February roles around, the mad rush to reserve costumes, buy boots, make-up appointments and last minute gym memberships commence, LOL.
By the time Easter arrives, the entire island is fully charged with the sexual energy that carnival is so famous for.
Big trucks with loud speakers and hundreds of revelers pour into the streets of Kingston in the name of fun, friends and freedom.
Men, women and children line the sidewalks to see the spectacle of beauty and elation.
Women and men of every curve and contour under the sun, adorned in fantastic feathers, gems, glitter and body paint dance in the streets to Soca, Calypso and Dancehall music until the sun sets. Seasoned Soca artist such as, Machel Mantano, Destra, Bunji Garlin and Patrice Roberts; to name a few, marshal the beats and set the pace for liquor soaked, sun baked Soca fans from start to finish. ‘Bumpas’ role and bodies gyrate with no thought of tomorrow.
The Soca season;each year, is expected to kick off with a big blast and this season should be no different. Check bacchanaljamaica.com for costumes and schedules for the next staging of the event.
JAMAICA’S leading body for the regulation of Marijuana; the CLA (Cannabis Licensing Authority), recently announced its plans to make it easier for visitors to the island to use the ‘good sensimilla’. The plan is to place kiosks in all air and sea ports for the issuing of licences for visitors to purchase and use the herb while on the island.
The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is currently in the process of drafting the policy for the program, and optimizing the local regulations. The process involves visiting one of these Kiosks after clearing immigration and purchasing a licence to consume the ‘green gold’.
While Jamaica is not the first country to put forward this idea, the hope is to combine a strong tourism product with marijuana. Following the lead of certain US states; such as Colorado and California, Jamaica hopes to monetize ganja though regulation. Colorado earned in the region of US$ 1 billion and collected US$135 million in taxes, from the sale of medical and recreational marijuana last year alone. This system could lead to a significant increase in foreign earnings for the government of Jamaica.
Jamaica decriminalized marijuana in February of 2015. The new law basically allows citizens to posses up to two (2 oz) ounces of marijuana, and each household to grow up to five (5) plants. Smoking in public spaces is not allowed, and a minor breach of the law is a ticket-able offence.
Visitors who have a ganja licence will get the same protection and will be able to posses and use up to two ounces of the herb. The kiosks are geared towards medical marijuana users with a prescription, however if you don’t have a prescription; not to worry, you can do what the CLA refers to as a ‘self-declare’ and you will be allowed to purchase a licence. The Kiosks are to be staffed by medically trained personnel and they will grant the licences that allow you to carry up to two (2 oz) ounces of marijuana.
Once this law is passed visitors can feel free to get high in Jamaica. Smoke, steam or bake, whatever your preference.
Reggae artist Chronixx takes a break from his #RootsAndChalice world tour to get to know the people of Africa, especially its Children. Chronixx is seen here with some of Ethiopia’s youth, while in Piazza Addis Ababa for the Ethiopian leg of the tour.
This image published on Chronixx’s official facebook page features a caption in which he encourages people to let go of their biases and push beyond stereotypes. He encourages “Go and become one with the truth, connect with the people, learn their language, get lost, find your way, let the people feed you, share what you have with them…even if all that you have is your culture.”
Chronixx who has long expressed his deep rooted feelings for the Continent of Africa, displays a love like no other. From the faces of these children it is clear that they have accepted him as one of their own and the love is reciprocated. This sentiment is clearly shared by the thousands of Africans who have been touched by the music and reached out to the artist via social media. Some even liken him to Bob Marley and Joseph ‘Culture’ Hill. “For such is the Kingdom of Heaven,” one can only be humbled by the faces of smiling children.
Chronixx futher encourages ” Don’t be afraid of the people, learn the ways of the streets because a time will come when the bubble of society pop. Then…the rich will be the ones with true survival skills.” It is the roots that makes the tree strong, one must always remember to nourish them.
Chronixx and Zincfence Redemption will close the African leg of their #RootsAndChalice world tour in South Africa. There will be two shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town and they promise to be a massive blowout of spiritual vibes and great Reggae music!! This comes on the back of great reviews for performances in Ethiopia and Kenya. Chronixx and the Zincfence Redemption will be live in concert at Walter Sisulu Square and Grace performing arts center on the 25th and 26th of June respectively. To see more about Chronixx and the Zincfence Redemption tour dates visit http://chronixxmusic.com/tour-dates/.
Island Riches supports the House of Joy. To see more cool stuff like this visit islandriches.com