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Asafa Powell launches fitness and health website


Asafa Powell, the former 100-metre world record holder and current Guinness Record holder for the most sub-10 runs has launched, a fitness membership platform to help people around the world take control of their health and meet their fitness goals, with hands-on guidance on workouts and nutrition.

“Health is our greatest asset,” Powell said. “Having over a decade of dedicated workout and nutrition experience as an athlete I felt it was time to share that.”

The services offered on the site include but not limited to a 12-week fitness plan, nutrition advice, as well as recipes and fitness videos. Having done a soft launch to get feedback and fine-tune the site, the response has positive.

It has given persons the opportunity to start their fitness journey with someone they trust, can relate to and know that the support they need is at their fingertips.

“I wanted to create a community,” Powell said.

Once people sign up, they get access to a range of his e-books like 'Live Like a Legend', a 30-Day guide to help people kick-start their journey to fitness. There is also access to a private group on Facebook that members can join to share their progress, provide support, share recipe ideas and keep in touch with Powell as they embark on their fitness journey.

The site also features more than 50 fitness videos providing detailed workout instructions for beginners as well as expert advice on how to exercise safely and effectively as well as Powell’s Nutrition Mission eBook.

To learn more about Asafa’s fitness membership platform and to see why it’s poised to change the game visit

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Gordon Arthur ‘Butch’ Stewart O.J., C.D., Hon. LLD is an anomaly in the business world. He’s managed to not only create an estimated billion dollar empire, but has done so wearing an ever-present smile along with his trademark striped shirt. The man often referred to as the “Cupid of the Caribbean” (he’ll tell you why later) has control of his privately-owned Jamaican-based empire that today includes 23 Caribbean properties, Appliance Traders Ltd., ATL Automotive, ATL Autobahn and The Observer media company. All told, Stewart spearheads two dozen diverse companies that collectively represent Jamaica’s largest private sector group, the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner and its largest non-government employer.

The 78-year-old Sandals Founder and Chairman is responsible for flipping the “all-inclusive” resort market on its head and making it a luxury enterprise, offering everything from butlers trained by the English Guild to airport transfers via Rolls-Royce Ghosts. And he is constantly working, creating new opportunities set to engage guests, such as his new golf course in St. Lucia alongside Greg Norman, a new Rondovals at Sandals South Coast and refreshed restaurants and rooms at Sandals Royal Caribbean.

Simply put, the Jamaica-born businessman—who is still based in the Caribbean to this day—is fueled by a dogged passion for hard work, duty to country and love of family who always seems to be having the most fun. “Honestly, I’ve never worked a day in my life,” he says. And now, he’s sharing how to do what you love—as he did—and make billions in the process. Talk about living your best life…
Sandals-South-Coast-Aerial-View-e1570186246958.jpg 688w" alt="Sandals South Coast" width="752" height="462" />Photo Credit: Sandals

How did you get started in the hotel business and what drove you towards the hospitality industry?

Serving customers with a generosity of care and exceeding their expectations is the essence of hospitality and the values that have driven my lifelong approach to business – even before the start of Sandals. The late 70s and 80s were a politically sensitive time in Jamaica. As the value of the local dollar dropped, it became necessary to find a way to earn the stable foreign currency necessary to meet business obligations. That was the impetus for Sandals Resorts and exceeding expectations the source of its success.

You didn’t invent the all-inclusive concept, but you say you’ve perfected it. What do you mean?

After significant innovation in the space – from in-room amenities such as hair dryers and coffeemakers – which may seem quaint today to included transfers and premium brand drinks, we made a very conscientious decision in 2007 to go further, much further and create a premium all-inclusive resort experience that would compete successfully against any resort experience in the world. And we’ve done it. No beads, bracelets or winding buffet lines. The Sandals Resorts five-star standard begins with a phenomenal beachfront setting; selection of groundbreaking and beautifully appointed suites including over-the-water bungalows, which we introduced to the Caribbean; choice of at least 16 restaurants at every resort; top-shelf liquor and enhanced service including butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers. Quality, service, style and choice are what define our luxury included concept and we’re very, very proud of it.

What, in your opinion, is the secret to the success of your company?

Teamwork, a commitment to exceed expectations and leadership that makes these values the priority has been the essence of our success.

Rolls-Royce-Private-Transfer.jpg 688w, 357w, 225w, 621w" alt="Sandals" width="752" height="501" /> Luxury stays at Sandals include private transfer via Rolls-Royces

Do you need consistent innovation and ingenuity to keep the brand fresh, or has the product simply perfectly established a formula at this point?

Any organization that stops innovating will not last very long. We are committed to exceeding guest expectations and they change, as they should. That’s why we include fast and free WiFi and have invested heavily in areas that today’s audiences demand such as quality interior and exterior design, excellent food and beverage, thoughtful service and new destinations. Whether it’s an incredible rooftop experience, opportunity go bowling or sip cocktails in an authentic speakeasy, we’ll never stop creating new ways to delight our guests.

Can you tell us about your five-star initiative?

Luxury customers know that signing chits and tipping don’t make for a better experience and that’s what our 5-Star campaign is all about. We are on a mission to dispel myths and to make sure customers seeking a true luxury resort experience – from in demand destinations and spectacular beachfront settings to standout suites, personalized service and incredible dining, consider Sandals Resorts.

What does Sandals offer that you yourself seek on vacation? What are you five “musts” for any hotel/destination?

When I travel, I look for an authentic vacation experience that’s true to the destination matched with the luxury of a 5-star resort, and I believe that Sandals does just that.

1. I’m a Jamaican who loves the water so a great beach with easy access and crystal-clear waters is a must!
2. Friendly, local staff are very important to me. I always like to learn more about a destination from the people who live and work there.
3. A variety of options! I like to have lots of choices when I’m on vacation. One day I might want to relax by the pool and then the next day, get out and explore the water sailing on a Hobie Cat.
4. Unique rooms and suites are key. I want to be wowed when I walk into my room, whether it be a large, spa-style bathroom or a pool on my balcony.
5. Top-notch dining is non-negotiable for me. A high-quality, authentic food and beverage experience is one of the most important elements of any excellent vacation.

Sandals-South-Coast-Bungalow.jpg 688w, 357w, 225w, 621w" alt="Sandals South Coast" width="752" height="502" /> Luxurious accommodation at Sandals South Coast

Photo Credit: Sandals South Coast

Have you considered opening Sandals resorts outside of the Caribbean? If you’ve considered it, is this something we might see in the future?

Options are always to be considered. For now, we are proud of what we’ve built in the Caribbean, which is our home; the Caribbean people who have benefited from the opportunities Sandals has presented and the many people we have introduced through the resorts to this incredible part of the world.

There are plenty of perks that come with being the leading Caribbean Luxury Included resort company but what are some challenges that you have faced in your career that you’ve overcome, and if so how?

Every success comes with challenges and I’ve had my share along the way. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, but I would point to the period immediately following 9/11 as one of the most challenging moments in the history of the company, as it was for too many. With travel absolutely halted, there was great temptation to slash prices and cut services. We made the decision to bet on us and an American customer in need of our style of vacation. While we did put incentives into the marketplace, we also used that time to acquire new resorts and begin extensive renovation at existing resorts. The risk was rewarded, and the company celebrated by initiating “Operation Relax,” donating $2 million in free vacations to active-duty military at home or abroad.

Obviously traveling is a part of your routine, since you get to travel to so many stunning destinations, where would you say is your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place is to be on my boat fishing.

GAS-Rio-Chico-HIGH-RES-800x706.jpg 688w, 768w, 1369w" alt="Gordon "Butch" Stewart" width="752" height="664" />Photo Credit: Rio Chico

Which of the Sandals properties do you enjoy the most and why?

Oh boy, that’s a tough one! I mean, how do you pick one child over the other? Sandals Montego Bay, our flagship resort, holds a very special place in my heart. I mean, that’s where the Sandals story first started. Whenever I visit Sandals Montego Bay, I’m always overcome with a flood of memories of those early days when we really had no clue how to run a resort. And yet, here we are in 2019 leading the way. The fact that Sandals Montego Bay recently completed a massive transformation from top to bottom, adding new rooms, new restaurants and new amenities will guarantee that a whole new generation of Sandals guests also fall in love with this amazing resort.

You’ve been in the game for a while now and have likely seen changes in the travel industry. How do you think the all-inclusive category has evolved since you started, in regards to luxury accommodations and service?

I think the most dramatic change within the all-inclusive space since we began in 1981, has been the shift in the perception of the category. Once upon a time, guests believed all-inclusive meant one thing: mediocrity. Every all-inclusive resort was the same. We changed that, paving the way for more entries into the category and more choice for consumers. And this is a good thing because Sandals has never aimed to compete on price. We are focused solely on quality of experience. This is why we take such tremendous pride in the location of our resorts, the beauty of our grounds, our incredible variety of suites that dazzle in their uniqueness from rondovals to over-the-water bungalows. It’s why we put so much care into our food and beverage, operating multiple standalone restaurants run by a dedicated staff and chef rather than servicing diners from a single commercial kitchen. Today’s luxury customer seeks customization above all else, personalization of every facet of the experience. That is the Sandals difference and the essence of our new 5-Star campaign.

What can we expect moving forward from the “Cupid of the Caribbean” (and how/why do you have that nickname)?

I always laugh when I’m called “The Cupid of the Caribbean” but when I first started Sandals in 1981, I was targeting the honeymoon market so everything was geared towards romance, for two people in love. And while weddings and honeymoons are a big part of our business, Sandals is also a great place for couples to get away and reconnect, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and enjoy the very best in luxurious accommodations, delicious dining, impeccable service and so much more. From romantic candlelight dinners under the stars to relaxing spa treatments in a seaside gazebo, we offer something for every couple at any stage of their relationship.

You’ve said in the past that you’ve “never worked a day” in your life, because you enjoy it so much. Do you think that’s the key to success in both business and in life?

Being fully engaged in the things that are important to me, committing to do my best – this is living life to its fullest. That is the ultimate success.

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3665152117?profile=originalAlmost five years ago on a local TV show in New York, the host was taken aback when the Jamaican reggae artist Gyptian was introduced by a diminutive, elderly Asian woman.

“He was not expecting to see a Chinese woman talking about reggae,” Patricia Chin, now 82, recalls with a laugh, during a telephone interview from New York.

But the half-Chinese, half-Indian Chin, who was born in Jamaica, knows just about everything there is to know about reggae. 

She and her late husband, Vincent “Randy” Chin, helped build the nascent reggae music scene in the late 1950s from their home in Kingston, Jamaica, along with the likes of the legendary Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

In 1975, the Chins emigrated to the US and opened VP Records, in Brooklyn, New York. They later relocated the store, ironically, to the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens.

This year, the label is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a year-long series of events, including a free concert in Central Park on September 10 and the release of a special box set and special-edition vinyl records.

The Chins’ foray into the reggae music scene began six decades ago after the couple met in 1957, the same year Patricia became pregnant and the couple married. She was a student nurse at the time, and admits they didn’t know much about reggae music.

Vincent was traveling around the Caribbean island updating vinyl records in hotel jukeboxes, which were the main form of musical entertainment. Patricia Chin quit nursing school to accompany him. They then hit upon a business idea.

Reggae singers Devonte (left) and Tanto Metro with VP founder Chin (center), VP CEO Randy Chin (second from right) and the Consul General of Jamaica Basil Bryan. Photo: AFP

“We went to the company Vincent worked for and asked them if we could sell the reject records from the jukeboxes,” Chin recalls. “Back then, 60 years ago, we didn’t have Jamaican music, but American music like R&B and Elvis Presley.”

People were happy to buy the used records and demand grew so large that customers lined up outside the door of their first shop, Randy’s Records, on Saturdays.

They had sublet a small space in a restaurant for the record shop, but eventually bought out the owner to expand their space. They even occupied the building next door to turn it into a recording studio, naming it Studio 17.

“There were seven or eight musicians doing reggae music, while we Chinese were the ones who owned the Chinese shops. [These shops] were the meeting places for young generation Chinese to mix with the blacks,” Chin says.

“The Chinese bought equipment like speakers and turntables, and the blacks had the idea of producing, singing and making music. The shops were like a [public] square for people to meet up.”

Like much of the Caribbean, Jamaica is a multi-ethnic country. Most people are of African descent, with smaller groups of European, Chinese or South Asian origin.

The Chinese originally arrived on the island in the mid-19th century as indentured laborers on plantations. Some stayed and started businesses, particularly grocery stores.

Chin with reggae singer Tarrus Riley.
Chin with reggae singer Tarrus Riley. Photo: Ajamu Myrie

The Chins made Studio 17 more affordable than other recording facilities to help young musicians.

“We invested in them, helped them press and sell records,” Chin says. “It was the natural thing to do. We were a hotspot for artists to listen to music.”

While Chin, who was nicknamed “Miss Pat,” was behind the counter selling records at Randy’s, she briefly met some of the artists her husband brought to the studio to record with.

“Bob Marley; he was very shy. He would come in with a producer. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Peter Tosh were young, they were around 16 or 17 years old,” she says.

Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were among the original members of legendary reggae band The Wailers. Perry, now 83, is still dropping reggae albums.

But a recording didn’t mean instant success.

“In Jamaica, everyone is a singer, so they [Marley and Tosh] didn’t sell any records at all at first,” Chin recalls.

She adds that it wasn’t until British-born, Jamaican-raised producer and founder of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, discovered the likes of Marley and Tosh in the 1970s that they become world-famous.

To seek new business opportunities, Vincent went to America and hung out in jazz clubs, where he met many African-American musicians, including rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino, reggae singer and songwriter Johnny Nash and keyboard player and composer Arthur Jenkins, who also visited Kingston to record in their studio.

Amid an escalation in political violence in Jamaica in the latter half of the 1970s, the couple found it increasingly difficult to operate the business, so they left the country bound for the US.

With four children in tow, they landed in New York in 1975 and started over with VP Records, using the initials of their first names. 

Unlike in their hometown, business was initially slow. American customers only knew of Marley, but not other reggae artists who, Chin says, were just as good.

They were also unaware of the different styles of Jamaican music, including cool hop, ska and dancehall. During this period, only a handful of mainstream music stores in New York carried reggae music, so it was a struggle for the Chins to introduce other reggae artists.

Reggae fans watch performers during the 25th Anniversary of VP Records show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City (2004).
Reggae fans watch performers during the 25th Anniversary of VP Records show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City (2004). Photo: AFP

“We thought that Bob Marley was popular so we brought other music like roots reggae, but we couldn’t sell [the discs],” Chin recalls.

They made only $270 a week and had to make ends meet by selling records in the back of a van in Brooklyn.

It took five years for business to pick up and they then began to sell reggae records across the US. After 10 years in business, VP Records moved from the small shop space in Jamaica, Queens into a bigger building at the end of the block.

In 2003, tragedy struck when Vincent died from health complications. By this time Chin’s children had begun to help her run the business.

Her eldest son, Christopher, had been working at VP Records since the age of seven and, like his father, was personable and liked talking to the artists.

Her younger son Randy, who had worked as an aeronautical engineer at McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, returned home to work on digital downloads, while daughter Angela works in distribution.

Two grandchildren have also gone into the family business. Chin’s stepson Clive, who also became a record producer, went back to Jamaica to set up his own record label, however.

Chin (center) with her children Angela Chung (left), Chris Chin (back) and Randy Chin in 2004.
Chin (center) with her children Angela Chung (left), Chris Chin (back) and Randy Chin in 2004. Photo: AFP

While VP Records is based in New York, they continued to sign artists in Jamaica, record them, make the records and then sell them.

“I didn’t go to business school – things happened naturally for me. [I was able to] see the need to develop artists, even though not all of them succeeded,” Chin says.

She adds that many years ago, there weren’t many Jamaican female artists, they were mostly relegated to the role of backup singer. Today, however, there are a number of successful women singers, including Current, Spice, Queen Ifrica, Jah9, Fay Ann Lyons and Ikaya.

Capping the 40th-anniversary celebrations for VP Records, at the end of this year, will be the publication of a coffee-table book Chin is writing to document the family’s music career.

“Sixty years of music in Jamaica. Looking back we were just doing a business,” Chin reflects. “Some people say to me that I have a glamorous business, but I don’t know anything about glamor.”

Bernice Chan
Bernice is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a senior writer on the Culture Desk of the South China Morning Post.
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Bolt scores in UNICEF Soccer Aid Charity Game


Usain Bolt, left, celebrates with Didier Drogba after scoring a goal in the Soccer Aid for UNICEF charity match at Stamford Bridge. Getty Images

Usain Bolt scored a fine goal in a UNICEF Soccer Aid charity match as his World XI side beat England on penalties after a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

The world's fastest failed in an attempt to become a professional football player after retiring from athletics in 2017, having an unsuccessful trial with Australian A-League team Central Coast Mariners, but after announcing that his "sports life is over" in January 2019, he has now showed people that he's still got a bit of life left on the pitch.

The 14th edition of Soccer Aid, played on Sunday at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge home, pitted a selection of England players and personalities against a World XI captained by Bolt, and was notable for being the first to feature female players. Yet it was Bolt who stole the show with a well-taken goal before half-time.

After former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher -- playing alongside John Terry at the back -- hesitated when trying to defend an awkwardly bouncing ball, his mis-timed header allowed Bolt to steal in on goal with the loose ball, before finishing with a powerful, left-footed drive beyond former England goalkeeper David Seaman.

Gary Neville, Carragher's colleague as a television pundit on Sky Sports, was quick to end his summer-long Twitter sabbatical to call out the error, posting a replay of the goal and saying: "I was off Twitter ! Embarrassing !"

Bolt's goal for the World XI, which saw the Jamaican line up alongside Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, looked to be in vain as England were on course to win for a sixth time as they held a 2-1 lead late in the match thanks to a pair of goals from F2 freestyler Jeremy Lynch. But up popped TV personality Kem Cetinay right before full-time to level matters and Bolt's team went on to win the match from the penalty spot.

Bolt first expressed a desire to play professional football in 2016, mentioning how he'd love to play for the club he supported, Manchester United.

Since then, the decorated Olympian has had trials and training sessions at several teams in a bid to realize his dream, including training with Norwegian side Stromsgodset in early 2018, a summer training spell with Borussia Dortmund, and Central Coast.

Bolt made just a handful of appearances, scoring twice in an Oct. 12 friendly against amateur side Macarthur South West United, before leaving the club in early November. He also turned down a two-year offer from Valletta in Malta.

And while Bolt's professional career never quite got on track, he and the rest of the stars of the match can take heart in knowing they helped raise over £6 million for the charity in Sunday's game.

Other former professionals to take part in the game for England were Michael Owen, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Jamie Redknapp, and female players Katie Chapman and Rachel Yankey.

Lining up for the Rest of the World were Eric Cantona, Robbie Keane, Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho, Roberto Carlos, Robert Pires and Brazil Women ex-internationals Franzinha and Rosana.

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At 5 feet 11 inches, Bunny Shaw is a sturdy and strong forward, quick and inventive, a force to be reckoned with.

Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

MIRAMAR, Fla. — Upon graduating from the University of Tennessee last month, Khadija Shaw allowed herself a quiet moment of self-congratulation. She was the first in her family to receive a college degree. She had persevered through tragedy, having lost three brothers to gang-related violence in Jamaica and a fourth to a car accident. And now she was headed to the Women’s World Cup with Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz, with a chance to become a breakout star.

“I did well,” Shaw, 22, who is known as Bunny, told Brian Pensky, Tennessee’s soccer coach. “I did well.”

World Cups have a tendency to produce breakout stars, players who previously performed under the public’s radar but who, given a global stage and a moment in the spotlight, suddenly burst into the broader public consciousness. Shaw, a goal scoring force on a team appearing in its first World Cup, could be this year’s model.

At 5 feet 11 inches, Shaw is sturdy and strong at forward, but also quick and inventive, with a spontaneity developed from playing pickup soccer with boys in Spanish Town, Jamaica, outside Kingston, the capital.

Fans may still be getting to know Shaw, but top clubs are not. She recently signed a two-year contract with a team in the thriving French women’s league.CreditAngela Weiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“She can play four feet tall and 10 feet tall,” said Hue Menzies, Jamaica’s coach. “You can’t teach it. She’s got the technical ability to do a lot of things women her size don’t do. Being in the streets does that.”

Pensky called Shaw “the Zion Williamson of soccer,” a reference to the former Duke basketball star who entranced the nation last season as a freshman with a guard’s deftness and a forward’s body.

“That’s Bunny,” Pensky said. “She’s 5-11, strong yet quick and fast, with soft feet, a great brain and the tools of a 5-6 midfielder.”

Video of Bunny Shaw's goals and highlights.CreditCreditVideo by AV Sports

Several weeks before Shaw graduated from Tennessee with a degree in communications, the United States State Department issued a travel advisory for Spanish Town, warning American tourists not to visit, saying, “Violence and shootings occur regularly.”

It seems harsh to reduce the history of a place to a warning to stay away. Spanish Town is a former capital of Jamaica, home to one of the oldest Anglican churches outside England. But there was grim resonance for Shaw in what the advisory cautioned.

Three of her brothers have been shot to death. In August 2017, the day Shaw went to Tennessee from a junior college in Florida, one of her cousins was wounded in Spanish Town in a drive-by shooting but survived, Pensky said. A friend said that Shaw grew reluctant to answer her phone, fearing more bad news on the other end every time it rang.

“Her life could have gone a whole other way,” Pensky said.

At one point, Shaw briefly considered giving up soccer and returning home to her family. But, she said, the sport brought her comfort and solace.

“It frees me up,” she said. “I don’t think about nothing when I’m on the pitch other than I really want to win. I’m free, relaxed. I don’t really focus on anything. I use it as motivation to keep going.”

Fans may still be getting to know Shaw, but top clubs are not. Multiple news outlets reported on Thursday that she had signed a two-year contract with F.C. Girondins de Bordeaux in the thriving French women’s league. She has been on this path since elementary school, playing in her front yard, or in the street, in Spanish Town with her brothers and other boys from the neighborhood. It was a dangerous place, she has acknowledged. Sometimes while walking home from practice, she once told The Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel, she would saunter into crime scenes. Yet amid the danger, she said, her sport provided an oasis.

At 7, she began playing pickup soccer against boys as old as 15 or 16. They believed in her, she said, and told her she would be the future of the troubled community. They did not try to hurt her when they played in the yard or in the street, she said. Still, she asked them “to play me rough” because she wanted to be familiar with the muscularity of soccer when she got older and the games became formal and meaningful.

Until the Reggae Girlz, as Jamaica’s national team is known, became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the World Cup, women’s soccer had been largely dismissed in Jamaica.CreditMark Runnacles/Getty Images

“The boys kept me going; they were with me,” Shaw said. “When I was feeling down, they would come to my house and they would yell my name. If I didn’t come, they would come in the house and pull me out.”

Until the Reggae Girlz, as Jamaica’s national team is known, became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the World Cup, women’s soccer had been largely dismissed in Jamaica. Many considered it too rough and unfeminine. But at a young age, Shaw began to kick anything that would roll. Bottles. Stones. Boxes. Bags. Figurines. The remote control. Sometimes she played barefoot, and sometimes — when her mother was not home — she even played in her dress shoes.

“My mom would always get mad,” Shaw said with a laugh. “But she and my dad realized this is what I really wanted.”

One criticism of American soccer is that it is too organized, that athletes don’t play enough on their own, away from coaches, the way they do in basketball. Creativity can suffer, the theory goes. That is not the case for Shaw, who relied on ingenuity and inventiveness to succeed on makeshift fields, against boys who were bigger and faster. It is evident in her intuitive style, the way she wheels on a shot while facing away from the goal or cheekily chips a lob over a goalkeeper. The way she seeks contact, which Menzies, the coach, is seeking to lessen as a way to keep her from repeatedly being injured.

“She depends on her size to hold off defenders, but she’s got to separate quicker so it won’t be so combative all the time,” Menzies said. “She’s got to save her career.”

By age 14, Shaw was playing on Jamaica’s under-20 national team. In high school, she collected 128 goals and 72 assists. Last fall at Tennessee, she scored 13 goals in 15 games and was named the Southeastern Conference’s offensive player of the year. Now she has arrived at the World Cup.

“Bunny’s been through a lot of adversity,” Menzies said. “She knows she’s on a path to greatness. In the neighborhoods, soccer’s an opportunity to have a little bit of joy. Football is a cure. She’s part of that.”

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usain-bolt The athletics icon's brand Bolt Mobility, which he co-founded, joins an already crowded market for scooters, which users pick up and .. 

PARIS: His ambition for a career as a footballer may not have worked out but retired sprint superstar Usain Bolt announced Wednesday an unlikely new outlet for his energies - the Paris scooter market. 
The athletics icon's brand Bolt Mobility, which he co-founded, joins an already crowded market for scooters, which users pick up and park anywhere in the city via an app.lectric scooters have become wildly popular but also controversial in Paris over the last year, helping commuters navigate traffic but also seen as a nuisance and a danger by others. 

The athletics icon's brand Bolt Mobility, which he co-founded, joins an already crowded market for scooters, which users pick up and park anywhere in the city via an app. 

"I travelled all around the world for all these years, saw so much traffic and the need for our scooters to help," the eight-time Olympic champion said at the launch of the sturdy-looking contraption. 

"I have been in Paris so many times, I saw the traffic here and for me it helps to get everybody around on time," he added. 
Some 450 scooters emblazoned with his name are due to be deployed on the streets of Paris in the next days. 

But his entry into the market comes at a delicate time after Paris authorities warned operators of the thousands of electric scooters that have inundated the city to keep them off pavements or face a temporary ban.

On Monday, the ten competitors who have launched services in Paris all signed a "code of good conduct" with the mayor's office, which says the city is now "saturated" with the devices.

Bolt denied that he was too late out of the blocks, saying his brand had worked with the Paris authorities.

"It's not about (being) late, it's about doing it right," the 32-year-old Jamaican 100 metres and 200m world record holder said.

"We took our time to do the right thing and talk to authorities and get everything right to be sure that when we launch everything is perfect".

Since retiring, Bolt had attempted to become a professional footballer but a trial with an Australian club ended late last year without success.

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday May 16, 2019 – People and businesses involved in trade and transport can expect an improved “ease of doing business” in Guyana.

This follows yesterday’s passage of the Customs and Trade Single Window System Bill 2019 which provides for a single submission of documents electronically for fees, levies, duties, and taxes due to the government on goods which are imported or exported.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan who presented the Bill in the National Assembly, explained that the legislation allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and document with a single-entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements.

There are currently 20 ministries and departments that deal with import and export in Guyana. The majority of these agencies are paper-driven and the system is costly and time-consuming.

“International trade requires [the provision of information] and documents through customs and other regulatory agencies in compliance with laws and regulations….In Guyana, information is submitted and processed numerous times through Customs and other entities, be it on paper, automated or both,” Jordan noted.

He said while there was an attempt to implement the new system under the former administration, no progress was made up to 2015.

Recognizing the importance of such legislation, Jordan said, the coalition government resuscitated the project when it took office.

To date, the government has been able to secure a loan of US$6 million to aid the implementation of the Single-Window System.

The project will be implemented in phases. Phase One deals with modernizing the regulatory environment. The Cabinet also approved the establishment of a steering committee comprising the main border regulatory agencies. The committee is chaired by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Business.

The GRA will be responsible for the management of the system and will define the expected roles, responsibilities and obligations of all agencies that will be involved in providing legal and technical assistance with its creation and operation.

The agency will have to adopt relevant internationally accepted standards, procedures, documents, technical details and formalities for the effective implementation of the single-window system.

Processes and technical aspects of the system will conform to the principles of transparency in relations to procedures being undertaken through the system; security of trade date information exchange, simplicity and accessibility, confidentiality and privacy, reality, trust and consistency and efficiency.

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The Sandals Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Sandals Resorts, has come on board to provide the Ministry of Education with resources needed to continue the assessment and intervention programme of the School for the Deaf.

The donation valued at just over US$11,000/EC$28,000 continues the foundation’s commitment to supporting educational advancement across the Caribbean.

The donation includes a portable audiometer, literature and language resources, internationally standardised assessment tests, Amazon Fire tablets and a LCD Projector. Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said it is critical that no child is left behind, especially those with special needs and disabilities who already face multiple challenges.

“Assessment is critical in providing teachers and caregivers with the information needed to plan the best way forward to assist children with disabilities. The provision of the right resources to test and accommodate learning for children with special needs increases their access to a better education, which is why we are very pleased to support the Ministry of Education in ensuring that the school has all that is needed to provide these children with equal opportunity for a successful future,” Clarke said.

Teachers of the School for the Deaf are excited and grateful for their new uptodate tools which will make their work even more efficient. “The various forms of assessments we now have thanks to the Sandals Foundation will enable us to zero in on specific problems our students may have whether it be their functional auditory skills, speech perception, comprehension, vocabulary, pronunciation or signing. We can then analyse the results of these new tests and work from there to improve each child’s performance,” expressed Michelle Brathwaite, Principal of the School for the Deaf. 150w, 300w, 768w, 750w" sizes="(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px" data-pin-no-hover="true" /> Some of the assessment tools donated

Through the Special Education Desk (SEND) Programme, the Ministry of Education has placed a special interest in sourcing assistance for special needs children on the island. There are currently eleven schools participating in the programme which is aimed at identifying and providing the right learning environment for children with special needs.

Brathwaite continued, “We express our sincere thanks to the Sandals Foundation for acceptance of this project proposal for early screening and intervention for the deaf and seeing this as fundamental as you highlighted in your 2018 report, an investment in education is an investment in the future. It provides both children and adults with the tools they need to create better outcomes for themselves and their families. This is integral in creating the type of society we dream of in the region.” 113w, 225w" sizes="(max-width: 675px) 100vw, 675px" data-pin-no-hover="true" /> Four of the twenty Amazon Fire Tablets donated to the Deaf Assessment Programme

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Kevin Andall commended the region-wide reach of the Sandals Foundation; “We recognise your generosity and your commitment not only in Grenada but right across the region. Every Ministry of Education does a lot, but critical to our functioning is engaging partners to support us in our commitment to our students. I believe, once we provide quality education, we will equip our people to ultimately be globally competitive.”

Equally impressed and thankful are the parents of hearing-impaired children. “Thank you to Sandals Foundation and all the organisations here in Grenada who continue to support deaf education, because of your support our children have a voice and are able to receive the opportunities they rightfully deserve,” said Florence Holmes, parent of a hearing-impaired child. 150w, 300w, 768w, 750w" sizes="(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px" data-pin-no-hover="true" /> Some of the assessment books donated

For the past decade, the Sandals Foundation has worked with education ministries and institutions across the Caribbean to improve the education opportunities of children. The foundation has provided resources to schools, improved infrastructure, conducted and funded capacity building workshops for teachers and provided full scholarships for deserving students.

Sandals Foundation

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Alvin Burke celebrated his 100th birthday on April 7, 2019. (OH News Photo)

Editors Note: Alvin Burke is the Grand Uncle of the CaribShout's Administrator, CaribShout1.
Alvin ‘Busta’ Burke never thought he would live to celebrate his100th birthday.

As a young man growing up life for the now centenarian, who was April 7, 1919, was all about working hard and taking care of his family.

On his special day a few days ago many family members and friends converged at the Red Ground home, situated seven kilometers north of Old Harbour town, to celebrate Burke’s amazing milestone.

When Old Harbour News visited his home he greeted us with a pleasant smile, his face wearing a rather curious look though, as this was the first time we were ever meeting.

As he sat in his rocking chair on the verandah his 87-year-old wife, Leah, also greeted us as well. She was quite familiar with the other persons who accompanied me – Justice of the Peace and retired teacher Ena Hyatt and Cecil Wynter, both of whom are her cousins. As for me it was our first engagement, but I felt welcome, like an old friend she hasn’t seen in ages.

Leah and Alvin have been married for more than 30 years. They share no children together but their bond is unbreakable.

Not surprisingly Burke has outlived his three children – all now deceased – his last child passed away over a decade ago.

The son of District Constable Felix Burke and Letisha Burke, who was a stay-at-home mom, Alvin is a hard working man, who spent his entire life at the same place he was born.

He loved farming, so much so, family members even now have to be on the alert throughout the days as he would still make attempts to ‘work his ground’.

His passion for what was his main source of income and survival sometimes put him in danger, his wife and adopted daughter Sherlan Reader told me.

“One a di time mi get a drop. Mi can’t figet dat drop,” he recounted, before Mrs. Burke chimed “a because him a try go over di farm and end up hurt himself.”

Burke said he never thought he would lived a century, but believed God had a special plan for him.

“Mi eat nuff good food and mi nuh hackle up myself so much,” he surmises as reasons for his longevity, before listing yam, cassava, potato and cocoa and plenty cow’s milk as main staples he consumed.

As frail as he may appear and sound, Burke is still able to help himself.

“A him tidy (bathe) himself and feed himself man,” said Mrs. Burke.

From as far as Bullet Tree to Bartons, everyone knows ‘Busta’ who they described as a kind man who treats people with respect and dignity.

But those traits are sadly missing from the country’s social fabric in Burke’s opinion.

“Man a cut up man and a shoot man now,” he said. “Dem deh supm neva gwaan when mi a grow up. Man throw fist and if him lose a just so and it done deh so.”

The fact that Burke has lived to celebrate 100 years, is a blessing, contends Hyatt, who knew him from she was a little girl.

“Reaching this milestone is a milestone many people would want to reach, so we have to give God thanks for His blessings.

“He has impacted so many lives and I know that it is because of his kindness, because he’s a very kind man.

“I am so happy that I have lived to see this and we just pray that God will continue to bless him,” Hyatt, a former teacher at Marlie Mount Primary School, said.

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by Cory Zufelt, Co-Founder-CEO

I’m Local, a Grenadian technology company in the travel and tourism industry, has won 1st place in the 2019 Caribbean Technology Entrepreneurship Programme (CTEP) competition, the most highly recognised technology competition in the Caribbean.

Out of the 250 companies from over 20 countries that applied to the Scale Up programme, only 10 companies were chosen throughout the region. After 3 months of rigorous learning modules, workshops and mentorship sessions, followed by a live demo day and regional pitch finals, I’m Local attained the top spot, reinforcing that Grenada is the #1 country to invest in when it comes to technology in the Caribbean.

I’m Local, who previously won the GIDC’s Young Innovators Challenge and the Grenada Chamber of Commerce, Innovative Business of the Year Award, has developed a mobile application that enhances how tourists explore and experience the Caribbean in a fun new interactive way that protects local sites. Using voice recognition software, augmented reality and location-based technology, their new mobile app will provide an experience to visitors that is the first of its kind in the travel and tourism industry globally.

“Our goal is to create the Silicon Valley of the Caribbean, right here in Grenada. We want to put Grenada on the map as the high-tech hub of the Caribbean, not just regionally but internationally, winning CTEP is a step in that direction,” Cory Zufelt, Co-Founder-CEO.

With the current I’m Local application, visitors can book and pay for activities, tours, schedule transportation and even make restaurant reservations with the click of a button. For those who want to speak to a travel host, you can upgrade to have your very own virtual concierge 24/7.

A huge part of the I’m Local model is giving back to the heritage and tourist sites. Therefore, a percentage of revenue generated from travel experiences purchased by visitors, will be donated to ongoing projects, that are currently managed by the Grenada National Trust (Official I’m Local Partner). This will help fund the development and upkeep of sites that visitors are exploring. It is their way of ensuring that heritage and tourist sites are protected, and that the visitor experience is improved at all major points of interest.

I’m Local is in the process of scaling regionally into other Caribbean islands, starting with the Eastern Caribbean. They are currently looking for strategic partners regionally and local businesses who want to get listed on their platform or offer a new experience to their guests. Please contact Cory at or call (473) 418 8069 for more information.

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One thing that hurts your current dates is comparing them with your ex. Although they may have flaws, it is not good to bring up the issue of your past relationships in your current relationships. According to experts in relationships, some people just find themselves comparing their current partners with their ex no matter how perfect they are. It is almost like an illness that a person must fight. If you practice the right things, you will have a happy relationship that will last a long time.

This is how to stop comparing your current date to your ex.

Find Great Qualities in Your Partner

Unless it is a sickness, a person will compare their partner to their ex if they do not take the time to appreciate them. The first thing to do is look for the great qualities that they have and focus on those. Avoid focusing on flaws, especially because you also have yours. If you would not like to be compared to anyone, do not compare else. Those who have found great qualities in their partners remain happy at all times.

Correct Cautiously

Correcting a partner is not wrong, but how you do it might be wrong. Do not compare him or her with one of your exes, even if they were the best as far as the issue at hand is concerned. In fact, it is not right to compare their issue to anyone. Be polite when mentioning the mistake and say how you would have preferred the issue to look. Your partner will not only appreciate it, but will avoid repeating what they did wrong by all means.

Accept Changes

Two people cannot be the same, and the same can be said about two different relationships. This is a change that you must embrace. Luckily, dating sites like allow you to read the profile of the other person before you start dating. Thus, you already know a few things about them even before you start dating. The most important thing is to accept that this is a new relationship with unique qualities. Accepting changes will help you to avoid comparing your current date to your ex.

Give Your Best

Instead of comparing your partner to your EX, live like an example and give your best. When you do this, your partner will also make an effort to stop things that are hurting the relationship and join you. With both parties making efforts, the relationship will work perfectly and no one will have to compare the other with anyone.

Learn to Love More

Love is different from many other things in a relationship. It opens the eyes of people to know when they are hurting their partner and when they are making them happy. Love avoids things that hurt the other person. If you have a challenge loving your partner, it is time to grow your love by any means.

All people need to stop comparing their partners with their exes. This should go both ways for a better relationship. With the above tips, you will agree that this is very possible. Start it now!

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Calypso Rose wows them at Coachella

Calypso Rose performs in the Gobi tent last weekend, one of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio last Friday. © Chanice Gibbs

With the ‘fire in her wire’ still ablaze, Ca­lyp­so Rose’s per­for­mance at the Coachel­la Mu­sic Fes­ti­val has gen­er­at­ed a pub­lic­i­ty whirl­wind on Amer­i­can news me­dia out­lets.

The 78-year-old ca­lyp­son­ian made her de­but at the Cal­i­for­nia mu­sic ex­po last week, and has been fea­tured on tele­vi­sion pro­grammes and dig­i­tal news pub­li­ca­tions for her his­to­ry-mak­ing set.

Rose, whose re­al name is McArtha Lin­da Sandy-Lewis, is the old­est singer to ever play at Coachel­la. She is al­so the first ca­lyp­son­ian to per­form a full 45-minute stage set.

The fes­ti­val is one of the largest and most well-known in the Unit­ed States, with Gram­my award-win­ning R&B artiste and Amer­i­can pop su­per­star Ar­i­ana Grande head­lin­ing this year’s edi­tion.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view on en­ter­tain­ment news pro­gramme, TMZ Live, host Charles Lat­i­beaudiere jok­ing­ly asked Rose about the tum­ble she took on stage last Fri­day as she wined on a con­cert go­er while singing her hit col­lab­o­ra­tion with Machel Mon­tano, ‘Young Boy.’

“That wasn’t part of the song, right?” Lat­i­beaudiere teased. “The ‘young boy’ isn’t sup­posed to, uh, well, I mean he is sup­posed to get you on the ground, but not that way, right?”

“Not that way,” laughed Rose with her il­lu­mi­nat­ing smile.

“You’ve been in mu­sic longer than Paul Mc­Cart­ney, you’re aware of that right?” Lat­i­beaudiere mused.

“I start­ed at age 13!” said Rose, who is set to turn 79 on April 27.

TMZ Live co-host Har­vey Levin mar­velled at Rose’s en­er­gy on stage.

“Why do you think you’re con­nect­ing?...There used to be a joke about (Las) Ve­gas that, a lot of peo­ple—once they get ‘up there’ in years—they end up in Las Ve­gas...Why do you think at 78 you’re per­form­ing in Coachel­la where it’s a very young crowd?”

She cred­it­ed her mu­sic la­bel in France for se­cur­ing a spot in Coachel­la, which she en­dear­ing­ly pro­nounces like the Trinida­di­an word for the spicy man­go rel­ish, kuchela.

News and en­ter­tain­ment web­site, Buz­zfeed, her­ald­ed her achieve­ments at the fes­ti­val in an ar­ti­cle pub­lished on Tues­day.

Buz­zfeed staff writer, Patrice Peck, praised Rose for rep­re­sent­ing Trinidad and To­ba­go’s cul­ture at her Coachel­la de­but, and for be­ing an ar­dent ad­vo­cate for women’s equal­i­ty.

That ad­vo­ca­cy was al­so the fo­cus of a video pro­file piece post­ed by dig­i­tal news out­let, Brut, which asked Rose to talk about her fem­i­nism and her ca­reer.

“All the men all over the world who ate lis­ten­ing to me here to­day: nev­er in your life raise your hand against a woman,” she de­clared.

The video has been viewed more than 640 thou­sand times.

“Ladies, I am still stand­ing up for you and I will stand up for you un­til the good Lord say ‘come home,’ and I know the Lord ain’t call­ing me home now,” Rose de­clared in the video. “I am here for a pur­pose.”

Rose is set to grace the Coachel­la stage for a sec­ond time to­mor­row. She has book­ings in Ger­many, Switzer­land and Eng­land in the com­ing months, and ap­pear­ances in Japan sched­uled for the end of the year.

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Jamaica poised for more investments from China


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Kamina Johnson Smith (left) and Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi (right), exchange the signed agreements under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), at the MInistry in New Kingston. (Photo via JIS)

Telegram Jamaica is poised to benefit from significant economic and infrastructural development initiatives under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the People’s Republic of China.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Kamina Johnson Smith, and Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi, signed the agreement under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices last week.

The BRI is a new model of international development cooperation, promoting broad and inclusive connectivity across countries and regions. It also provides a powerful framework to ensure that development cooperation brings shared benefits to China and its partners.

Jamaica is the fifth Caribbean nation to sign on to the BRI, following Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Guyana and Barbados. Through the initiative, the Chinese are expected to invest heavily in a country’s infrastructure and economy.

Senator Johnson Smith said the MOU allows the two countries to identify specific proposals for projects in priority areas.

“With today’s signing of the MOU, our two countries must now…develop a mechanism by which projects and programmes in priority areas may be proposed and evaluated at the technical level, forming the basis for potential agreements,” she noted.

She said that under the BRI, Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China will seek to deepen collaboration so as to promote greater connectivity in the areas of trade, facilities and infrastructure, policy coordination, financial systems and people-to-people connections.

“Such connectivity and the potential it holds can serve as a catalyst for bringing Jamaica closer to the attainment of our economic growth and sustainable development goals,” she added.

Senator Johnson Smith said that the new framework, coupled with existing bilateral mechanisms “can provide an impetus for increased trade and investment as well as channel support to critical sectors, such as infrastructure, logistics, and manufacturing.”

She noted that over the years, Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China have forged a mutually beneficial partnership transcending distance, size, level of development and culture.

The partnership between the two countries has resulted in many tangible outcomes, she said, citing acquisition of Alpart in 2016 by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) and the proposed development of an industrial park and special economic zone alongside the JISCO/Alpart operations in Nain, St Elizabeth.

The Minister further mentioned the western children’s hospital project, completion of two state-of-the-art early childhood institutions last year, as well as the Bright Journey Eye Care Mission now underway at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), where hundreds of persons are receiving cataract surgeries.

Additionally, she said that hundreds of Jamaicans have travelled to China on scholarships and training programme annually and have returned to the island to contribute to national development.

“These are but a few of the many projects which demonstrate the positive impact of bilateral cooperation with China,” Senator Johnson Smith noted.

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A commercial kitchen is the center of the food service business. The food is stored, prepared and cooked in the kitchen and then served to the customers. Without a proper kitchen, it is not possible to turn a food business. The kitchen has a lot of safety hazards and without proper precautionary measures, the kitchen can become a dangerous place. Electrical hazards are a serious issue for the commercial kitchen. To run an efficient food service you will need to invest in commercial grade electrical appliances like ovens, blenders, commercial upright display fridge, etc. and they need to stay away from water sources. Electrocution and electrical fires are common safety hazards.

Here are a few tips for kitchens to make sure that there are proper safety precautions in place to avoid electrical accidents.


Identifying Potential Electrical Hazards in a Commercial Kitchen:

A restaurateur needs to hire a professional electrician to identify the potential electrical hazards. Identifying the problem is the key to taking the right precautionary measures. The kitchen staff will not be able to work properly if the working environment is not safe. There are some areas those more vulnerable to electrical hazards than the others.

The areas that contain countertop equipment can have worn out electrical cords and they can be extremely dangerous. The electrical appliances and water is a terrible match so an area where both are present is a vulnerable place. Faulty wiring and worn out electrical equipment create a danger zone. The areas that use extension cords are a hazardous area as well.


Awareness of Electrical Hazards:

Investing in electrical safety equipment is important but it will not be effective if not used properly. The electrical safety of a commercial kitchen depends significantly on the awareness of the kitchen staff. The kitchen staff should be aware of the potential electrical hazards present in the kitchen.

The staff working in the commercial kitchen should know how to shut off power in case of an emergency. The staff should also know the proper way to use cords, plugs, and electrical appliances.

The restaurateur should have a program that is effective in spreading safety awareness and training them to properly use the safety equipment.


Meet Health and Safety Standards:

 A successful restaurant needs a commercial kitchen that satisfies the occupational safety and health standards. The safety standards are put in place to make sure that the kitchen does not become a hazardous area. Without the health and safety standards, it will be hard to avoid food contamination and the quality of service will suffer significantly.

The appliances used in the commercial kitchen need to be of a certain standard. The kitchen staff also has to follow all the safety protocols like washing hands, wearing gloves, protective goggles, etc. The safety guidelines and protocols are put in place for a reason and they should never be avoided. The standards will keep the commercial kitchen safe from electrocution and electrical fires.

The success of the business depends on the quality of service they offer and to offer the best service it is essential to take care of electrical hazards.

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4 Effective Ways to Improve Restaurant Sales

Image result for improve restaurant sales

Starting a restaurant is exciting but also a complex and difficult process. There are a lot of challenges that a restaurant has to overcome so that it can establish a reliable reputation in the industry. There is too much competition in the industry and small mistakes can cost a lot of restaurant sales. To run a successful restaurant it is important to stay ahead of the competition and have a plan to deal with industry challenges.

To run a successful food service business it is important to be persistent. To attract more customers a restaurant needs to think out of the box so that it stands out from the competition. Here are a few tips for restaurants to improve their sales.

Make the Best Use Of Social Media Marketing:

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting businesses and the best thing about it is that it is free of cost. Social media marketing offers access to a wider audience and gets their attention. Social media needs to be a part of the marketing plan. Professional and active social media profiles are essential for attracting more restaurant sales.

Keep the social media profiles active by sharing content that will get customer attention. Delicious pictures of the food you serve or the menu or other industry related content will help in running a successful business.

Improve Restaurant Sales with a Pricing Strategy:

Developing the restaurant menu properly is important for running a successful restaurant. There are a lot of important things to consider while creating a menu. You cannot make a list of all the dishes that you like. You need to think about the food cost and profit margin while compiling the menu. Taking help from the head chef and menu engineers will make it easier to establish an effective pricing strategy. The price of the food you are offering should be according to potential customers. If the prices are too high for them you will have a menu that will cost you more than you can afford, so establish a pricing strategy that will earn the business a good profit.

Make the Best Use of Material Marketing:

To increase the restaurant sales it is important that a restaurant is able to make the best use of material marketing. There are a lot of marketing tools at the restaurant’s disposal and it needs to use them properly. The setting of the restaurant should make sure that it is memorable and people want to come back to it. Use serve over counters to offer self-serving options and seasonal deals and use leaflets and signs to let people know the delicious menu you have to offer.

Develop a Restaurant App:

Nowadays people use apps all the time. If they are looking for a good place to dine out then they will do online research. A good app will make the business visible to potential customers. Offer special discounts to people who order using an app so that people are encouraged to install it. It will make it possible for the restaurant business to stay in touch with the customers and send notifications of latest deals and offers.

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Calabar’s Kevroy Venson 'silences' the crowd after upstaging KC's Ari Rodgers in the 1500m at last year's high school athletic championships.

With Karyl Walker

It is undoubtedly the Olympics of school athletics championships. The ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships, popularly called ‘Champs’, is now underway and the eyes of the athletics world are upon Jamaica.

By the time the championships are over, records will fall, new heroes will emerge and true champions will have defended their titles from last year. More importantly, scouts from all over Europe, the United States and other regions have descended on Kingston, Jamaica.

Their intent? To poach our youngsters into signing up for their clubs and offer them attractive contracts or scholarships to tertiary institutions so they can get a piece of the Jamaican talent.

In my days as a high school student, the championships were divided along the lines of sex. Girls Champs was held separately from Boys Champs and held less prestige, but smartly, in 1999, ISSA merged the two, and now 20 years afterwards we have a great spectacle that the world has been forced to stretch their necks and examine closely.

Many are still wondering how Jamaica can produce so many great athletes. What is our secret?

Some jokingly say we are used to running from the police and know how to scamper away when the guns bark. Some put it down to the yam from Trelawny while others grudgingly spout nonsense that we have mastered the art of masking the use of pharmaceuticals.

My take is that it has been embedded in our psyche from the toddler stage.

On a recent trip to the island, I was staying at an apartment complex that was just across the road from a basic school. One morning, about 9 am, the loud toots of horns and frantic cheers could be heard.

It was sports day.

The three and four-year-old kids were participating in their basic school Olympics and it was a sight to behold. It seemed the children were running for their parents as mothers and fathers were frenetic as they urged on their offspring to run.

There was one little girl in particular who was a cut above the rest. She beat everything in sight. I smiled broadly as the pint-sized child blazed away akin to our own Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The future of athletics seemed secure for the land of my birth.

As Jamaicans, we place great importance on our children performing well on the track from an early age. It can be likened to the basketball or NFL culture in the USA. These sports are second nature for most American children. We have inculcated in our culture that running fast is a Jamaican thing. It goes without saying.

But back to Champs.

In the days leading up to the event, a lot of controversy swirled around two of the major stars that are representing defending champions Calabar. One can only hope that the boys rise above the effluent and are able to perform at their utmost. After all, they are Jamaican youth who seem to be focused on taking up athletics as their chosen career.

The controversy may be a good thing for those athletes. In the real world, they will be faced with many other challenges that were unplanned for and this may be the mock exam for the life they will have to face. At least they will learn early enough that nothing in life comes easy. It should be used as a learning curve for them to realize that, if they achieve stardom, there will be people waiting in the wings to bring them down off the podium of glory in one fell swoop.

As has been the case for many years, there is a battle shaping up between Calabar and many time winners Kingston College for the boys crown, while Edwin Allen is being touted as a shoe in for the girls title.

One can only hope that whoever wins does so with grace and the loser is able to lick their wounds and get on with life.

As much as some Jamaicans like to think that our national sport is football, the island has since pre-independence been a more potent force to be reckoned with in track and field.

From the days of Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, George Rhoden, Les Laing, Donald Quarrie, Merlene Ottey, Jacqueline Pusey, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell Brown, Deon Hemmings, Everod Samuels and many other greats too many to mention, Champs has been the feeding tree for athletics clubs and has produced many world beaters.

I am sure more future stars will emerge this year.

What a nice fi live, sweet Jamdown.

That is my view from the outside.

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3665152072?profile=originalThe reggae star’s return to the stage after eight years in a Florida prison was one of the biggest music events in Jamaica’s history.

When flight 559 traveling from JFK touched down in Kingston, Jamaica on Wednesday March 13, the pilot thanked the passengers for flying Jet Blue, told us to enjoy the island’s 85-degree temperature, and insisted we have fun at the weekend’s concert.

Obviously, he didn’t need to specify which concert: it’s the gig that’s filled up flights to Jamaica’s capital for the past week, packed hotels and guest houses, and increased Airbnb bookings to nearly 100% occupancy. Websites crashed within minutes of tickets going on sale, unable to handle the demand.

Buju Banton’s Long Walk to Freedom Concert, one of the biggest music events in Jamaica’s history, was held Saturday night at Kingston’s National Stadium, marking the reggae icon’s return to the stage after an eight-year absence. Banton didn’t willingly take a break from performing; he had been incarcerated in federal prison following a conviction on cocaine trafficking charges.3665152021?profile=original

Banton, born Mark Myrie, was arrested in December 2009 and charged with attempting to possess and distribute cocaine, and was promptly incarcerated for 11 months in Florida’s Pinellas County jail, outside of Tampa.

Banton’s September 2010 trial resulted in a hung jury and two months later, he was freed on bail. Bob Marley’s, son Stephen, who testified on Banton’s behalf at the trial, posted his home as bond. While out on bail, Banton performed a fundraising concert to generate money for his mounting legal costs.

The Before the Dawn concert (named after Banton’s 2010 album, released on his Gargamel Music label) was held at Miami’s Bayfront Amphitheater on January 16, 2011; 10,000 fans turned out to witness what might have been Banton’s final U.S. performance.  

On February 13, 2011, Before the Dawn won the Best Reggae Album Grammy, but Banton couldn’t attend the ceremony because his second trial began the following day. Less than two weeks later, Banton was found guilty of attempting to possess and distribute cocaine. On June 23, 2011, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, where he remained until December 7, 2018, when he was released and deported to Jamaica.

Banton has yet to speak publicly about the circumstances that led to his criminal conviction and his time in prison. His silence on such serious life-altering events, coupled with his 10-year absence from a Jamaican stage, undoubtedly heightened the anticipation surrounding the Long Walk to Freedom concert. Banton’s dramatic—and contentious—career arc has rendered him a revolutionary to some, and a divisive figure to others.

The youngest of 15 children born to a street vendor mother, Banton’s coarse, unrelenting deejayed vocals—the Jamaican equivalent of rapping—and ferocious delivery took him to the pinnacle of dancehall superstardom in the early 1990s.

His 1994 song “Murderer,” written about the fatal shooting of his close friend and dancehall artist Panhead, as well as Kingston’s escalating gun crime, helped temporarily redirect dancehall reggae away from gangsterism, towards Rastafarianism-themed positive messages.

Banton’s 1995 album ‘Til Shiloh (Loose Cannon), widely considered his masterpiece, played a further role in shaping roots reggae for the 1990s and beyond. But Banton has also been a longstanding target for gay rights activists who were outraged by the lyrics to his song “Boom Bye Bye,” which advocated the killing of homosexuals.

Banton recorded “Boom Bye Bye” when he was 16, and he has explained that it was written about a specific incident in Jamaica: a pedophile’s abuse of a young boy. A translation of the song’s dense patois lyrics first surfaced around 1993, when Banton released Voice of Jamaica, his sole album for Mercury Records. He has apologized for the sentiments the song expressed and stopped performing it many years ago, yet it continued to impede his career, with protests resulting in concert cancellations as late as 2009.

Additional controversies surrounding Banton—from the videotape showing him tasting cocaine in a Florida warehouse and asking if there were more from his trial, to seizing the title of Nelson Mandela’s auto-biography for his return concert—largely subsided as the concert date approached.

190317-buju-embed2_qaeds4 The crowd reacts at Buju Banton’s concert.

As fans arrived hours early to soak up the revelry amidst The Gargamel’s (as Banton is also known) long-awaited return, vendors lined the stadium’s entrance, selling snacks, soft drinks, Red Stripe beers, air horns and an assortment of memorabilia bearing Banton’s image.

New York City’s Bobby Konders and Jabba of Massive B Sound and Hot 97 (WQHT FM) set a fitting tone with their selections of 1980s and 1990s dancehall classics. The stadium was packed, nearly reaching its 35,000-person capacity as the 8 p.m. showtime drew closer.

Ticket prices ranged from $32 for bleacher seats up to $200 for the VIP section. Several opening acts were on the bill. Among those who fared best were singer Ghost, best known for his 1990s/early 2000s dancehall hits, but is truly a timeless entertainer; and vocal quartet L.U.S.T. who dazzled with exquisite harmonies; and the dynamic dancehall artist Sasco, who was mentored by Banton early in his career.

Young roots reggae star Chronixx seamlessly merged dancehall influences and roots reggae’s Rastafarianism-imbued messages as this decade’s embodiment of a musical path Banton helped pioneer in the mid-1990s. Most notable was veteran Rastafarian singer Cocoa Tea; unlike the other acts, he tailored his performance to the occasion. As he strode on stage, he adapted the words of his 1995 Rastafari anthem “Holy Mount Zion” to a welcome home song for Banton: “After eight years of incarceration Buju still stands strong/after eight years of incarceration, he finally gets to witness this long walk to freedom.”

Popular Jamaican radio personality Elyse Kelly of the island’s all reggae station IRIE FM Radio (107.5 FM) introduced the artist as someone “who makes us laugh, he makes us cry, he makes us think as we take this long walk to freedom. From the chains of incarceration, we are celebrating liberty and freedom. Jamaica the wait is over, help us bring on stage Buju Banton and the Shiloh Band.” With that, attendees roared their approval and held their cell phones aloft, to capture historic images of Banton’s return to the stage.

190317-buju-embed1_mfu5r7 Buju Banton performs with Wayne Wonder during his first concert since his release from prison

Banton, resplendent in a white suit, his waist-length dreadlocks freely swinging, cut a striking figure. He opened his set with a prayer, chanting “Oh Lamb of God have mercy on me.” He closed his eyes and placed a hand on his forehead, as he dropped to his knees for greater emphasis.

For the next 90-minutes, Banton chose songs from his extensive catalog that helped convey the remarkable narrative that had led to this long-anticipated moment, which was best summed up by his first selection, “Not an Easy Road.” With the superb backing of the Shiloh Band, led by keyboardist Steven “Lenky” Marsden, Buju continued his reflective mood singing “Destiny,” “Close One Yesterday,” “Lord Give I Strength,” but also incorporated his kinetic dancehall brand with “Too Bad,” “Only Man,” and “Walk Like A Champion.”

Banton’s vigor was impressive throughout as he bounced, jumped, danced and kicked, working the stage as if he had never been away from it. His deep, distinctively granular voice has not yet been restored to its full capacity and too often he let his female backup trio, or even the audience, take over the vocals; however, there’s little doubt that the Voice of Jamaica will soon regain his optimal form.

Several of Buju’s collaborators also joined him onstage to celebrate his return. They included Marcia Griffiths, former member of Bob Marley’s I-Threes, whom Banton said he regarded as a mother; Wayne Wonder, with whom Banton performed the 1992 dancehall classic “Bona Fide Love” and one of Banton’s mentors; and singer Beres Hammond. Beres and Buju performed their exuberant ode to dancehall “Can You Play Some More,” and caused the already frenzied crowd to scream even louder when they sang each other’s verses on their 1992 hit, “Who Say?”

Banton had little to say about his incarceration except for counting down, to the second, the amount of time he was locked up, which served as the introduction to “Driver A.” Banton’s 2007 hit about a ganja dealer sending his driver to make a delivery in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, contains a somewhat prescient lyric, as he cautions his driver: “Just remember the damn speed limit cause if you run into the Feds, my friend, that is it.” For the time being, maybe that’s the only direct reference to his incarceration that Banton needs to make.

@itsknottv for The Daily Beast

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10 Jewellery Trends to Follow for 2019

#The Nose Ring


The Indian nose ring never left design, for some, ladies wear a little gold or precious stone stud type nose ring once a day, but it is currently being hailed like never before as an essential face accessory or adornments. It has been reinvented by modern adornments designers to consider more designs. Silver, white metal, and antique gold are a portion of the metals that are being explored different avenues regarding to craft out an Indian nose ring. In this way, something which was prior only a modest decoration presently has procured 'the greater the better' tag. Impact of the Kutch style can be found in the nose pin and nose rings that are trending. Bollywood biggies like Aamir Khan likewise donning a nose ring in his most recent flick has begun the pattern of even men presently supporting this piece of adornments.

#The Multi layer jewelry


Adornments designers feel that the sort of jewelry worn by Bollywood big names at their weddings a year ago will be the kind of this current year and that was the multi layer neck-piece. Social sites are overwhelmed with pictures of Anushka and Deepika wearing these neck-pieces which had a Rajasthani touch to them.

#The Maang tikka


When just a bride's strong point, the Maang tikka is currently being worn by every last one. Exquisite patterns in gold, kundan, and polki work run truly well with traditional Indian dresses. You don’t need long hair too to wear this ethnic piece for it looks perfect with any length of hair.

#The Jhoomar


Helping you to remember the beauty and class of the Mughal time, the jhoomar runs well with the most recent in apparel, the gharara and kurti mix. When wearing a jhoomar in your hair, make sure to coordinate your rest of the gems with it as well.

#Bridal Chokers


Likewise knows as the bib jewelry, they cover your neck area . Embellished with amazing stones set in gold, a choker necklace raises the look of a lady. Ladies are notwithstanding getting their accessories tweaked with dolls emblazoned on the accessory.

#The Chandbali


Made famous by Bollywood films and superstars, the chandbalis are staying put. They look dazzling in silver and stunning in kundan and gold. The best part about chandbalis is that they make any attire look incredible, be it ethnic or western.



Pearls are immortal marvels that give a lady the royal look. This will be the time of the pearl but an extraordinary pearl. Baroque pearls are being utilized to create rich incredibly in different shapes and hues. A pearl necklace with a little diamond pendant or set with a valuable stone like ruby or emerald is an unquestionable requirement for each storage room. You can style your LBD with a pearl neckband and by including some matching studs, a similar accessory can draw out the excellence of a silk saree.

#Go Floral


Hued flower designs in pendants and hoops are a most loved of ladies today in light of the fact that these pieces are sufficiently flexible to be worn both with an Indian or western clothing. Include a dainty chain and you can wear the pendant to an office meeting too. A neckband with big flowers made in gold and connected together looks awe inspiring when worn on the event of a cocktail or a gathering function.

#Temple Jewelry


Heavy accessories with matching hoop embellished with the statuette of Indian Gods and Goddesses, characterizes temple adornments which is no more appointed to a space in your bank lockers. The time has come to bring those old marvels out and wear them easily. The unpredictable craftsmanship of temple jewellery makes it a head turner. It looks best in an antique gold finish and you can style it with a Kanjeevaram sari which is additionally from the southern area of India like the temple jewellery.

#Statement Jewellery


This could be anything from a multilayer accessory to oversized jhumkas. This one piece alone is sufficient to make you amaze on any event. If you are a wearing statement jewellery then you have to pursue the standard of less is more, for you can't pack your look then with some other decoration. Except if you are the bride, keep the quantity of such adornments pieces to a limit of two.

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Koffee is a teenage reggae artist who'd rather toast than boast.

By: Reshma B. - Vibe

Back in 1962, a 17-year-old Jamaican singer/songwriter named Robert Marley recorded a song called “One Cup of Coffee” and went on to take reggae music around the world. Fast forward 55 years to 2017, when a 17-year-old Jamaican singer/songwriter named Koffee dropped her first record, “Burning,” setting her on a path to become the most talked-about new artist in dancehall reggae right now.

Koffee got her big break when veteran singer Cocoa Tea invited her onstage at the January 2018 edition of Rebel Salute, Jamaica’s biggest roots reggae festival. “She name Koffee and me name Tea,” he quipped, calling her the “next female sensation out of Jamaica.” The artist born Mikayla Simpson doesn’t actually like coffee though—she prefers hot chocolate.

After graduating from Ardenne High, the same school dancehall star Alkaline attended, Koffee turned her focus to music. She shot a live video with new roots superstar Chronixx at Marley’s Tuff Gong Studios, then dropped her breakout single “Toast,” produced by Walshy Fire of Major Lazer fame. That video has racked up 10 million+ views and made the artist, who stands just over five feet tall, a very big name on the island. Now signed to Columbia UK, Koffee will release her debut EP Rapturenext month.

“Mi only spit lyrics, don't really talk a lot,” she states on the track “Raggamuffin.” But when Koffee turned up to VIBE’s Times Square headquarters, bundled up against NYC’s February chill in a hoodie, thermals, and Nike x Off-White sneakers, she opened up about her musical journey, the power of gratitude, her surprising inspirations, and how she plans to spend her birthday.


VIBE: I haven’t seen you since your EP listening in Kingston. Congratulations on an impressive body of work.
Koffee: Thank you. I feel humble and proud at the same time. I really put a lot of thought into the EP, the way I structured it, and the content, the lyrics. It really means a lot to me, so I appreciate you saying that.

It’s amazing how much you’ve accomplished since Cocoa Tea brought you out on Rebel Salute.
Yeah, and that was only a year and a month ago!

So how did the link with Cocoa happen?
Actually, it happened through Walshy Fire. After my very first single “Burning,” Walshy reached out and sent me some riddims, in hopes of us working together, which we ended up doing. We were supposed to meet up at a studio in Florida and when we went there Cocoa Tea was already in the building. We were like, “Wow, Cocoa Tea!” Because Cocoa Tea is a reggae legend for us in Jamaica. Walshy actually introduced Cocoa to some of my music, and Cocoa was like, “Wha? Mi gonna bring her out on Rebel Salute next month!” This was in December, and Rebel Salute was in January.

Timing is everything.
Rebel Salute made a huge difference. It opened me up to a lot of opportunities. Even today a lot of places that I go, people remember me from there. I was doing music before. I’d done a few shows here and there, but the audience at Rebel Salute is very important. It’s an epic stage to present yourself.

Were you nervous?
Just before going out on the stage I was backstage pacing back and forth. I was trying to keep warm as well because it was chilly that night. But I was really nervous because it was my first time being in such a light.

Do you think being so young has helped you? Like, you may not overthink everything.

I think you have a point. Because I’m young, my mind is a bit more pure, or uncorrupted. Experiences do have a way of taking away your mental space and the things you’re willing to try. Staying in “the comfort zone” is the most comfortable thing, but sometimes pushing yourself to step outside of that will help you overcome your fears. That, and just the drive and motivation. I definitely try to keep challenging myself.

Reggae has always been a male-dominated industry, but female artists are definitely on the rise. How do feel getting catapulted into that category?
I feel like it’s a big responsibility, and “to whom much is given, much is expected.” So I don't look at it as, “Oh, I’ve made it.” But I acknowledge that I’m in a position where I have a responsibility now to fulfill and to pull through. It just pushes me to work harder, make more things happen, and just keep it going.

I love the line in your song “Raggamuffin” where you say, “Mi give them heart attack inna mi halter back.” Was that inspired by Althea & Donna’s “Uptown Top Rankin’” from the ‘70s?
Yeah, I love that song. That’s the thing, I would say that every artist is an influence to me. Growing up, I would hear these songs being played by people next door, down the road, all around. Just in the Jamaican environment on a whole. So those songs definitely do have an influence on me, the messages from those times. Once you hear it, it’s in your head. You know it now and it really makes a difference in how you think, how you speak, and everything.

When people think of a female dancehall artist they usually think of colorful hair, long nails… But you seem to have your own swag. How would you describe your style?
I would definitely say unique, but at the same time, it is natural to me and not calculated. I don't put a name to it and say, “I’m gonna be this way.” I just kind of flow and whatever you see is me doing what I feel. Like, I’m not sure what these pants are, but I bought them in Berlin. I got this hoodie in the UK—I’m not sure what brand this is either. I was just trying to keep warm. My friend Ayesha from the UK styled me with this top recently for a shoot.

There’s a line on “Burning” where you talk about “Koffee pon di street, tank top inna di heat / Jeans pants an’ Crocs / No socks pon mi feet / Knapsack mi a beat / Well pack up an’ it neat.” Was that your real-life dress code in 2017?
Yeah, I remember at that time that’s how I used to roll. You know in Jamaica it’s hot, so I probably had my tank top and my jeans on, or my shorts. And I had this one pair of grey Crocs that I just wore everywhere. And I always have my knapsack. So yeah, that was my reality at that moment.

How far away does that feel, now that you have a stylist and travel the world?
That’s amazing. It’s a transition that’s really beautiful and something I really appreciate.

I have a feeling you’re going to re-introduce words like “appreciate” and “give thanks” into pop culture.
I hope to start a wave of gratitude. Even by writing that song “Toast,” when I say “We haffi give thanks like we really supposed to,” it reminds me to be grateful. I aspire to be humble and I pray and ask God to help me be grateful. I try to maintain it and I hope that will inspire other people to do the same.

Let’s talk about “Toast.” On the chorus, you say “We nah rise and boast.” But then again, a lot of reggae and dancehall artists are very “boasy.” That’s part of the culture.
When I say “Wi nah rise and boast” it means that no matter what happens along the journey, we’re still gonna remain the same. We gonna big up we friend and hold a vibes. I’m just making it clear that we never come fe hype.

You can spit pretty fast, but I feel like some people may be missing some of the things you say. But if you listen carefully you’re talking about real things.
Thank you for noticing that. When I wrote “Raggamuffin,” a lot of my musical influence came from artists like Protoje and Chronixx. Chronixx has basically been an advocate for the youths, so his message had an impact on me. When I was vibing to the beat, I wanted to cover myself, cover my country where I come from, good things and bad things, and the music, reggae itself.

Growing up, did you see inner city kids not being looked after by their own government and their own people?
Most definitely. I wouldn't say that the government is responsible for the lives of everybody as citizens. But there are some general things that need the government’s attention and they don't pay the attention that they should. They'd rather focus on things that can garner income. There are roads that need to be fixed in places that tourists don't necessarily visit. And nobody cares about those roads. Minor injustices, major injustices—just things that really need to be spoken about so that people can think about it and look into it.

BDP used the term Edutainment—education and entertainment. Is that something you present in your music?

Yes, it’s definitely something I aim for. I think that it’s important to keep people interested enough to want to absorb what you are saying. And then it’s equally important to present something that is worth absorbing. Something productive, something inspiring, motivating. Just mixing both so that you have their attention and you’re also delivering something that’s worth their attention.

You were still in school when you did your song “Burning.” As a new artist did you have to convince the producers to work with you?
Gratefully, no I didn't have to convince them. Because I did a tribute to Usain Bolt before that. I wrote a song with my guitar titled “Legend” and posted a video of me performing it with my guitar on Instagram.

Usain came across it and reposted it, so that garnered a lot of attention. People from the music industry reached out to me, and in that group of people was Upsetta records with their Ouji Riddim. They sent it to my first manager like, “Let’s see what she can do” and so forth.

There’s this thing in Jamaica called Sixth Form. It’s like you graduate high school and there’s an extra two years that you can do as like a pre-college. I applied for it and didn’t get through. Right after that, I did the tribute to Usain Bolt and then Upsetta sent me the Ouji Riddim. I was in a state of mind where I felt disappointed. I felt the need to motivate myself, so I was like “Come with the fire the city burning!”

How does your mom feel about all of this?
I started writing lyrics at 14 years old, but she didn't find out until I was 16, when she saw me perform at a competition in school. I invited her there and she was taken aback, like, “Wow! So this what you've been doing?” (Laughs) She wanted me to do academics like every parent wants. And she was little disappointed when I didn't get through to Sixth Form. But over time, as I wrote more and performed more, she began to trust my talent and just trust the process. So she started appreciating the music and now she's fully on board.

What did your mother think of “dancehall pon the street,” like you sing about in your song “Raggamuffin”?
As you know I’ve been living with mommy since I was a baby up until I was 17, so being under her roof I didn't go out much. I was always in the house just chilling and stuff. I know that there’s a dance on like every corner. lf you are driving, you always hear music playing. You have the oldies dancehall, you have the new dancehall—everybody just hold a vibe. That’s basically where that line comes from.

Do you go to dances now?
I’ve been going to a few parties and getting out, but I haven't been to like a dance dance. I’ve been to Dub Club, you get some really good music there. But Dub Club is like a relaxed kinda vibe.

You recently performed at Bob Marley’s 74th birthday celebration in Kingston. Do you still listen to his music?
Most definitely! Bob has set such a great and amazing foundation for the music, the industry, the genre itself, the country, the youth... He’s set such a great example that you haffi really learn from it and take a lot from it so that you know where you’re coming from. You haffi understand how to execute in honor of such people.

What are some of your favorite Bob songs?
Well, I performed “Who the Cap Fit” that night, so that’s one of my favorites. And I like “Is This Love” and “Natural Mystic.” That’s just a few.

I know that’s a hard question. What about a dancehall legend like Super Cat?
Hmm… “Mud Up” woulda be my favorite Super Cat.

Yeah, because of the flow he has on it, not necessarily the content. See, I’m from Spanish Town. Jamaicans on a whole, we like vibes. We like lyrics that, as we would say, “it slap!” It touches you, and really hits that spot. So I listen to a lot of different things, and the lyrics that I listen to aren't always conscious. But what I derive from music is not necessarily the message. Sometimes the flow that you’re hearing, that’s the wave for the moment. It may not be the best for the youth, but that’s what people like to vibe to. So you take that vibe, put a positive message to it, and that’s the spin. So I listen very widely.

One of my favorite songs on your new EP is the “Rapture” remix. It was dope that you got together with Govana on that.
When I first wrote “Rapture,” Govana had recently done a song called “Bake Bean” that took off in Jamaica. When him drop that, it’s like the flow really resonate with me. I was like, “This is dope.” So when I did “Rapture” I was listening back to it and thought I should probably try to get Govana on this track. And it turned out so sick!

That’s cool to have the credibility where other artists respond to you like that. Because I'm sure it’s not always that easy.
No, it’s not always easy. Me haffi give thanks for the way people have been responding.

So no one has kissed their teeth and said, “Nah man”? (Laughs)
No, not yet. (Laughs) But what I have to appreciate is just when another artist really listens and pays attention. Sometimes an artist can be good and they don't get the response or the attention that they deserve. Some people don't want to listen, so I give a lot of respect to who is willing to listen.

Well Govana has given you that “crown” in his verse, which reminds me—how did the song “Throne” come about?
I remember Walshy sent me that riddim in the first batch of riddims that he sent me. The riddim for “Toast” was also in that batch, but I started with “Throne.” It was basically like a challenge for me. I was like “How am I gonna spit on this?” Because the riddim sounded so dynamic. I was like “mi haffi mash this up!” Hence the fast spit-fire kind of vibe.

What music are you currently listening to on your phone?
I don’t listen to my own songs that much. I’m vibing to Mr Eazi. I’ve been going in on the Afrobeats. Burna Boy. Smino the rapper. And I’ve been going in even more on Bob Marley.

Well, it’s reggae month right now. So there’s lots of legendary birthdays—Bob Marley, Dennis Brown.
That makes the month even more significant! By the way, I’m born in February also. (Laughs) February 16th.

Happy Earthstrong! Were you keeping that quiet?
I just remembered. I’ll be 19!

Wow—you’re gonna be out of the teens soon. What you gonna do on your 19th birthday?
Wowwwww—I dunno. I’m gonna see when I get to Jamaica which party. I’ll probably just try and go to a dance or something. That ah go be mad!

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Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle addressing a Stakeholder Review on the Planning and Development Bill 2019. (Credit: B.Hinds/BGIS)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday January 25, 2019 – Government is expected to establish a “doing business” subcommittee of Cabinet to tackle how business is conducted in Barbados.

This disclosure came from Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, as she addressed a Stakeholder Review on the Planning and Development Bill 2019.

She said once the subcommittee is approved by Cabinet, it would be supported by a competitiveness council, which would be a smaller subcommittee of the private sector, trade unions and other parties.

The Minister explained that the creation of a subcommittee was “not to have general discussions about productivity and ideological discussions about competitiveness”.

“These committees are to get to the business of improving these doing business rankings…and improving these indicators, so Barbados works for Barbadians and those who want to come and live and work here. And so we have made a commitment to get to the root…of what is impeding business and investment in the country and this reform and review of the Town Planning legislation is a very large part of that,” she said.

The recently released 2019 Doing Business Report showed that Barbados had fallen to 129 in rankings.  Caddle noted that in the area of dealing with construction permits, Barbados ranked very low.

The Minister told the gathering that the draft Bill represented a fundamental shift in how government sees the role of planning and development in the country; its role in growth and investment; and its role in social and economic development in creating the required Barbados.

“There are a few changes in the way we approach the idea of refusal and approval and one of those is the idea of provisional refusal – the notion that rather than just giving a yes or a no, rather than just acting as a regulator, that the Town Planning Office is now cast, through this new Bill, as a facilitator of development,” she pointed out.

“Information is important and it certainly is an economic good as it allows people to make key growth and investment decisions. So we believe the role of the Town Planning Office and the entire planning and development architecture is not simply to give a yes or no, not to withhold information that might help facilitate development, but to have a conversation with those who are interested in fostering development in this country.

“That is really the new orientation that you will see at different points throughout the Bill and that we think is a very important step forward,” she added.

Minister Caddle also stressed the importance of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan, saying that it was not just about fiscal adjustment. Stating that Barbados could not adjust its way out of this crisis, she reiterated that growth and transformation were critical.

“What it means is that the powers of Government are not simply tax and spend, but we have to use all the powers of Government as regulator, facilitator, and legislator to be able to bring about the economic growth that we want to see,” she told the audience.

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