Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sizzla launches cultural and historical awareness campaign in August Town

Through his Sizzla Youth Foundation, one of reggae's most successful contemporary artistes Sizzla Kalonji, has launched a month long series of activities in celebration of the August Town Emancipation, commemorating 177 years. The celebrations are already underway and involves activities such as a Peace March and The Unveiling of a monument dedicated to renowned spiritual leader Alexander Bedward of the community which took place on August 5 and 6 respectively. Other activities will include, a Senior Citizens DayBedward Day at Bedward TempleThe Greater August Town Violence Prevention Day August 13World of Reggae Concert with Sizzla and friends at UWI Bowl August 16 and ends with a, Back-to-School Family Affair and Treat at UWI Bowl August 30.

In an article printed in the Jamaica Observer Sizzla said of his plans for the project "it is paramount that we remind the youths of the community where they are from and the rich history and tradition which they must uphold.  They must be aware of the strong links to the fight against slavery as the original settlers in these lands came from the Mona and Papine plantations...so we just need to re-educate the community so they know where they are coming from so as to chart the course forward." 

August Town located in the hills of St. Andrew is thought to have been named from the fact that freedom came to the enslaved people of Jamaica on the 1st of August, 1838. From that date, this day was designated and celebrated as 'Emancipation Day' for many years. August Town became notable because at this place a prophet, whose name was Bedward, arose - the proponent of religion which became known as 'Bedwardism.' 

An advocate for black people, poor people and his rastafarian culture, Sizzla presses
forward his mission with these activities. In an interview with Rob Marriott titled, Reasoning with Sizzla posted on BoomShot TV website in 2013, he in his response to the question "Is Babylon stronger than it once was" had said, "At no time will I put evil over goodness...good conquers all. But, you can still feel the presence of the slavemaster's implementation upon the people, through the system, through the devices, through the media, through just about everything because it's Babylon.."

The Sizzla Youth Foundation was founded in 2010 as part of the Sizzla Kalonji's drive, to get very much involved in all the activities for upliftment; the netball, the football, music, education, evening classes. In his interview with the Observer he stress, "we want to eradicate violence from August Town. This can only be achieved by instilling values which stress Africa and education. We must rejuvenate the minds and with that we can achieve much."


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