Kafinal: A humble J'can artiste
Hear mi nuh peeps, I'm using this space today to box up couple dozen trailer loads of respect, commendation and congratulations to a humble, earnest and unquestionably talented Jamaican-Canadian entertainer called Jeffery A Williams, aka 'Kafinal'.
If you don't live under a remote rock or you're not too busy feeding on farcical feuds, you will have heard by now that Kafinal recently won a coveted Juno Award - Canada's equivalent to the Grammy. Yeah, he can now claim with justification that he's a big deal. And to quote the most repeated recitation of waggonists, is a long time mi know him and a pree him career!
A serious talk mi a talk, though. I first met Jeffery in the late 1900s to early 2000s at the then famous Cactus Nightclub in Portmore, St Catherine. He was performing as part of a comedic singjay duo called 'Kafinal & Sambo' who had a humorous hit song running at the time called Cooking Dat Pwile. It was a clever parody of the 2001 hit, Hit 'Em Up Style by Blu Cantrel.
Their song was accompanied by a hilarious video, and as we say in street parlance, it did a run di place! That release was soon followed by another popular song and accompanying video in a similar vein, called Drive By - a parody again, this time on R Kelly's I Believe I Can Fly. Flash forward to somewhere around 2009-2010, mi buck up Kafinal again! Yeah, I had occasion to share stage with Mr Williams who, like me, had then relocated to Canada. Wi buck up couple more time, as he was busy doing the performance circuit as an actor/comedian/singer doing rip-roaring skits in tandem with popular comedic actor Naggo Morris.
He later began to put more effort in his career as an individual singer/songwriter, and it soon started to pay off. People in the entertainment world, generally, and the 'reggaesphere' specifically, started to take notice with the release of his single, Road Tonight, in 2013. And he hit the jackpot, so to speak, when he received the nod for Best Reggae Recording of 2015 with his song Nah Complain, featuring pioneer deejay and musical icon, the incomparable Daddy U Roy.
As I said earlier, winning a Juno is a big thing. And I really want to focus a bit on how Kafinal has chosen to deal with it, which to me, is just a beautiful thing!
He hasn't adopted the typical approach of entertainment personalities nowadays, which, is to gloat on and on about a now- certified greatness. Kafinal has chosen instead to spend almost every day in humble expression of sincere gratitude. He doesn't seek to hug up the honour for himself alone and use it as a reason to beat chest an' pop style pon people! No, he gives all the credit to his team, present and past collaborators, family, friends and most importantly, his supporters.
People, mi nah lie, Kafinal and I are Facebook friends and believe me when I tell you that every single day since the announcement on April 2, this man is on his page humbly thanking somebody else. And anybody who him nuh thank yet, shouldn't fret, nuff thanks deh, so dem fi wait 'cause dem soon get. When it comes to thankfulness, Kafinal tank dem well stock up and highly stacked.
Mi a big up Kafinal today because the man really exudes a genuine humility that is absolutely admirable. It contrasts sharply with the ugly, repulsive haughtiness shown by many entertainers.
Matthew 23:12 speaks about the people who exalt themselves; they're the ones who get humbled. And we don't have to look too far for examples. It also talks about the people who humble themselves as the ones who shall be exalted. Kafinal is a prime example of this. I hear say 'humble calf get the most milk', so mi big up Kafinal and watch him drink more milk with his latest single Crying Out For Love, featuring King Yellowman and Ken Boothe.