Vybz Kartel to refurbish schools
A number of schools across the island are expected to receive support from imprisoned dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel through his school refurbishment programme.
Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is said to have spearheaded the project from behind bars in an effort to provide assistance to dilapidated schools.
When news broke earlier this week, Kartel's affiliate, Jeffrey Hype, revealed that the artiste has a number of new projects up his sleeve following his latest business venture with Gaza Vybz Rum.
Now, the deejay is expected to put plans in motion for the much-talked-about launch of a school refurbishment programme.
"We have a school ting weh we a try put in order fi support some school and help some school, and try refurbish some school right now," Jeffery Hype said. "We a go around and look some school weh want help. You know seh Vybz Kartel is all about children are the future."
When THE STAR contacted university lecturer and cultural researcher Dr Donna Hope-Marquis she said this appears to be a strategic move from the dancehall artiste.
"Kartel's image has always been a challenge," Hope-Marquis said.
"Perhaps this is an effort to reposition his image in a particular way. Even though he has probably done behind the scenes work to help people with back-to-school money as artistes tend to do, many of them don't have a formal kind of programme in place such as a foundation. Since he is behind bars, and has been convicted of murder, I'm sure that this is a method of trying to reposition him and gain some goodwill. It's obviously a philanthropic move targeted at the very people he is said to harm."
Vybz Kartel was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams in 2014. According to Justice Lennox Campbell, the judge who handed down the sentence at that time, the court recognised that Kartel and his three co-accused played differing roles in a common design to kill Lizard.
This move, as it appears, has garnered the support of several Jamaicans irrespective of the fact that the deejay has been convicted of murder.
"That sound good because him mash up whole heap a the school pickney head. A dem did a follow weh him a do, but I guess him just feel like seh him want do something fi dem now," Austin Murray, 42, said.
While some persons welcomed the initiative, others questioned Vybz Kartel's motives.
"Why him deh behind bars and a do this? Him a look pity now," said 29-year-old Simone Parsley "He was outside free and could do all a this, so why now? Schools really need help, especially in the rural area, but me a seh true a him [I question it]."