Friends rally for Feluke
When he was a young boy, Feluke's mother took him to a bus stop in Kingston, left him there and never returned. Despite that abandonment, the young boy grew up to be a musician influential enough to pull the presence and attention of some of Jamaica's most respected and accomplished performers.
From Alpha Boys' Home, through Ashe and L'Acadco, and making the trek along the pathways of the Edna Manley College, Feluke managed to make friends who became family. They have become his tower of strength in a desperate time of need.
FelukÈ was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. Treatment undertaken in Mexico was able to shrink the spreading tumours. Now, friends of the musician have rallied to raise funds to send FelukÈ back to Mexico for the second phase of his treatment to surgically remove the remaining mass.
On Sunday night, top entertainers pledged their time and performance to Feluke at his benefit concert at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium at Jamaica College.
"My husband and I like to come to these things when it's something positive," a patron told THE STAR. "We saw it on TV on Saturday morning and decided to come. Now, we're just blown away by all the talent Jamaica has; and to come support a fellow musician? We're blown away."
The gospel couple of Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis came out in support along with dancehall duo Voicemail, reggae vocalists Mackeehan and Chevaughn and Big Ship navigator, Freddie McGregor.
"He used to drum for my dance classes at Edna Manley. I've known him for that long," a back-up vocalist of Carlene Davis's told THE STAR after taking her seat in the audience.
Ernie Smith and his wife Janet were unable to attend, but media practitioner Fae Ellington presented their donation of $10,000 to the drum-case-turned-offering plate. Twenty-four-year-old performance troupe Ashe also came out in support of Feluke, who was once the group's master drummer. To him, they dedicated an original song called Higher and contributed a $100,000 cheque.
Hostess for the evening, Jenny Jenny, was able to announce a donation total of $305,000. Organisers are hopeful that the final tally, to include the concert's gate, bar and food stands, will put a dent in the US$40,000 (approximately J$5.2 million) needed for his treatment.