Using reggae to promote peace
Reggae artistes Etana and Naomi Cowan have stressed the importance of preserving the country's musical culture.
"Jamaicans should be reminded of how great our culture is and how loved it is across the world," said Etana, who was among the handful of female entertainers who showed up for the launch of Reggae Month at Ribbiz Ultra Lounge in Kingston on Monday.
"Reggae unites people from all over the world regardless of their differences," added Etana, who will shortly embark on her Love Over Everything tour with Jessie Royal and J-Boog.
This year's Reggae Month will be celebrated under the theme: 'Peace, Love, Reggae'. The hope is that Jamaicans at home and abroad will take notice of the core message and spread it to the world, thereby encouraging the end of war, crime, and violence.
Etana said that the Jamaican flag should be flown high at every Reggae month event.
"If ever for a second we forget who we are as a people, the beautiful green, black, and gold will stand as a strong reminder of the wealth of greatness on this rock," Etana said.
For her part, Cowan added: "Since February is Black History Month, I am hopeful that this month of events will bring people together and strengthen our morale as a people. I also hope that it injects some fresh confidence into who we are as a people."
Karen Smith, president of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliates Union, said that Jamaicans should "protect, encourage, and preserve reggae music and the industry to make sure it never dies, but continues to flourish in innovative ways.
"The tradition must continue to grow bigger, more expansive, and more extensive by supporting and encouraging the new and emerging talents," Smith said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to reflect that Etana said the Jamaican flag should be flown high at every Reggae month event. The comment was erroneously attributed to Cowan.