'A memory I will never forget' ... Obama doing To the World pose leaves Bolt proud

April 07, 2016
Mr Vegas
Barack Obama addresses a youth forum at UWI, Mona
Macka Diamond
Beenie Man
Tanto Blacks
U.S. President Barack Obama on his visit to the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston
In this file photo, Jamaican track and field sprinters Usain Bolt, left, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, right, listen to U.S. President Barack Obama speak during a town hall meeting at the University of the West Indies, last year.

When United States (US) President Barack Obama arrived in Jamaica one year ago, it was the second visit to the island by a sitting US president. The first was by Ronald Reagan in 1982.

But being the first Black president, Obama's visit carried its own significance. Expectations were high among Jamaicans about future relations with the US, and for many, just being a part of history was magical.

With today being the anniversary of the Obama visit, The STAR spoke to some prominent personalities about that moment in history.



"Meeting President Obama was a great moment for me, especially the fact that he seemed to be very knowledgeable about my career. Also, him asking that we do my To the world pose is a memory I will never forget."


BEENIE MAN: I swear he was coming here to tell us that them drop all charges and prosecution from Marcus Garvey, but that didn’t happen. And more business trading between Jamaica and America, but I didn’t hear nothing like that. The Jamaican dollar is undervalued. I thought dem woulda take more bauxite from us to create more jobs fi Jamaican. I thought that was one of the biggest deals that would come out of it. I thought they would be buying more from Jamaica and they would have more of our products selling there. The visit was a good look for us, but my expectations weren’t met.

VEGAS: Well I don’t know what was promised when he visited, but I would have hoped that more scholarships would be implemented. I would have hoped that it would be easier for Jamaicans to get visas at the embassy. I hoped for an upgrade in our infrastructure in our schools and hospitals.
I see us struggling, especially the hospitals. If you look at the dead baby saga, I think it’s really a travesty.

MACKA DIAMOND: As it relates to the music industry, I was expecting a more closer relationship between Jamaica and the USA. For the music, I wanted to see more artistes that can’t travel, get free up. And the work permit thing, I hoped that it would have been a bit easier us, and set up a way where the artistes can go in the country and come back home. So far, my expectations have not been met musically, it’s still kind of hard to sort out our permits.

D MAJOR- Personally, I didn’t really have any expectations. I just wanted to see what his visit would have brought and what he would address. He did touch on some very important things, but maybe not the entertainment industry in excess. I would have loved to see more artistes getting work permit easier. There could also be some exchange where we see a lot more of their artistes working with our artistes in like a festival format. 

TANTO BLACKS: I just heard a whole heap of people talking about the visit and getting crazy over him but inna real life, the Obama thing did deh far from me. I was busy trying to make this what a happen fi me right now. But I think him coulda do nuff nuff good fi the music industry. Nuff artistes deh yah wha no buss yet, and some buss already and waah buss again. Him shoulda come up with a plan where we can get more shows a foreign, so that when we come back a Jamaica we real rich and can set up we family inna we country.

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