‘Unruly River’ could be a magnet for tourists in Sunning Hill
A set of colourful rocks in a riverbed in Sunning Hill, St Thomas, marks the territory of the community's most famous son, Popcaan. The 'Unruly River', a section of the Running River, is the DJ's favourite spot to hang out whenever he visits his hometown.
Just recently, Eastern St Thomas member of parliament, Dr Fenton Ferguson, was photographed with Popcaan in the area. He said that plans are afoot to develop the 'Unruly River' into a tourism hotspot. Just the mere suggestion of the area being transformed has residents gushing in anticipation.
Gregory Drysdale, resident in Sunning Hill for 41 years, boasted about the uniqueness of the 'Unruly River' and believes it will be a magnet for tourists.
"Any other parish me go me nuh see or feel the water that is right here, enuh. The water here is more fresh, and a from me a youth people give this river credit," Drysdale told THE WEEKEND STAR. "A here so Poppy hang out when him come here, so you must know a good river me a talk bout."
Sunning Hill is a quiet farming community in St Thomas, which is lucky to have two rivers flowing through it - the Plantain Garden River and the Running River. Drysdale feels passionately that the creation of an attraction, along the lines proposed by Popcaan, could be the rising tide that lifts their boats.
"A long time we know say Poppy was gonna represent us and try to give us something that we can at least benefit from. We need the exposure so all of us in the community can build a better life," Drysdale reasoned.
"In this community, we don't have no other job more than we do little farming, so if we have more people coming in we can sell more animal and produce, that way we can stay here and build as a little family, enuh."
Dorothy Walker, a small-business operator, says she gets most sales on the days that Popcaan visits the community. She believes that an attraction linked to the Where We Come From artiste could see the community reaping significant benefits.
"When Poppy come in here, the little shop them in the area can sell little things. Him come and a cook and send come buy plates, fork or any little thing over me shop, so me make a money," Walker told THE WEEKEND STAR.
"When Poppy come around with him friends them tings gwan, so me would love to see that continue and everybody in the community would be happy because we know how all of us will benefit," she added.
Tevin Grant, 20, feels that in the same way Popcaan rose out of St Thomas to become one of the biggest entertainers to come out of Jamaica, so too can Sunning Hill claim its place in the sun.
"It's a small community and Popcaan put it on the map, but we want to get some more exposure round here," Grant told THE WEEKEND STAR. "It would be a great thing to put the community on a different level where we can be better off. Nobody nuh really recognise we so we want Poppy put all the good things that we have out there so more people can come and we build up the community."