Many of the pictures we paint in our heads when we hear the word “Jamaica” are pretty much what we stated in the title of this post: sea, sand and a Rasta man (perhaps leading a raft down a river). We know, we know Jamaica is a beautiful place and as much as we are happy that we are an award-winning tourist destination (just one of our accolades include being named the Best Caribbean Destination at the annual Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards in 2010), we’d love to introduce you to another side of Jamaica…
The side that is portrayed in the Vision 2030 document published by the Jamaican Government in 2009. The overarching goal of the vision is: “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”. Read more here: http://www.vision2030.gov.jm/Portals/0/NDP/A%20Vision%20for%20Jamaica.pdf
Let the introductions begin !
Jamaica: the land of innovation
Jamaicans have been known to “tun han’ mek fashion” in the worst of situations; examples of this range from bike taxi operators in Negril in the summer when the popular and very crowded party weekend (Dream weekend, and ATI) gets underway, to men who risk their lives trough knee-deep water ensuring women and children are able to get to work and school after heavy rains have flooded roads in a community.
This little island has produced some of the best [young] innovators in the world. in 2007 a group of students from the Northern Caribbean University placed third at the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition. Another group of students from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Technology attended the IEEE Region 3 conference last year and were one of the most awarded schools, copping 4 awards (52 universities from the United States and Jamaica participated). These are just a few of the more recent front-page achievements by our [young] innovators.
It seems there has been an increase in “young entrepreneurs” or perhaps there is an increase in the assistance given to young (persons under 45, as stated by the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica : http://yeajamaica.com/about_us ) persons who would like to start their own business.
We happen to follow quite a few [young] entrepreneurs on Twitter; who have made a name for themselves with very innovative ideas:
Clothing & Jewellery
Technology (all things technology)
More great ideas:
- @jamprocreative (facilitating the creativity of Jamaican youth)
Jamaica: the land of music
We are a musical people every weekend or sometimes even during the week ” a pan a knock someweh”. Advertisers, some years ago, recognized that the Jamaican population appreciates music so much so that 90% of the commercials on television now have some familiar background music or a catchy jingle.
Our musical palette is no longer restricted solely to locally created beats (reggae and dancehall) or regionally generated rhythms (calypso and soca) but includes a range of international popular music; which is evidenced by DJ/Producer/Musician/ Dubstep superstar, Diplo, hosting a concert in Jamaica recently.
Music can be seen as a means of escape, a means of expression, an ingredient necessary for enjoyment…
“One thing about music… when it hits you you feel no pain”
– Bob Marley
We all know this man… one of the most popular, highest growing international music stars (from Jamaica)… Bob Marley.
We can’t have another Bob, but his children have been doing a good job of keeping up the family’s name in music; namely: Damion “Junior Gong”, Stephen and Ziggy. However we follow quite a number of talented musicians on Twitter, who we’re sure our musical legends would be proud of:
- @tarrusrileyja (Mr “Singy Singy”…has been consistent in producing great music)
- @Tanya_Stephens (international female recording artiste)
- @Protoje (He took the nation by storm with the release of his album “7 year itch” in 2011 and bigger and better things can be expected from him this year with the release of “the 8 year affair” in February.)
- @IamChronixx (Literally surprised the country with his thought-provoking lyrics and infectious melody…definitely one to watch for 2013)
- @blackascoleband (a group of young musicians, who play pretty much anything. They will be at Jamnesia on Feb. 2 -more in our weekend guide)
- @KonshensSojah (dancehall / reggae artiste … He delivers the best of both worlds.)
- @delanolamar (upcoming artiste/producer)
- @TamiChynn (international recording songstress…Congrats on the pregnancy by the way 😉 ; she’s married to artiste @Wayne_Marshall)
- @keidamusic (female recording artiste with a difference)
- @kabakapyramid (another reggae artiste to watch in 2013)
Jamaica: the land of business
Despite being known for our white sand beaches, clear waters and tasty food the island boasts thriving commercial districts; namely: Downtown Kingston, and New Kingston in the corporate area and Freeport, Montego Bay. We have a number of locally owned businesses within (and outside) these commercial districts and we are also home to a variety of international corporations.
Here are some of the businesses we interact with on twitter:
Jamaica: land of dreams
Many persons from all over the world come to Jamaica with a dream; whether it be to to relax, find a soul mate (like in the movie: Stella Got Her groove Back, which was sot in Jamaica), get married, begin a new life (legally of course)… Whatever the reason this Caribbean paradise holds the dreams of many persons on its shores. A few years ago Alborosie came all the way from Italy to realize his dream of becoming a reggae artiste. Gentleman came from Germany to do the same. However Japan-born, Junko, came to Jamaica for another reason. She was a dancer in Japan and told her parents she was coming to the island to study ballet…instead she went on to win the [Jamaican] Dancehall Queen title in 2002, becoming the first non-Jamaican to do so.
Perhaps you’d like to travel the island and see what’s in store for you, perhaps you want to realize your dream of getting to know about the Jamaican culture… Whatever your dream is, it can come true in Jamaica…
Enjoy Jamaica…for all that it is…