Thursday, 14 March 2013

Nastronomical News

I have been so very shy about sharing this news with you all. It feels like now that I have decided to move on to the next chapter, a fear has set in that has rendered me almost paralyzed in regards to writing. I am just going to jump...with eyes wide open and trust that I will land on my feet. So here goes....

Jabajanas is moving. Well, I have already moved.

No, not physically. I am still a resident of my beautiful island of Jamaica though I am not yet finished with my time in Barbados (more on that later).

I have bought my own domain and I will now be blogging, vlogging and all things documentary over at I have wanted my own domain for a while and I am truly excited to finally have a piece of this internet that I can call my own (for a fee every month. Lol). All the same, I hope you all continue on this journey with me and I look forward to your love and support and I hope it only increases from here on out.
I have enjoyed writing for all of you and I don't think that will ever change. What will change is what I write about.

In seeking to discover my niche, and in part- my truth, I will be broadening the things I write about to see what sticks, what feels like home and also, what feels like a place I need to visit from time o time because comfort sometimes leads to complacency and I never want to get complacent.

This is not goodbye. I don't know if I will ever write here again but I am much too emotional now to shut down Jabajanas. Rather, I will look at it as a See You Later and figuratively put my posts in a well-decorated shoebox and put atop a shelf in my closet. I will take down the box and reminisce on the contents from time to time whenever I am feeling "nastalgic".

This brings me nicely into my latest feature on my new site- Nastalgic Thursday- which is my version of Throwback Thursday. I look back at a subject that brings up memories for me of my younger years or just something in history that was relevant and can now be classified as retro. My first post features Brandy Norwood and I encourage you to check it out here.

I already have so much to share with you. I am on the last leg of my journey here in Barbados and it feels so different this time around. I also just turned 25 and that has significantly (and unexpectedly) changed my approach to my life and relationships. I hope to share as much with you as I can. I will still keep some things for myself but I am eager to share what I feel comfortable divulging.

As always, thank you for your love and support and thank you most of all for reading. See you at the new house!

Much love,
Yours Truly,

Thursday, 17 January 2013

So I'm a guest blogger now. Hype!

Hey, lovelies!

I did my first guest blog for my friend's blog and you should check it out. It's titled "The Friendzone" and let's just say I'm not here for the whining of the "Forever Alone" club...

 Want more? Go here:

Friday, 11 January 2013

One Love: Jamaican Blogger Tag

In keeping with the excitement from the upcoming Jamaica Blog Awards and the camaraderie that has developed between Jamaican bloggers at home and abroad, I thought now would be a great time to do a Jamaican Blogger Tag.

A Blogger Tag is a game (so to speak) where bloggers of all niches endeavor to form links, possibly discover new information and new bloggers and have fun while doing so. It starts with one blogger (in this case, me) who chooses the topic of the Tag and then gives a list of questions or one general question which is wide enough to have its answer broken down into list form. After the first blogger answers said question(s), he or she will “tag” other bloggers to continue the tag.

The rules for this tag:
·         Title your post “One Love: Jamaican Blogger Tag”
·         Link back to the blogger who tagged you ( you may add a brief definition of what a tag is if you for the benefit of your readers)
·          Copy and paste the rules at the beginning of your tag.
·         Copy and paste the questions as well so readers know what’s going on.
·         Answer the questions (No duh! J)
·         Tag seven other (untagged) Jamaican bloggers to continue the trend. Kinda forces you to make friends, no?

The questions are as follows:
  1.  Why did you give your blog its name? (If it is named directly after you, try and make your answer interesting. eg: Did you feel nervous at all about putting your name out there? Did you just lack creativity at the time?)
  2. Why did you start blogging and why do you blog now?
  3. Do you think being Jamaican influences your blogging style?
  4. What do you think about the increase in bloggers in Jamaica?
  5. What is your favourite thing about being Jamaican?
  6. Ackee and saltfish or “ (mackerel) run down”?
  7. Stew peas or stew chicken?
  8. Tastee Patties, Juici Beef Patties or Mother’s?
  9. Pantucky or KFC?
  10. What do you hope to be the future of blogging in Jamaica?
My answers:

1) This blog was created to document my personal experience as a Jamaican student in Barbados. A common named for Barbadians is Bajan so I decided to have a mashup of the Jamaican in me along with the fact that I was in Barbados (which has now become my second home) and, of course I added my name like any good narcissist. Lol. From that Ja(maican)Baja(n)Nas was born. I used one N because it just made more sense.

2) This is my second blog. I caught the fever around the time of the first Jamaica Blog Awards and I created my first blog with a co-author. I wanted to win a JBA. This explains why I got swept up in the fever when I was nominated. I blog because I am an opinionated person and I like any outlet to share them. I blog because I am arrogant enough to think that people will give a damn about what I say. I blog because I like writing. I blog because it's therapeutic (though I lose my writing mojo so often). I blog because there are many opportunities that can be born from this and I dare throw my hat in the ring to benefit from any. I blog because I love it. I would certainly have stopped by now if I didn't.

3) Well, that's a given just by the name and subject of my blog and posts. So much of how I perceive society and culture is influenced by the fact that I am Jamaican. It has coloured how I have experienced a new country most definitely. I realize that many Jamaicans take life at home and their nationality for granted. Sometimes you have to leave your front porch to appreciate the shelter it gave. I can't tell you how often I have said "I am a Jamaican student in Barbados" to explain my response in situations over the past almost two years. I don't know what crutch I'll rely on when I complete my studies here but I cross that bridge when I get there.

4) I have noticed a lot more bloggers this year just from looking at the nominees on the JBA site. So many news names, at that. When I think about how many I know that were not even included, I realize just how large the community has become. I do also notice that there is usually a boom of new bloggers around the time of the JBAs and that 90% die out in about 6-9 months time and then about half of whose left, stop blogging within a year. I am thrilled with those who choose to stick with blogging especially if they have interesting topics and great writing styles. We need more interaction between bloggers, however, and not just during awards season. Some people earn a  living from blogging and many don't know this. In fact, it is said (with much disdain, I might add) that blogging is just a new trend in Jamaica that we picked up from "foreign" and apparently everyone and their mother has a blog and that somehow makes it uncool. My response is that we are in a day and age of globalization and being influenced by other cultures is not a bad thing especially when it provides potential for intellectual and financial growth. Also, I have yet to happen upon my mother's blog.

5) I cannot choose! I love the language of my people. Nutn nuh sweet mi like patois (Nothing thrills me as much as patois- our creole). Our food is world class. My time in Barbados really highlighted that (no offence to Bajans). We cook differently. Though there are other Caribbean countries who prepare meals with similar spices. I am here for all of it :D. I also must say that I love the spirit of my people. Yes, we are quite frank and we do not hide our dirty laundry as much as I would hope. But more than that, we are a people with a fighting spirit- we are hustlers, we are survivors. And dammit if we aren't "irie".  A we say buil' a vibes. Let's get together and feel alright! Big up Bob always enuh. (For my non-Jamaican readers, I basically said we love to create and have our own fun and I gave a shout out to Bob Marley).

6) I refuse to choose. Give me both! Gimme dem same time too! (Give me them simultaneously). Lately, "run down" has been winning. This is assuming both are served with food (Jamaican for boiled or fried dumplings, banana, breadfruit (can be roasted), dasheen and/or yam). Note: this is run down 
Source: National Library of Jamaica

7) Did I really choose these questions? I'd eat stew chicken daily and stew peas every other day. But that's just because pig's tail (used to make stew peas) is more expensive. Lol

8) I much prefer the way Juici seasons their beef. So it would be Juici, Tastee's then Mother's in order of preference. Truthfully, I'm not turning down a patty regardless of where it's from. As for the other meals they offer, their menus are not constant enough.

9) The world knows I love Pantucky (jerk chicken done by a Jamaican on a grill with the real Jamaican jerk seasoning and preparation). I do love wings from KFC but pantucky wins. I particularly like it with white rice. My friends judge me for it all the time. (It is usually served with a slice or two of bread and with rice and peas at restaurants).

10) I hope we see an era in Jamaica where "blogger" can be an actual job and not just with regard to corporate or technology-based blogs. This means that the stigma attached to blogging would have to be removed. The narrow-minded views don't affect me but I know it's holding back so many and I would like to see it removed.

I tag:

Ricardo of Veritas
Carla of mooretalkja
Afaya of BeautyJamaica
Alwayne of Introvert Mind
Emma Lewis of Petchary's Blog
Nella of As Told By Nella

Since I started this tag, I will tag TWO extra blogger and that will be:
Karee of Negril Stories
Jaevion of Status Quo Unresolved

The Problem With Caring

I have realized or maybe I should say I have been reminded of some things lately. Many of them have to do with the issue of caring. It seems that caring about something or someone or a multiple of either or both of these is a bad thing in this day and age. If one happens to find one’s self afflicted with the disease of caring, one must not dare show it- hide it at all costs if it is to go as far as deceiving others to mask it. Yikes! When did we become like this? When did it become the “in” thing to “care zero” or “give zero f**ks”? I mean people spend an insane amount of time trying to come up with ways to express how much they DON’T care about things- as if it’s not a reflection of how much of an unhappy place you are at in your life. Yes, I said it. The fact is happy people care. Unhappy people care too. The latter just tend to be so burnt by their reality not quite meeting up with their expectations that they respond negatively to having this very human and necessary emotion. Happy people give a damn. They give many damns actually. And they cope far better with the expectation vs reality imbalance than unhappy people because they get that life is not always according to plan and sometimes a situation works out worse than you hoped or wanted but dammit, often times, things turn out waaaaay better than you even dreamed.

As you all know, I am up for two awards (the links to them are in the words "two" and "awards"- it's not just one link) in this year’s blog awards and I have spoken about what it has meant to me this year. I touched on the responses I have gotten and the fact that I was less than appreciative of quite a few of them. Then I realized that I was to be grateful for even those. Though I was not a fan of the delivery, I should have been glad that people were honest with me. Firstly, it made me know that my requests were too much for some people (they simply were not into being asked for votes) their support was not to be counted on and that’s okay. It’s not a big deal. I still had to ask though because while you may not get what you ask for, how else would you actually get what you want? No jokes about just taking it. It doesn’t apply in this instance. Cheeky J . It also showed me that it is rare for people to put themselves out there and make it known that they care enough about something to ask for help in achieving it. I had people tell me that they respect me for being able to do that- as if it’s not a given that a person would. And the fact is, it isn’t, not anymore. And that is a part of why so many reacted negatively to my requests. The “spamming” alone could not have been the reason because last year, I was a spamming tyrant (I was up for 5 last year. Compare that to the one I was up for for the first two days til the 2nd category was put up. Also it was new to me so I was a beast. Lol) and there was much more support. People are just more jaded and they expect that everyone should be as well.

I remember that my first response was to say “oh, well, you can be as negative as you wish. I will remain unphased- except to be most put off by your off-hand comments”. And then I realized that I was affected. And I was going to try to hide it and continue asking for this favour JUST to make it seem like I wasn’t bothered. The fact that I was planning to do this showed that I would have become just like those who care and hide it. Mark you, for a little while, I did feel like I didn’t care and that I would be just as zealous next year and it didn’t matter if they supported or not. But the truth is, the point of asking for votes was to get support and the fact that I didn’t receive it in the way I expected did affect me. And that was… IS okay. So I took the time to really look at the situation and see what I was to get out of it so that the experience was not all for naught.

I got that it’s super easy and tempting to get caught up in the negative- so much so that you may end up ignoring the positive completely. While focusing on the lack of support from those who I thought would be top cheerleaders to my cause, I was losing sight of the new unexpected Team Nas campaigners that I acquired. Let me tell you, when something good happens to me that I did not expect, it puts me on cloud 9 and I can float for days! But I was adding gravity to my state of being by looking at what didn’t go my way. Like a spoiled child. Tsk, tsk. No bueno. I also realized that what I really aspire to have with regards to things like awards is a support base that does not require prodding. I should have enough readers for my blog and loyalty from them that I’d simply need a post and then a reminder or two to get the results that I want.

Additionally, I remember one individual going on a rant about the nominees who asked for votes saying that we should not blog for votes or awards, we should blog for the love of it. -_- Because the two are mutually exclusive, yeah? All the same, I had a conversation with that person and she eventually got to see my point. Doing something you love does not mean you would not want recognition for it. We bloggers put time and effort into our blogs and sometimes external validation is necessary. If that is never the case for you with respect to your craft then great. You have clearly achieved a level on Maslow's hierarchy of needs that others have not. But you should bear in mind that everyone is not the same and give room for our differences in this regard. People who create have a sensitive relationship with their work and it should not be judged how much or how little validation a person needs from others to help to push on and create more.

I made a decision to stop vying for votes. I gave a general post on Facebook and I posted a couple tweets about it. I dislike the fact that the vote tally is shown and I get the psychology behind it (my Psychology training is giving me all the side eyes right now) and I am a little mad that I fell for it especially since it is only worth 30% which means it means nothing if the judges don’t give their vote. Last year, I did not get the judges’ votes. I was hopeful but I was also aware of the biases. These biases will no doubt still be present so I am not sure why I allowed the madness to possess me. I am not mad that I cared though. It would mean a great deal to me to win and it is important that I acknowledge and live in this truth. More than that, I acknowledge that losing once may not sting as much as losing twice and while I assumed I would be much more prepared to deal with a letdown because the first cut is the deepest, I may be wrong. While I know they did not truly care about it, I appreciate the people who pointed out my frenzied approach to campaigning because they only had my emotional well-being in mind. LOL. I needed a speed bump to show me that I was dangerously close to setting myself up for disappointment. For that, I thank them.

You decide the filter you put over your eyes when you view the world. I wear rose-colored and sometimes teal-tinted glasses (because these are from my favourite color schemes and I love seeing the world painted with these colors). Also, I care. And I have no problem with that.

Thank you for reading    

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Awesome News! Vote For Me (Take TWO ;) )

Vote for Jabanas for Best Overseas Jamaican Blog here

The pun in the title was not planned but aren't those the best types of puns really?

This is the original "Vote For Me" post that I had written in anticipation of  both categories being put up on the site since the day voting started for this year's Jamaica Blog Awards which was not the case, as I mentioned before. I apologize for the confusion that the lateness caused. But I can now officially say that:

I am up for TWO awards this year for the Jamaica Blog Awards

The time has come again where I ask you lovely readers and supporters to vote for me to help me have a chance at winning a Jamaica Blog Award. Don’t worry, the voting period will not be as long as before so I will be out of your hair real soon. I am nominated again for Best Overseas Jamaican Blog for JaBajaNas and I am also a contestant in the UNICEF Jamaica #Hashcon2012 competition for a post I wrote. The prize for the Hashcon2012 is a tablet pc. I cannot stress how much I would appreciate this. Not just because I am currently without even a smartphone- no joke, ask my former friends who have disowned me because of the sad excuse I have for a phone. As a Jamaican student in Barbados, having a tablet is a dream. There is no thought to buy one if I wish to pay my tuition and eat food while in BIM. So such a competition is a godsend. I explain in my Hashcon entry post what the topic for this year was (this year's topic was truly an important one) and you can check it out here.

Vote for Jabajanas for Best Overseas Jamaican Blog here

Voting lasts is until January 14. You can vote once per day. Get your friends to vote for me too.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to do this.

Much love,

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Vote For Me in the Jamaica Blog Awards

So I had this post written yesterday but it had different information in anticipation of something that has yet to come to fruition (remember the Hashcon competition I entered with my last post? It has yet to be put up on the site for people to vote. I won’t say anymore on this topic because my uncensored opinion about this would not be positive and I am not yet in a censored place).  

The Jamaica Blog Awards are almost here and I am unexpectedly a finalist this year. I had made a conscious decision that I would not put myself in the running this year due partly to the disappointment from winning none of the five awards for which I was nominated last year (one for this blog and 4 for my other blog that has now been on pause because my co-author has basically lost interest and a male perspective was necessary to the style of the blog). All the same, supporters saw fit to nominate me and it was enough support to get me to be one of the fifteen (yes, 15!) finalists in the Best Overseas Jamaican Blog category. It is a very tight race and I truly do not expect to win but I am thrilled to be nominated a second time. The voting is done by fans/supporters and qualified judges with the supporters’ votes being worth 30 %. The fact that being nominated was such a surprise gave me some motivation to ask for votes and I went about it with some fervor last night and this morning. However, as the hours passed, I lost my zeal to ask for votes due in large part to the response (or lack thereof from a few people). For the most part, no one will support unless I ask them individually and when I ask people individually, it’s as if I am being a pest. Last year, I didn’t care. For whatever reason, this year, I do. It’s no longer fun. So while I would only have to pester people for half (literally) the amount of time as I did last year, I can’t quite find the energy needed to do so for a week. I think this is due to some responses I noticed to my campaigning for votes and then also some stems from disappointment in those who I expected support from. What are ya gonna do? C’est la vie, right? Moving along…

I am still very grateful to those who nominated me (it means the world to me, truly) and to those who vote before I even ask and who go the extra step to ask others to vote for me. And I am thankful to those who graciously took the time out to vote for me when I did ask. Mucho thanks to you all. I want to specially thank Yanique S., Karen L., Joel  M.(what is your last name again, Tokyo? Lol), Donia F.,Toysan G., jhenellemonique  and Ricardo (a fellow nominee- check out his blog, Veritas) for voting before I even asked them individually and making their support known so others could follow suit.  J And, of course, my mother and my cousin Kerry who always have my back, who shared the link and asked for support for me on good ol’ Facebook. Thanks a million!

If you want to start or keep voting for me, just click this link <-- it carries you straight to the button to vote for me. No hassle.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time with new posts and awesome news about our future together. J

Update (Jan 10, 2013): The Hashcon category was finally put up this morning and you can vote for me by clicking this link

Friday, 30 November 2012

I Am Aware. I Live Up. Meeting a real life SHEro

I believe that at this moment in time, the changes we need as a society, as a region, will be spear-headed by women and the youth. That is not to disregard the impact that men will no doubt have. Without the men following suit, we will not be able to say that we truly evolved. As a young woman, I fit into the two demographics that are most likely to be agents of change, I am acutely aware of my responsibility and it is not something I take lightly. But if I am to be completely honest, I would have to tell you that sometimes I feel like my actions would not be as significant as I hope. In moments like these, I have to look outside of myself for stories, for people who did the little or the much that they could and who persevered to see that effort be a catalyst for the change we need on crucial issues with regard to the improvement of our well-being as a people/region- issues such as the pandemic of HIV/AIDS infections within the Caribbean.

I previously posted about my experiences in Barbados as a student, how my eyes were opened and how it spurred within me an adventurous spirit that likely would not have been present if I was not away from “yaad”. One of the new experiences was entering this bathing suit competition turned reality show- Island Queen. Stay with me here- It will all connect. The winner of Island Queen 2012 would go on to be an ambassador of HIV/AIDS awareness as the competition was, that year, produced by the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) and Media Support International. The theme that year was: I am Aware: Soldiers of Awareness. The CBMP’s “Live Up” campaign was integrated into the Island Queen competition as part of our workshops and challenges. I was very skeptical about these workshops- I pictured stuffy atmospheres with the usual questions and cliché role-playing scenarios that would leave us feeling no more inspired than before we came. Boy, was I wrong! A couple of our more notable challenges were: where we went to a cricket match at a stadium (cricket is big sport in Barbados- I said that in a Bajan accent, by the way J ) where we held up signs with messages about safe sex, knowing your status and putting an end to discrimination- not something for the timid, I should tell you;  and where we had to make up our own message for a commercial about condoms that were not your typical kind in look, feel and, in some cases (so I heard) taste- talk about nerves! I will be sure to elaborate more on these in future posts. On one of our workshops, we were introduced to the Chair of CBMP- Dr. Carol Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs’s accolades are too many for me to note them all here but believe me when I say she is very accomplished and well-renowned for her contributions to aid in curtailing the pandemic.
IQ cntestants with Dr. Jacobs and Rupee

Sharing our stories at the workshop with Dr. Jacobs and Rupee
Dr. Jacobs is Jamaican born and educated female who now lives in Barbados- immediate connection for me. The fact that she recognizes the importance of not just the message but the messenger made me connect with her all the more. She has had her fair share of naysayers because of her work with those who have had to live with or suffer from this disease- she was often called “the AIDS lady” by many hecklers. Dr. Jacobs remained steadfast in her quest to help stem HIV/AIDS and her efforts have been recognized throughout the region. We all shared our experiences (if we had any) with and views about persons who have HIV/AIDS. One thing I could speak on was knowing someone who, at the time of her passing, it was said that she died from pneumonia and later finding out that that was not the whole story- that she had also contracted HIV which later turned into AIDS. The stigma attached to such a disease is the reason why so many keep quiet and do not seek help or even try to protect themselves by being equipped with the knowledge of their status. Caribbean artist Rupee was also a guest and told us his story of having a mother and father die from AIDS and how this changed his approach to life and his career. Dr. Jacobs told us of her work with young people and sex workers and the practices they engaged in that put them at risk and the stigma attached to persons with HIV/AIDS and how that stigma contributed in large part to the risky practices and attitudes of the youth. It was funny how much I thought I knew as a young person myself but some of what Dr. Jacobs told me blew my mind. The lingo these children were using to describe the sexual acts they engaged in was news to my ears. But this is to be expected. The children nowadays are more exposed to sex than we were as kids and even when we were kids, we were a lot more advanced than we were given credit for. This is something that we seem to forget as soon as we make the transition from child to adult. It causes such a huge gap in communication, it’s no wonder our young people find it hard to listen to us- they don’t feel we can relate to them and truth is, we often times cannot because we have chosen to repress the truth of our past and deny the reality of their present because it makes us uncomfortable.

What I really appreciated about Dr. Jacobs was the fact that she got that even though you might have the answers, the problems won’t get solved if no one will listen. Seeing that they focus on young people, she had become aware the best people to help spread the messages needed are young people themselves. "If we are going to engage our songwriters, our artists, our entertainers, young people like you", she said, "it must be in a real kind of way. It must be in your world in real time." So they sought to educate young folks like myself and put us into action. Want to get people involved in a cause? Show them how imperative they are to its success. Calling them soldiers certainly helps to build patriotism, in my opinion J. I loved how they incorporated the Soldiers of HIV/AIDS awareness theme into our bathing suits which were designed and made by the incredible sister team of Nikita and Alyssa Goddard and into the photo-shoot (expect posts on these too- I have included two behind-the-scenes pics of the first shoot as a teaser).  It was cemented into our minds the importance of not just knowing our status but of being safe and encouraging others to be safe and the complementary task of doing everything we can do to help eliminate the prejudice against those of us living with HIV/AIDS.

This was the first set the attempted to use for the shoot. That gun was HEAVY! The lady in yellow is one of the designers of the swimsuit, Nikita. I needed her help holding it. Trust me!

They meant business. I am covered with actual motor oil and lying in a box of bullets. Themed shoots for the win! This was the second setup but it was by no means, the last or the least scary O_O.
Dr. Jacobs told us of other ambassadors that had signed on from Jamaica- Olympic champions Shelly Ann Fraser- Pryce (who is a graduate of my alma mater! FYI, Shelly and I were on the high school track team together- albeit for a brief period of time since I eventually left), Yohan Blake and Veronica Campbell-Brown- how awesome is that?! I mean, if you want a message to spread fast, who better to carry that than some of the fastest athletes in the world? To think that I am part of a cause along with these other great Jamaicans is amazing and humbling at the same time. I think I was in the perfect place at the perfect time when I went to Barbados. I was reluctant and homesick and I went begrudgingly. Little did I know how great a part this move would play in helping me to find one of my purposes. Dr. Jacobs did mention that to the young children (primary school level) did see even us 20+ year olds as “old” so it really hit home that I better get on to spreading this message while I still have their ears. Young or old, male or female, we all can play a pivotal role in getting rid of new cases of this disease. The key is to be creative and to persistent in the cause. For my part, I have sought to utilize social media and its influence to spread awareness. Not just with this blog post but with Facebook posts and Twitter updates. No one can deny the power of social media in today's world especially on young people. Here's hoping the message to eliminate this virus goes viral. Oh, look at the play on words!

Dr. Jacobs, I thank you and I salute you. You are a champion for women and Jamaicans everywhere. I hope the vision of a AIDS-free generation comes to pass in your lifetime. It was an absolute honor to have met you.

Myself and Dr. Jacobs

Much love to Rupee for coming along and sharing his story of how he was personally affected by HIV/AIDS with the loss of his mother and father due to the disease. As I said before, men are important to this movement and male entertainers are great potential messengers, in my opinion.

Me and Mr. Tempted To touch himself- Rupee

P.S. December 1 is World Aids Day. It is a chance for us to unite worldwide in the fight against AIDS. Let’s all do our part, no matter how small. Know your status. Help stop discrimination. Let’s love ourselves and each other.

Love. Protect. Respect.                                                                                                                                                                
One Love J

One more thing- I have been trying to get footage of Dr. Jacobs' and Rupee's visit but because the show has yet to air, it's been tricky. I must admit that I am now rethinking my decision to wait until the episodes air to give my side/ insider scoop on what was really "real" ;) based on what each episode airs. I thought that would be a great opportunity for us to be more interactive but the delay has been way longer than expected. What I can offer in the meantime is a trailer that is online that speaks about the competition on a whole but does drive home the major theme behind it (being soldiers of awareness). Dr. Jacobs' cameo starts at 4:47.

This post is a part of UNICEF Jamaica's #HashCon2012 whose topic this year is "Positive SHEroes: Strong women working towards an AIDS-free generation." Find out more about #Hashcon2012 here and vote for my post (if you are so inclined :) ) here. Also, tell me how you Live Up in the comments.

Again, the link to vote for me is:

Photo credit for first photo:

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Music Box: Jamaica Edition- Denyque, Cherine Anderson and Protoje

I decided I wanted to share my opinions on some videos/songs from some Jamaicans. This may become a new feature of the blog or it may just be something I do whenever I feel so inclined. I may expand to artists who are not Jamaican, I may review movies and other forms of entertainment. I don’t know what niche my blog fits into if it even fits into one and I’m ok with that, to be honest. Trying to speak on just one area or blog about one aspect of my life (being a Jamaican studying overseas) has really been too restrictive for me and that may be why I haven’t posted a post like that in a while even after I have retained a new laptop charger and now have access to the pictures. Feeling free to blog as I wish about whatever is on my mind is the key to me improving as a blogger, I think. As it pertains to the music box features or any features in which I give my opinions on something in entertainment, do not expect to see words typically used in reviews by professionals or wannabe-pros. I do not naturally use most of the language these people use and I would not feel comfortable trying to imitate it. In truth, it bores me so I’m not interested in speaking like that. Also, I won’t be reviewing evry how new song or album or video. I’m not aiming to be a music blogger. Just blogging as I see fit. Thanks in advance for understanding. Now on to the post

I stopped by my girl MszRockstar's site and saw the latest visual offering from dancehall artist Denyque called I Miss You.

This video reminds me of Chrisette Michelle’s latest offering “Charades” because of the extended series-of-glamour-shots treatment. It’s a simple video that suits the song and it helps a great deal that Denyque is a very pretty girl. I don’t get why she wiped the makeup off. I assume it was to be symbolism for stripping down since she had taken off some of her jewelry right before. Still, it changes to black and white so we don’t really get to see her barefaced. Also, why was it raining? Where are you, Denyque, that water is falling from above and wetting you? Was this all a ploy to plant the image of a wet you in our minds? Well played, mama.  As for the song, it’s a nice tune. Reminds me a lot of something Alaine would do. In fact, her voice started sounding more and more like Alaine’s with each chorus. Overall, the song and video are a decent effort. One thing I do remember each time I hear a Denyque song is when a friend of mine said that Denyque won’t truly have major success in Jamaica until she has a “walk out” song. There may be some truth to this but we’ll see. It seems likely that she’ll go the route of Alaine if she continues like this and that would be a bit sad because Alaine’s career is not at the level it should be given how talented she is. Still, Denyque is a fresher face and a risk-taker from early on, as we can see with her look, so hopefully this means she has more in store for us and is going to try her hand at different sounds and she’ll be charming enough to make us like what we typically would not openly embrace.
Rating: 3/5 high notes

I also stopped by SwadeDaVillain's site 13th Street Promotions and viewed the videos for Cherine Anderson’s “Haffi Come Back” and Protoje’s “Kingston Be Wise”