In a social media-loving era, when many entertainers try to control the narrative by posting their stories on various platforms, Grammy award-winning entertainer Buju Banton has taken things a few steps further.
Mark Myrie is editing his own destiny – literally. The deejay, who has been heavily involved in philanthropic endeavours, has launched Destiny Newsletter, which is the vehicle to carry news features about his Buju Banton Foundation. In an October 1 post on Instagram, he announced the arrival of the publication, which takes its name from one of the reggae artiste’s groundbreaking songs.
“Destiny Newsletter is out now. Learn more about the works of the Buju Banton Foundation in [the] current issue of Destiny Newsletter,” he posted. The first issue is dated October 2020 to January 2021 and credits “Mark Myrie – Buju Banton” as editor. It comprises a mix of stories which have been previously published as well as new articles. In addition to articles about 2020 Jamaica Festival Song Competition winner donating his $3 million to the Sunbeam Boys’ Home; him giving away 100 pairs of footwear and footballs to a set of needy boys, and the inaugural Murdine Clarke Scholarship at his alma mater, Denham Town High School, there are other newsworthy items which have not been previously shared with the media.
This includes the fact that Buju Banton will be honoured at the 2020 Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH), “the leading honours event by the Caribbean diaspora for people in the Caribbean diaspora”. In a letter addressed to Banton, CARAH founding president, Claire Nelson, said, “We view with much respect your longevity in the business, your prolific output and your impact on the US and global culture scape. We take note of your Grammy-winning discography as well as your most recent exploration Upside Down 2020 and the soulful Buried Alive, which is serving as a transformational healing anthem for many around the world at this time of extreme challenge. We especially value your passionate and compassionate outreach to and investment in the youth in Jamaica through your Buju Banton Foundation.”
HONOURED FOR CONTRIBUTION
Banton will be honoured for his “outstanding contribution to reggae music” at the virtual event on November 20. The awards, held under the patronage of the Caribbean Diplomatic Corps, had its genesis 27 years ago. It celebrates members of the Caribbean diaspora who have been exceptionally successful in their fields at the national or international level.
Not one to sit on his laurels, the artiste has been busy making a difference. He has joined the growing list of entertainers who have made donations of laptops and tablets to Jamaica’s students who have been forced to attend school from home, owing to the pandemic. American rapper Kanye West, who jetted into the island last month and linked Buju at his studio, has contributed to this venture.
“Friends of Buju Banton Foundation, we thank you! Sunbeam Children’s Home gifted laptops for each boy at the facility. Mount Olivet Boys’ Home received desktop computers and chairs. Thanks, Kanye West, for contributing to our mission to improve the lives of at-risk boys,” a post on Buju’s foundation Instagram page stated. There were also pictures of the handover ceremony.
Banton also recently announced the re-release of his critically acclaimed, RIAA gold-certified, 1995 album, ‘Til Shiloh, to commemorate its 25th anniversary. A collector’s edition arrives on December 18 courtesy of Island Records/Ume. It will include the original recordings, in addition to three new bonus tracks, Not An Easy Road and Wanna Be Loved, remixed by Banton himself, and a brand new, danceable track, with an authentic old-school vibe, titled Come Inna The Dance. ‘Til Shiloh (25th Anniversary Edition) is now available for pre-order.