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Jamaican reggae artistes visit Rose Hill RC with a positive message

Keep focused on the goal of education and display good conduct were messages from Reggae artistes Sizzla Kolanji (Miguel Orlando Collins) and Capleton (Clifton George Bailey III) who made a surprise visit to the Rose Hill RC today, Thursday, November 24.

For video footage, CLICK HERE

There were screams when the pupils saw the performers arrive after 11 a.m. and it took some minutes to get them settled and for Principal Charlene Ross-Quamina to give her welcome.

Addressing the children, Sizzla said nothing was possible without the Most High and asked them to recite Psalm 23 with him. “Education is the key and the basic ingredient and building blocks for your future, and everything that we are doing you need to be educated about it,” he told the children.

After bringing greetings from Jamaica and Africa he sang a few lines from the chorus of his 2002 hit ‘Thank U Mama”

Sizzla said children were a heritage of the Most High and each of them were very important to their family, society, country, and world. He added, “What you learn here you will take with you in the future, you will apply it in your daily lifestyle.”

Sizzla admonished the children, “no fighting, no quarrelling, no picking, no stealing, no slandering, ok! You will be argumentative about stuff at times, but you are living human beings growing up to be beautiful persons. I would not like for you to turn to the path of violence.”

He urged the children to keep their uniforms neat and clean as their uniform was a symbol of their integrity. They were also encouraged to be obedient to their parents and teachers, do their homework and to always think positively. Sizzla told the children they will be the leaders of the country and one day the world.

Capleton extended love, blessings, and prosperity to the children. He called for the children to be focused on their education, show obedience to parents and teachers, and know what their goals are.

“Never let no one tell you, you cannot make it in life. Believe in yourself, know who you are, know where you are coming in order to know where you are going…it’s about self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-reliance, self-taught, self-control, respect, humility, tolerance. It’s all about self-determination.”

He asked all the children who believed in themselves to raise both their hands. Capleton entertained with a few lines from the popular 2000 song ‘Jah Jah City’.

Speaking afterwards he said Reggae music was spiritual music, the soul, and encouraged the children to be more in touch with self. “If you want to find God, you have to find God within you because God is really love…it is best to do good and not the evil, and always remember you manifest the activity of your thinking…always do the right thing, always think the right way, always be positive.”

The visit was facilitated by Rose Hill RC/Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM), Ministry of National Security, Project Building Blocks (PBB) Crime Prevention Programme, and the promoter of the Kings of the Earth concert with which also features Antony B and Cocoa Tea.

It was prompted after Sizzla was moved to tears seeing the video that was circulating online in which children were lying on the ground in their classroom at Rose Hill while gunshots could be heard in the background.

That incident occurred on October 31, but the school has had sporadic episodes of shootings and violent activities in the community. Some pupils have lost family members to crime.

Gary Grant of PBB said Sizzla and Capleton were viewed as heroes and the Ministry was happy for their support. He noted the presence of the Inter-Agency Task Force Hearts and Minds programme which also gives support to the Laventille community.

“We are not just here for today; we are not just here for now, but we will continue to provide support for the school in any way possible that we could continue to boost your self-esteem and to help you to achieve your goals.”

Following the trauma of the shootings, Rose Hill pupils returned to school November 9. The Catholic News was told the children were very resilient and loving. They have returned to routine quickly but “there are issues under the surface”.

The Ministry of Education Student Support Services Division and Witness and Victim Support Unit of the T&T Police Service are counselling the students, and staff received counselling through the Employee Assistance Programme.

The school community welcomes pledges of and prayer support. The latter the Catholic News heard, “is really needed at this time”.