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Story Highlights

  • The Jamaican Diaspora has been integral in cementing the global appeal of the country’s culture
  • Diasporic communities have served as key vectors for Jamaica’s cultural signals
  • Countries which do not really have a rich culture, have adopted the Jamaican culture

Media and Entertainment Consultant, Clyde McKenzie, says that as informal cultural ambassadors, the Jamaican Diaspora has been integral in cementing the global appeal of the country’s culture.

“We have to really applaud the presence of the Diasporic communities and what they did in terms of having our music and our culture filter into the mainstream society, such as the American society,” he said.

Mr. McKenzie was speaking at a ‘Reasoning’ session, held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston on August 2, as part of the schedule of activities for Emancipation and Independence celebrations.

He argued that the strong presence of the country’s Diasporic communities, has served as key vectors for Jamaica’s cultural signals and values worldwide.

“The fact that you see Jamaican music and you see the country’s  expressions being accepted, is because you had Jamaicans who, despite the odds or  the unfavourable prospects, stuck to the whole idea of being Jamaican and being accepted as such,” Mr. McKenzie said.

For his part, Gospel artiste, Omari, contended that in his travels, he has come to realize that countries which do not really have a rich culture, have adopted the Jamaican culture as their own.

“You cannot take that for granted…our culture is a culture that is very rich around the world. It helps to market and build Brand Jamaica. The brand called Jamaica is built a lot through the culture and the music that we have to offer to the world,” he said.

Other panelists included Musicologist, Dr. Dennis Howard and reggae artiste, Ras Penco.