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JIS News

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture will be hosting a traditional nine night at the Ranny Williams Centre tomorrow (February 11), in honour of the late Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Rex Nettleford.
Principal Director of Culture in the Ministry, Sydney Bartley, told JIS News that the event, which is free of cost, will begin at 3:30 p.m. with an exhibition depicting the life of Professor Nettleford.
“The Institute of Jamaica and the National Library of Jamaica will be coming together to create an exhibition in his honour depicting much of what he has done. It is going to be under a tent and you come and view the exhibition and sign a condolence book,” Mr. Bartley said.
At about 6:00 p.m. there will be tributes in performances from cultural groups and individuals.
“So you will see, for an hour or for an hour and a half, persons giving an item or two depending on how much we can accommodate within the period. Everybody would get a chance to do something in his honour and we would flow right into the act of the traditional nine night starting around 8:00 p.m.,” Mr. Bartley said.
Persons attending the nine night will be taken through the various forms of traditional culture such as Kumina and Nyahbinghi.
“There are so many things that he has done and so many lives he has touched. We want to give a space for people to do a thing here and there so it’s really a cultural tribute to him,” Mr. Bartlett said.
Professor Nettleford died on February 2 at the George Washington Hospital in Washington D.C. in the United States, hours before his 77th birthday.
His funeral service will take place at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Chapel, Mona campus on Tuesday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m.
Ralston Milton ‘Rex’ Nettleford was born on February 3, 1933 in Falmouth, Trelawny. Known for his involvement in the arts and his vast contribution to academia, he was a Professor of Extra Mural Studies at the UWI and also headed the Trade Union Education Institution.
As a Rhodes Scholar, he studied at Oxford University and has authored a number of books, among them ‘Mirror Mirror’, ‘Manley and the New Jamaica’, ‘The African Connexion’, ‘In Our Heritage’ and ‘Caribbean Cultural Identity: the case of Jamaica’.
Founder of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), the group flourished under his guidance, winning numerous awards, and is regarded as one of the best dance ensembles in the world.