Jamaica ... 50 Years of Independence
by Tamika Williams
(Camrose Village, St James)
Buckingham School Camrose Vilage Face Painting
Click Other Photos to Enlarge
The days leading up to the celebration of our 50th anniversary of Independence were charged with excitement for every Jamaican at home and abroad, and Jamaica was be-decked in fabrics of black, gold and green.
Our athletes have done us proud, and there was pandomonium in the streets all over Jamaica yesterday, after the running of the men's 100m final, with Jamaica's Usain Bolt copping the gold, and the beast, Yohan Blake, the silver.
Looking back over the last fifty years it is my view that without our musicians, athletes and artists Jamaica would probably still be in the dark ages.
Bob Marley is a perfect example of how we have evolved in the last fifty years.
In 1962 rastafarians were outcasts and it was Bob Marley who introduced our music, culture and hair style to the world.
He was a person the masses respected, and in the 70's when the then PNP government called a peace concert to stop the senseless killings in Kingston it was Bob who got both political leaders to shake hands, and dance together on stage.
This brought about the needed cease fire which led to a decrease in the killings.
When he died it was a loss to the country, but he had done his job.
He shared jamaica with the world and his death propelled Jamaica and her people into the lime light. No other person has done for Jamaica what Bob has.
In many ways we have moved forward in the past 50 years.
We no longer have children going to school barefooted.
We no longer have a case where families have to choose only one child ... the most brilliant ... to go to school.
But still, many Jamaicans did not feel as if they had anything to celebrate.
There is a lack of water in so many communities.
The roads are in the worst condition they have been in since independence. Many are undrivable.
Our power supply is unreliable ... and the list goes on.
But today despite all of Jamaica having a power black out I feel renewed hope.
As the Buckingham Primary School in Camrose celebrated Jamaica's golden jubilee, I saw some glimmer of hope.
I saw many fathers sitting with their families, playing with their children actively taking part in the function. Gone are the days when it would be mostly women and children.
Fathers are now getting involved and interested in raising their children.
Sitting at the head table were pastor Anderson, Mr Graham of the ruling PNP, Mrs B. Taylor of the JLP, and a member of the school board.
One boy, Javon stood out as he recited his silver medal piece by Louise Bennett.
Two young girls ages 12 and 9 wrote and presented their messages on our celebration.
There was time for fun too, facepainting, flag raising, releasing of fifty balloons and the higlight of the day was the donkey who was so child friendly.
I feel that our children have a better chance over the next 50 years.
As a nation we have so much to be thankful for.
Yes there are many challenges but with guidance, honesty, responsibility, hard work and respect for ourselves and others there IS hope.
Let's all get together and make a positive difference over the next fifty years in Jamaica.