The show — part of activities organized by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (Bureau of Gender Affairs) in partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation — was held under the theme ‘Unite to end gender-based violence’.
Queen Ifrica, during her performance of Lioness on the Rise, used the opportunity to remind women of their strength. She described the Government’s attitude towards the surge of violence against women and children as “nonchalant”.
“I would have expected a bigger roll-out from the governmental perspective and agencies – there are so many. I think that this occasion would have been one of those to send that message. However, we fend for ourselves as Jamaicans and as women in Jamaica, so I guess when we have our struggles to deal with we just deal with it and just move on. It’s too sad,” she said.
Messages of peace, community involvement, and spirituality were expressed in the performances of Judy Mowatt, Razor B, and Carlene Davis.The latter did tracks, including Handful of Salt and It Must be Love. She said the concert was a good way for women in the music industry to reach out to Jamaica.
“This is a great opportunity to remind our brothers that they too have purpose and they need to love themselves first then they’d be able to love their fellow men, including their sisters and the young women out there, because I’m sure their parents didn’t bring them up that way,” she said.
Marcia Griffths, though nursing an injury to her right leg, said that couldn’t have prevented her from participating.
“I could never sit by, no matter if two foot break. I’d have to go out there in a wheelchair and make my contribution to our cause as important as this. We need to address this, not just once,” she said.
She performed All My life, Survival and Woman, before singing No Woman No Cry by reggae star Bob Marley with former I-Three member, Judy Mowatt.
“I cannot even imagine the simple, solid, effective things that Bob would say (if he were here tonight). He was never aggressive in saying nothing that he had to say. He spoke with such conviction in his voice and everybody hears everything he says. I know whatever he would say would touch every heart and soul,” Griffiths told the Jamaica Observer.
Dancehall deejay Bounty Killer hailed Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange for keeping him on the line-up, despite backlash received from the public.
“A lot of people didn’t want me to be here. I’ve been affected by gender violence, I’ve been affected by domestic violence, I’ve been affected by violence in general. I got shot when I was 16 so anything against violence I can’t be silent. I have a bad past but I’ve already passed that. Whatever allegation or involvement I’m not proud of it — it’s not right, it’s wrong, and it should have never happened. But it happen already, so I’m here trying to make a step in the right direction. The initiative is for a change, and I had a past that needed to be changed, and I’m bold to say it,” he said.
Great sets also came from gospel act Sister Pat, Tony Rebel, D’Angel, Nadine Sutherland, Etana, Tarrus Riley and all-female group, Adazeh.