Since recording artiste Desmond Ballentine embarked on his journey to reach out to Jamaica’s most needy, he finds it difficult to identify with the persona Ninja Man that brought him to national prominence in the early 1980s.
“Sometimes it really hurts cause it really make mi feel like mi anuh really Ninja Man, because mi go a country and come back a cry,” Ballentine said.
“Because when mi go down there and mi go see a likkle 10 year old yute and a little 14-year-old girl affi mek hassock with the upholstering to send dem self go school, it mek tears come to my eye.”
Ballentine was making reference to a situation where the children of a disabled man have been forced to do upholstering in order to send themselves to school. The children were taught the skills by their disabled father who has been bed-ridden ever since he fell from a building.
Ballentine told THE STAR that he gave the family more than $10,000 to assist with the children’s schooling. He promised to return with more help to support the upholstery business, but his posting the video to social media created more help that he had imagined.
When THE STAR spoke to Ballentine on Thursday he was busy sorting through goods he received from people around world who were moved by his kind gesture.
“From mi start this ting people from all over the world get to me who want help and who want to render assistance,” Ballentine said. “We a go a country tomorrow go do the distribution. We have all type of tin food, soap, and toothbrush, everything to make their lives comfortable. And we have people pack containers now as we speak to send come a Jamaica to help these people.”
The artiste is also planning to expand his reach through a radio programme call ‘problem line’. “Call me and tell me your problem and we try and solve it,” Ballentine said.
His friends from the music industry have also come onboard.
“Busy Signal is a part of it, vershon is a part of it, Razor B is a part of this group and Josey Whales is a part of the group,” Ballentine said. “Mi, as the president, mi go around and I seek the problems and help to solve them. My friends help to provide support.”