Before I introduce myself let me thank the “Almighty High” for inspiring me to make this step, so that I can be able to draw your attention and I hope you all will help to decorate the world with love and prosperity!
My name is Errol Harvey. I was born on a little farm surrounded by the properties of three great land owners in the South east of Jamaica, in the small district Cheesefield in St. Catherine. The harvest from the farm could not cover the subsistence of my whole family. So we, like other people living in the district and neighbour villages as well, had to work for the great land owners to make a living. I saw some of my companions going to school and some following their parents to work on the properties. At an early age I get aware of the fact that without a good education there was no alternative. My parents could not afford to send me to school and I refused to work for a great land owner. I was confused and did not know what to do. I began to grow food on our farm.
One day I met a Rastaman, he asked me if I would know “Brock Way”, a mountain beyond my district, and said that he wanted to do farming there. He told me that he has planed with other farmers, Rasta bredrins, to come and help him to prepare the land and asked me if I would like to join them, I said yes. When I arrived at the place I saw that people could live in a natural way independent from buying food to eat and clothes to wear. At that very day I have made up my mind to live among the Rasta bredrins and I did not go back to my small farm.
So we spent a period of time together until soldiers expelled the farmers from the mountains because they were suspected of planting marijuana which was illegal. This made me very sad because many Rastafari bredrins like me did not choose to live in the mountains to plant marijuana for making money. We wanted to live in harmony with nature.
I returned to my small farm but I felt like a stranger in the district. I heard about the “Land Lease” program and asked the Jamaican government for a piece of land. I got two acres in a distance from the district at the foot of a next mountain. On that hill I lived from then on and put all my acquired knowledge and experience about farming into action. My work became the talk in the district and people who did not have enough food came to me and got what they wanted for free. The youths came to me, I taught them how to do farming and they started with their own cultivation. The government changed and the land fell back into the hands of great land owners. So I had to give up my farm.
At a Nyabinghi gathering I met Rasta bredrins from Ocho Rios at the north coast. Through them I got to the restaurant “Jungle Lobster House” under the White River Bridge and started to work there. I learned the preparation of many various dishes and also served the guests always concerned about their satisfaction. The people knew me as Jah P. I met a holiday visitor who invited me to visit Germany because of my good treatment. I liked the way of life in Germany and I stayed.
I have been living here for some years now. During this period of time I have been working as DJ, organizing concerts and parties throughout Germany and neighbour countries as well, always endeavoured to promote our Jamaican culture to help abolish the poor living conditions in Jamaica. Because of my good intention and work I was chosen by the company “L.I.V.E. LIBRARY GmbH” to represent Jamaica at an event called “Dialogue with the world” in Frankfurt, Germany, in the year 1994, sharing our background to promote peace and harmony in the world. While I was moving around from city to city organizing concerts and parties I permanently put on my events at “Star Club” in Mülheim an der Ruhr every first Friday in the month. My way was different from other promoters. Upstairs in the club live concerts took place and downstairs at the same time a performance with youths singing and toasting to the riddims of sound systems until daylight. I encouraged youths to become a DJ, even when they had no experience and were afraid to spoil the parties. I selected the tunes and paid them to play them. I have also brought youths into bands and organized shows for them. Today some of these youths are known as DJs, singers and some have their own sound system. I aroused interest in my events when I was giving out my flyers and offered to hand the microphone for singing. It was told to others and I saw the events were well received by the people because every first Friday in the month more came to the place, young and old.
I said to myself to maintain the fans and to attract more people I had to add something special to the parties. At the same time I wanted to get something started which could help to improve the living conditions of the poor people in Jamaica. So I came up with my “All Age Reggae Talent Show” idea. The procedure is as follows: The participants rehearse a song and perform it in the show, a jury chooses the winner and in a final round all winners from the shows compete for the championship. The selected champion gets the opportunity to record and sell his song. On the 5th of March 2002 I met the Lord Mayor of Mülheim an der Ruhr in his office and handed over a letter about my idea to him. After reading it he named it a very good idea. I explained the importance of the “Talent Show”, on the one hand the promotion of young talents and on the other hand the support of the suffering people in Jamaica. He told me that the city could not give any form of help to put the “All Age Reggae Talent Show” into reality. I also asked the then Ambassador of Jamaica in Germany Ms. Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, the Jamaican Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for support but nobody has given any form of help to bring my “All Age Reggae Talent Show” idea into reality. Getting no support despite all my efforts was very disappointing for me. I was only able to put on the “All Age Reggae Talent Show” twice for my fans.
From that time I have stopped making parties and concerts but until today people ask me when a next event will take place. This and the poor living conditions of many people in Jamaica have motivated me to establish the NGO “Center of Jamaican Culture & Development gUG” to help solving social problems and with your support we all can make a big difference.
To be continued …