Social distancing didn’t hinder Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica standing together on Sunday. For some persons across the world encased in lockdown, ‘Telethon Jamaica, Together We Stand’, the six-hour live event staged on Easter Sunday, April 12, resurrected some good vibes while raising money for a worthy cause. Entertainers came out strong as they gave freely of their talent in assisting to raise funds for supplies for front-line workers caught up in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uplifting songs and body-rocking dances were interspersed with pleas from celebrities, corporate persons, and a few politicians, who all passionately urged viewers to donate to the cause. Guiding the early proceedings were Oliver Samuels and Dahlia Harris. Patricia ‘Miss Pat’ Chin, CEO of VP Records; Tina Matalon; William Mahfood; Leader of the Opposition Peter Phillips; Health Minister Christopher Tufton; and Marcia Forbes, representing United Way, all appeared in a video pledging their support for ‘Telethon Jamaica, Together We Stand’.
Among the artistes who performed were early acts Carlene Davis, Freddie McGregor, Wayne Marshall, who came out with quiet strength and, by the comments online, evoked pleasant memories with his rendition of the national song for schools, I Pledge My Heart Forever. Kevin Downswell, Rhoda Isabella, Candy Isaacs, Runkus, Panic, Garnett Silk Jr, Rondell Positive, Richie Stephens, Gyptian, OMI, Chronic Law and Ras-I all performed live. Naomi ‘Paradise Plum’ Cowan doubled as host and performer; Ashe thrilled with a lively song-and-dance jam session to a medley of Bob Marley songs, including Could You Be Loved, Jammin’, Iron Like Lion In Zion, and Lively Up Yourself; Richie Spice sang the theme song, and Lila Iké performed from her living room.
Koffee, actor Leon Robinson, Alkaline, Spice, Sean Paul, Shaggy, and Damian Marley did PSAs. Marley’s prelude was the Lord’s Prayer, and his exhortation included, “If you are not able to donate cash, then give prayers; they are always needed.”