In July of 2015, I had the opportunity to visit Jamaica for the first time. What a feat!
Growing up in Sierra Leone, West Africa, what I knew about Jamaica was that guys like Bob Marley, Peter Macintosh, Winston Rodney (Burning Spear), Jimmy Cliff, Culture and a slew of others make some “dope” reggae music. I had always been fascinated with this island country!
Now here I was, decades later, visiting Montego Bay for Reggae Sunsplash 2015. A phenomenon I had always wanted to experience. While there however, mixing work with pleasure as I do oftentimes, I decided to visit some Maroons who had visited us in 2011 as we celebrated our 50th Independence Anniversary, and that I had personally met. I arranged for a private trip to Cockpit Country and specifically, Trelawny Town, where descendants of Maroons that went to Sierra Leone via Nova Scotia in 1800 and returned to Flagstaff in 1841, still live. From Montego Bay to Flagstaff took us about 2 to 3 hours. Met with Chief Michael Grizzle briefly and shared my intent as to why I was there. Six months later we coordinated the visit with members of the government of Sierra Leone and Maroon leaders.