Buju Banton urges youth to stay away from violence

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Jamaican reggae and dancehall artiste, Buju Banton performed to a sold-out crowd at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence on Sunday morning.

During the concert, Banton, who was recently released from a United States prison after serving for drug trafficking, preached messages of peace, harmony and urged young people to stay away from violence. In a high energy performance, Banton did not disappoint the well over 19,000 fans who turned up at the national stadium. He bellowed out some of his old school classic driving the crowd while with some of his more popular songs, including “Driver Don’t stop at all.”

Jamaican Reggae artiste, Buju Banton performing at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday morning (Akeem Thomas photo)

During his performance, Banton spoke about his last visit to Guyana which was in 2006 and said, “A lot of things have happened in Guyana. A lot of folks I know are no longer in Guyana. Some are alive but they are still not here. Big up Roger Khan. Big up meh bredren, Trini. Nuff youths drop out.” “Trini” the person he referred is in fact Marlon “Trini” Osborne, who was killed in 2012 after he was shot four times. Osborne was gunned down at the junction near Laluni and Peter Rose Streets, Queenstown, Georgetown shortly after leaving a friend’s home.

Meanwhile, while in Guyana the Jamaican dancehall superstar also visited the Leopold Street, Charlestown and Tiger Bay in Georgetown, and Victoria on the East Coast Demerara (ECD) where he interacted with young people. During their visit to Victoria, he met with members of the Rastafarian community and discussed the many advancements that have occurred over the years as well as the challenges facing them.

Banton reminded the youth he interacted with that a life of crime and violence ought not to be their desired path. “Badness is not it,” said Buju Banton.

Buju Banton at Providence (Akeem Thomas photo)

While visiting the Rastafarian community in Victoria, Jamaican artiste stressed the importance of having programmes which can enlighten youth and propel them to a positive future. He also urged that community to continue being self-sufficient and singled out agriculture as a cornerstone of a healthy community and by extension country.

Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, is currently on his “Long Walk to Freedom – I am Legend” concert tour.