Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | December 28, 2012
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Jaja's realises dream with Funfest

For years, Tshani Jaja dreamt about hosting a family-oriented event. That dream materialised last Saturday with the staging of Fun Fest at Hope Gardens, Hope Road, St Andrew. Over 1,500 children, accompanied by their parents/guardians, flocked the venue.

"As a mother, I've found that there is a severe lack of family entertainment in Jamaica. Based on my extensive background in marketing and events management, I decided to start my company, Famfun Entertainment, that specialises in family entertainment and so, Funfest was born," Jaja said.

Jaja added that the event was inspired by families for families. She mentioned that her 10-year-old son was one of the creative inspirations behind the event and played an active role in the selection of the rides, design of the flier, appeared in the television ad and had input in the radio commercial, which was voiced by children.

committed sponsors

"Digicel is very happy to be on board for the inaugural staging of Funfest 2012. As a brand that believes in community spirit and family, this event gives us yet another opportunity to celebrate the festive seasons with our customers and their families. We commend Famfun Entertainment for their vision behind this event and we look forward to partnering with them on other family events," said Tahnida Nunes, Digicel's sponsorship manager.

The attractions included face-painting, merry-go-round and rock climbing. Live entertainment featured Digicel ambassador, Jermaine Edwards, who gave a creditable performance. Also performing were Apostle, Delando, Ornellar, Fire Dove, Funfest Twins, Cash Money Dancers and DJ Shane Firestarter.

Tiana nominated for Kenyan award

Fast-rising dancehall artiste and the self-professed 'Dancehall Duchess', Tiana, has once again shown her strong impact on the continent of Africa. She was recently nominated for Female Artiste of the Year at the 2012 Kingston 10 Reggae Awards in Kenya.

Based in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Kingston 10 is a prominent dancehall/reggae show that highlights many of Jamaica's top entertainers, promoting the island's key music genres across the country. Tiana was nominated alongside the Queen of Dancehall Lady Saw, Tifa and Ce'Cile, as well as reggae warrior, Ikaya.

great year

Tiana had a commendable follow-up year to her breakout campaign in 2011. After scoring with Bruk Out and Wine, Highest Grade, and others last year, Tiana made waves with singles such as Only Girl Him Want (remix of Popcaan's Only Man She Want), Dem a Bawl, Don't Stop and One Stuck Wine in 2012.

Dem a Bawl landed Tiana a top-10 spot on the MTV Base Africa Dancehall/Reggae charts, while holding down top spot on the Kenyan charts for four consecutive weeks.

To date, Tiana's YouTube Channel has garnered over two million views. The dancehall artiste is no stranger to award nominations this year, as she not only copped a pair of nominations at the International Reggae and World Music Awards in July, but was named Jamaica's top new artiste at the 2012 3B Entertainment Industry Awards in October.

The Kingston 10 Reggae Awards, now in its fifth year, will take place in January 2013.

Absinthe brings in 2013

Syndicate Events and Red Stripe Light Flavours plan to wrap up this year's Jamaica 50th celebrations with Absinthe - The Genesis (Rise of the Phoenix) at the Go-Kart Track, Palisadoes.

It promises to be the perfect setting for a New Year's Eve celebration, as it is a short journey to an undisturbed location which provides a view of the glorious fireworks on the Kingston Waterfront.

For the past seven years, Syndicate Events, through their brand Absinthe, has offered patrons the best party vibe. Promoter Dwayne Dacres explained that "Absinthe has been synonymous with vibes and good décor. However, there is a key element which we have worked on, and that is the food we offer. For the past two years, we have teamed with Patsy Lyn Caterers. This has worked well for us, as not only have we impressed with the variety offered, particularly seafood, but our food stations have remained open until perhaps the last patron departs in the early hours of the morning."

This has not gone unnoticed, as Absinthe is oftentimes referred to as 'Abshrimp' by numerous attendees.

Patrons can expect tasty treats, including grilled lobster tail, shrimp primavera, smoked sausage pasta, crispy pork, Italian herd roast chicken, shrimp tempura, escoveitch fish fillet, peppered shrimp, and sweet and sour chicken. If the food isn't enough to entice, the musical rhapsody expected from Coppershot Disco, ZJ Liquid and Renaissance Disco certainly is.

VIP tickets are available, which entitle patrons to top-shelf liquor flowing in abundance, confectionery items, glassware, private parking, entry and a secure lounge.

Lionel Richie buys seven Mercs

Dancing on the Ceiling singer Lionel Richie - whose adopted daughter is fashion designer Nicole Richie - decided to treat himself to several new vehicles to mark the festive holiday. However, the shocked salesman didn't recognise Lionel when he first walked into the dealership and thought he was joking when he told him how many cars he wanted.

Lionel told the New York Post newspaper: "I decided to buy myself a Mercedes - or two! In blue jeans and T-shirt, I walked into a Montgomery, Alabama, dealership and said, 'I'll buy seven Mercedes'. Staring, the guy asked, 'Son, you got some proof?' I had him call LA's Bank of America president. He hung up and segued from 'Son' to, 'Mr Richie, right this way, please'."

Although Lionel, 63, has spent a lot on himself, he has also helped those less fortunate this Christmas by working with Scottish charity Cash for Kids, which aims to get kids in the country out of poverty.

Speaking about the charity at an event in Glasgow earlier this month, he said, "Christmas is all about family and children being surrounded by love, but it's important to realise that not every child is fortunate enough to be able to share this happy time.


"Being in Glasgow, as we approach Christmas, I can appreciate what Radio Clyde Cash for Kids does to bring happiness to vulnerable children in the city and I'm delighted to support the great work they do."

Hollywood stars against gun violence


Diva singer Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, We're The Millers star Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Williams, Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, comedian Will Ferrell and Jason Bateman are among a list of approximately 50 high-profile celebrities who have joined forces in a powerful public service announcement.

The band of celebrities is demanding a plan to end gun- related atrocities just one week after 20 children, all aged six and seven years old, and six adults were brutally murdered by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The group recall the slew of similar tragedies across the country in the video, including Columbine and Virginia Tech, and ask: "How many more ... colleges, classrooms, movie theatres, houses of faith, shopping malls, street corners. Enough ... . Demand a plan. Right now, as a mom, as a dad, as a friend, as a husband, as a wife, as an American, as a human being, for the children of Sandy Hook demand a plan. No more lists of names. It's not too soon. It's too late. Now is the time, before we all know someone who loves someone on that list. No more lists. No more who they might have been, if we had just done something yesterday. It's time. We can do better than this. It's time for our leaders to act. Demand a plan right now. Right now. You can demand it. Enough ... ."

Many of the celebrities appear emotional in the video, including 20 year-old starlet Selena Gomez, whose eyes are filled with tears.

Rihanna donates US$1.75m to hospital

Diamonds singer Rihanna was devastated when her beloved granny Clara 'Dolly' Braithwaite lost her cancer battle in June 2012. The pop mega-star visited the radiotherapy department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados, which is to be renamed the Clara Braithwaite Centre for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, last Saturday with her mother Monica Fenty and Dolly's husband Lionel to make a generous donation of US$1.75m.

She told E! News: "This was my way of giving back to Barbados, in a form of philanthropy, by assisting the QEH in its continued modernisation programme ... . I believe that this will have a huge impact on the people of Barbados. This was all done to save lives or at least extend them."

Rihanna is spending Christmas in her native Barbados with her family and was recently spotted supporting local businesses by picking up trinkets in a number of small shops on the Caribbean island.

The Diamonds singer was mobbed by locals as she browsed boutiques in Bridgetown. Her shopping spree comes just days after she admitted she was feeling the pressure to pick up gifts for her family.

She said: "I've not started, not a single thing yet. I'm so drenched in work for my new album Unapologetic ... . The most difficult is my little brother, because he's getting to an age where toys aren't fun anymore."
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