‘An offering of Service to the Afrikan Commune-ity”
February 27, 2014
The wonderful opportunity was extended to BLAK IWA TV which we humbly accepted, to stream the event dubbed “The Dub Treatment” with our Warriess Priestess, Sister Janine Jah9 Cunningham and others from the Revival Community on February 27, 2014. I thought how grand to ring in the one year commemoration of Jah 9’s New Name Album by bringing this auspicious event to the internet family overseas and elsewhere and to also be associated with such a celebration of Life, Art and Ras Tafari. This was indeed perfect synchronicity. From the moment I saw the event being advertised, a little seed was planted and here it had come to bloom.
Yoga on Dub opened the evening with participants fully equipped with Yoga mats on the grounds of the Country Side Club. The instructor was quite pleasant and meticulous during the exercises and participants seemed grateful for the occasion to bring themselves back to alignment and balance. In her closing remarks Jah 9 remarked that yoga is not an ‘uptown ting’ it’s for everyone. Herself a yoga instructor, she was seen assisting participants during the exercises; I smiled and thought this is a true woman of service.
The yoga session ended and the next segment of the gathering was opened in traditional Afrikan style with the offering of libations complete with re-calling the names of those transitioned by the audience. It was a powerful experience to hear each one call the name of beloved from memory and into the moment paying homage to the ancestors gone before us. I personally, was especially moved because the memory of a dear friend who recently transitioned was still fresh so in like manner I spoke his name and felt the warmth of his presence again.
With this acknowledgement complete, Abbebe Payne was introduced to begin his spoken word offering. His delivery, as always, was potent, passionate and emotive. This was followed by fashion display from Iya Wear, designed by Arlene Paisley and pieces form Mamayashi’s collection and then a presentation of Afrikan Dance. The apparel lines for women were as beautiful to behold as the ‘womb-men’ who wore them. Filling in the spaces was Rory Stone Love echoing sounds of dub throughout the venue.
It was then time for Jah9 to make her presence felt in word sound offerings. She began with ‘Intentions’ firmly backed by her newly formed band The Dub Treatment, this was followed by ‘Gratitude’. In between delivering the lines, she emphasized the importance of gratitude in one’s attitude to override all negativity. Her words burned in me as I realized this was not just words from a song but a call to become your higher self.
“Brothers” was delivered in tribute to all man of right who inspire and lead within the community. This hit a deep note as Jah 9 commented on the imbalance in relationships and the need to have mutual love and respect between partners, as mirrored in the example of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen I.
From “Brothers” she transitioned easily into spicy ‘Avocado,’ then segued into ‘Taken Up’. In this moment, it hit me that “New Name” album was more than a musical compilation, it is an entire work of dedication and love towards the upliftment of the I in I likewise to all I’s in the commune-ity.
While we were taken up, we floated over to the Kush Treatment segment which was dedicated to the demystification of Herb, the steamers and using the Herb as medicine, Jah 9 took us to the school, demonstrating the use of the steamers and cited personal benefits of harnessing the healing properties of herb.
This was quite educational as well as eye opening. She cited that this was also preparation for the pending decriminalization of the herb in Jamaica. I felt like this was needed, I had never been to any event where conscious efforts were made to educate persons instead of just speaking of herb use as a means to just get “high”. Professor K’adamawe K’nIfe then delivered in almost lightening speed a discourse on the usefulness of herb for Industry Medicine and Food drawing the analogy that Herb and all its benefits could replace the debt situation of the country. It was a conscious but concise and revealing discourse.
To wash all of this knowledge down were performances by Keida with ‘Ganja Tea’, Kumar Bent of Raging Fyah with ‘Ganjah’, Micah Shemaiah with 'Ganja Farmer' which featured Infinite, Selah and Chronixx. Then he performed 'Reggae Rock it' which features Infinite and Matthias. Jahkime then performed 'Farmer Dem' featuring Kazam and Exile Di Brave then segued into 'Kannabis' joined by Micah Shemaiah, Infinite and Chronixx. Micah Shemaiah was especially impressive. The man known as ‘The Voice’ was in fine form and the infinitely talented Infinite was in his element. All worked together well adding lots of flavor and spice to this tribute to the “green”. The “Nrg”and synergy was unmistakable. Then Alexandria gave her quick contributions. Later Kazam Davis entered stage front and was rejoined by Jahkime and Exile di Brave, for ‘Ganja Farmer’. Nomaddz then provided a colourful rendition of ‘Ganja Stain’ as only they alone can, to close the proceedings.
I must not forget to mention that also highlighted in the village was the artwork of visual artists, most noteworthy Djet Damani Layne who had painted the Mural of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen. This provided a most beautiful backdrop for the proceedings as well presence of arts and craft from several other contributors which were laid out for viewing. There was also an artist who could be seen front stage creating, as Jah 9 performed her first set, no doubt drawing inspiration from the night’s entire proceedings. It was definitely a time to let the creative juices flow.
In celebration of Ras Tafari, Ras Ivi Tafari, A Rastafarian elder within the ‘commune-ity’ provided a historical context for Ras Tafari ‘s ascension to the throne of Ethiopia. He gave sufficient facts of His Majesty’s birth, coronation and its significance. This was especially informative. As the programme had progressed, it began to seep in that there were inevitably those in the ‘commune-ity’ who perhaps had attended with the intention of just being entertained but there was enough information and history for all to leave with something newly learnt. This bit soaked in most deeply for I, the name Ras mean ‘The Head One’ and Tafari means ‘to be feared;’ translation the Head One to be feared. As I heard this, immediately in my consciousness, came the words every knee shall bow to the Most High.
Quite befitting this moment, Jah 9 returned to the stage and with the prowess of a Warriess Priestess performed ‘New Name’ complete with perfect hornsmanship from her band. She then moved on to ‘Preacher Man’ and closed her performance with ‘Reverence’. The presentation was made complete with an impromptu nyahbinghi, with drumming and singing (chanting), bringing a beautiful vibration in closing to an already soul edifying event.
This presentation of Life, Art and Ras Tafari had taken the audience through a beautiful progression to a most “fillfulling” climax. Jah 9 closed with asking persons to love ferociously and confidently: beautiful words to those who had witnessed this supremely epic event. The Dub Treatment was organic edutainment with all three ingredients, live music, arts (spoken word, fashion, dance and art), and herb within the commune-ity led by the Omega "Nrg" (energy) as expressed in Janine Jah 9 Cunningham, amply and sufficiently supported by a most creative and inspired team. It was an event like no other I have ever been and I make no apologies. It set standards which I believe display the modesty, humility in service that are attributes of Jah 9 and they were demonstrated as needed for I ‘commune-ity’ in this time. Much Thanks to the team and to all who contributed to The Dub Treatment. Team BLAK IWA TV was extremely happy to be there, to bring it to the international audience by live stream as I also record in words, the impression it made on me. I give mighty thankhs.
Love, Light and Blissings I send to all till next time.