Ever since returning to home to Jamaica in 2018, Dancehall icon Buju Banton has made it his personal mission to help those in need especially underprivileged young men.
Buju Banton has always aimed to make disenfranchised youth the primary benefactors of his generosity within the last year. With Father’s Day around the corner, boys from two homes, Mount Olivet Boys’ Home and Sunbeam Children’s Home, chose to honor the Dancehall star to show him some appreciation for the fatherly role that he has taken up to give them a chance at a successful future.
Mount Olivet Boys’ home is based in Manchester, and the Sunbeam Children’s Home is based in St Catherine. Both homes have been sponsored by the Buju Banton Foundation. The organization, which was set up in 2019, uses its resources to help provide for the at-risk boys.
It seems that the “Blessed” singer did not know that the honor was coming as he was surprised at the Gargamel Music Inc. by some of the wards of the homes. The group from Mount Olivet Boys’ Home presented the artist with a sentimental gift of a framed portrait of himself, and the Sunbeam Children’s Home presented the entertainer with two large pottery vases. The vases were made by the boys at Sunbeam.
Another gift that probably would have given Buju pride was the eggs he received from the boys of Sunbeam. Those eggs were from the Layers Project that Banton. He also received Julie mangoes from their farm. That project was set up in February.
The moment was not lost on Buju, who shared his excitement at being honored in such a way.
“I am so humbled, surprised, and happy for your heartfelt gesture. I have helped a lot of people. Sometimes we forget good deeds. But you boys remember me and have chosen to surprise and honour me for Father’s Day. Wow! I thank you all so very much. Blessings!” he said.
That wasn’t the end of the celebration either as they played football together before sharing a large vanilla cake iced with the words ‘Big Thank You’, according to Jamaica Gleaner.
Both of the home’s directors spoke about how much the artist’s contributions have helped them. Patrick Newman, director at Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, also praised him for his collaborative efforts with rapper Kanye West and Audio mack that resulted in computers and chairs for the home. That effort also saw the home receive new musical equipment.
“Mount Olivet Boys’ Home is beyond thankful to you, the great Buju Banton and the Buju Banton Foundation. The boys drew you a portrait and signed it as a symbol of their love and appreciation. Happy Father’s Day!” said
An administrator from Sunbeam Children’s Home, Desmond Whitely, shared that Buju’s contribution has been the largest one by an individual so far. He also shared that his $3 million investment in the egg layers project for the facility has been very successful so far.
“We do not have enough eggs to sell. It is a viable and sustainable venture, yielding much-needed funds and resources for the operation of Sunbeam Children’s Home,” Whitely added. He also showered the artist with praise for his orchestration of Kanye West’s helpful donation.
“Mark Myrie, to say we are thankful is an understatement. We feel truly blessed that you chose Sunbeam Children’s Home. The boys love you so much. They speak about you all the time. They sing your songs daily. Tremendous thanks for your kindness, support, and generosity,” he said.
The “Upside Down” singer has persevered with his goal of trying to help the struggling youth of Jamaica even after his application for the registration of the Buju Banton Foundation was rejected by the Charities Authority in Jamaica at the beginning of the year. The most likely reason being his previous conviction in the United States. Even though the artist was upset about the decision at the time, he did not let that stop him from helping, which was evidenced when he came through on his word to donate his JM$3 million top prize from the Jamaica Festival Song competition to the Sunbeam Boys Home.
He has also established a scholarship in honor of his mother, Murdine Clarke, at his alma mater Denham Town High School. The Murdine Clarke Scholarship, set up in August 2020, is geared towards awarding financially challenged boys at the school. Fifteen-year-old Tajay Bailey was the first recipient and received JM$100,000 for the school supplies.
The legendary artist was clearly pleased with wards’ efforts to make him feel appreciated as he posted a pic with some of them with smiles all around.