Michel du Cille wins NABJ 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

Late photojournalist Michael du Cille is the recipient of the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Late Jamaica-born photojournalist Michel du Cille is the recipient of the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2015) − The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ),has selected the late Michel du Cille as the recipient of the association’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. A respected photojournalist, who over the course of a lengthy career earned some of the industry’s highest honors, he was a longtime member of NABJ. Mr. du Cille, who had been a journalist at The Washington Post since 1988, died in December 2014 while on assignment in Liberia. du Cille was born in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon a journalist with at least 15 years of experience in the journalism industry and who is regarded for making an extraordinary contribution to the enrichment, understanding or advancement of black life and culture.

“Michel du Cille was a talented photojournalist whose images were compelling, thought-provoking and immensely powerful,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “While some see the visual image as enhancements to a story, he composed images which were limitless in their ability to themselves tell honest stories.”

Mr. du Cille was a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. The most recent award was given in 2008 to du Cille and two of his colleagues at The Post for their work, which revealed the shocking mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. Two earlier Pulitzers came for his work at The Miami Herald.

“Michel du Cille is one of the greatest photojournalists of his generation, and how fortunate for the National Association of Black Journalists that he is one of ours,” said Vanessa Williams, a former president of NABJ and a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. “du Cille used his talent to explore the human condition – both its beauty and its awfulness – with compassion and intelligence. And we are grateful that he was especially interested in telling the stories of the people of the African diaspora, insisting that the world see people who are often marginalized or ignored.”

At The Post he was the director of photography and an assistant managing editor before returning full-time to work in the field. An industry leader, his contributions to the profession are noteworthy as he was a founding member of NABJ’s Visual Task Force, created as a venue for visual journalists in all mediums, which also raised thousands of dollars for scholarships, and steered the mentoring of aspiring and rising photojournalists. He had served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Foundation.

Prior to The Washington Post, du Cille worked at The Miami Herald and The Louisville Courier-Journal. He earned an undergraduate degree from the Indiana University School of Journalism and a graduate degree from Ohio University. Mr. du Cille’s honor will be presented to his family at the association’s Salute to Excellence Gala on August 8th during NABJ’s Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information visit www.nabj.org.–OnPointPress.net.

Jamaican comedian Oliver Samuels highlights charity event in Belgium


(L-R) Ambassador Vilma NcNish poses with Ms. Rose McBean de Vrieze, lead organizer for the event, and noted Jamaican comedian Mr. Oliver Samuels.

The Jamaican community and friends of nation in Antwerp, Belgium, received its fair share of laughter on Saturday, 15 November, 2014, from internationally renowned Jamaican comedian, Mr. Oliver Samuels. The occasion was the Jamaican Gala Dinner and Charity Event, organised by the Jamaican community and held under the patronage of Her Excellency Vilma McNish, Jamaica’s Ambassador to Belgium, at the Linder Hotel in Antwerp.

Mr. Samuels, who was the master of ceremonies, kept the audience entertained throughout the evening as he interacted with the guests in his inimitable comedic style. He recounted experiences such as his recent encounter with the dreaded Chikungunya virus. Proceeds from the event will go towards the restoration of the Ward Theatre in Kingston, Jamaica, and Mr. Samuels reminded the audience of the enormous significance of the Ward for Jamaican theatre, having provided the stage for many renowned performers, including himself, to launch their careers and the staging of the nation’s annual pantomime.


Jamaica Ambassador McNish presents the grand prize to Ms. Paulette Hamilton

In her address, Ambassador McNish used the opportunity to encourage participation in the Jamaican Diaspora Mapping Project, which involves an online survey aimed at identifying and mobilizing skills, expertise and interests the Jamaican Diaspora to contribute to national development. The Ambassador also stressed the importance of representatives of the Jamaican community in Belgium participating in the next Jamaican Biennial Diaspora Conference, which will be held in June 2015 in Montego Bay.

Entertainment was provided by talented members of the community. Guests were treated to a buffet of typical Jamaican cuisine courtesy of Jamaican national Mr. Omar McBean, a top chef at the hotel. The Gala Dinner and Charity Event is the first in what is expected to be an annual affair by the Jamaican community

One of the highlights of the evening was the grand raffle, which included a trip for two to Jamaica courtesy of Belgian Airline Jet Air Fly, and Holiday Inn Sun Spree Resort, Montego Bay. Other sponsors of the event included the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Information Service, and the VDL Group, the Belgian manufacturers of buses for the transportation system in Jamaica..-OnPointPress.net.


Diaspora urged to invest in Jamaica’s stock market and reap rewards

Jamaica stock exchange

Jamaica Stock Exchange

KINGSTON, Oct. 21 (JIS): Members of the Jamaican Diaspora are being encouraged to actively participate in the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) as a means of helping to drive economic growth in the country.

“The Diaspora presents a wonderful opportunity to help the development of the country by investing in Jamaica through the stock exchange,” said JSE Chairman Allan Lewis, while addressing a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday, October 8. “To the extent that we can convince those living outside of the country to invest in Jamaica, the stock exchange stands ready to facilitate such investments,”  Lewis said.

Jamaica stock exchange

Jamaica Stock Exchange Index comparison.

He noted that the JSE, for its part, has a unique role to play by facilitating the transfer of savings to productive enterprises in the country.  Speaking of the ease with which people can now manage investments on the JSE, Mr. Lewis said persons can use the exchange’s website to view the list of companies listed and decide where they want to invest.

Jamaica Stock Exchange Chairman Allan Lewis (c) engages in discussion with other business executives.

Jamaica Stock Exchange Chairman Allan Lewis (c) engages in discussion with other business executives.

“The beauty of the stock market today is that you don’t have to physically come to Jamaica to do so, you can stay in New York, in China wherever you are and invest, and the more persons do that the better we believe Jamaica will become,” Mr. Lewis pointed out.

In the meantime, Assistant Vice-President of Treasury and Trading at Scotia Investments Gregory Samuels said that now is the right time to invest in the stock market. Noting the recent positive reviews of the Jamaican economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Standard and Poor’s, he said there is a direct correlation with the growth of the economy and the performance of the stock exchange.

JAMAICA_STOCK_EXCHANGE_LOGO_2“We have the companies that can help to grow wealth, that can help to give local manufacturers and owners the capital they need to continue this growth… the market has been under-priced for a while, it’s about to take off, and now is the time to invest,” he added.

The JSE is celebrating 45 years of operations, providing a fair, efficient and transparent stock market to create wealth for Jamaicans–OnPointPress.net.


Jamaica’s ambassador to Romania presents credentials to country’s leader


Jamaica’s Head of Mission in Berlin Ambassador Margaret Jobson, presented her credentials to Romanian President on September 2, 2014.

Kingston, Jamaica: On September 2, 2014, Ambassador Margaret Jobson, Jamaica’s head of mission in Berlin, presented credentials to President Traian Basescu in Bucharest, Romania.

During the conversation which followed the presentation, the ambassador underscored Jamaica’s commitment to strengthen its bilateral relations with Romania and to work towards developing trade and investment cooperation.

Diplomatic representatives are referred to as designates until they have formally presented their credentials to either the governor general or the prime minister. The presentations of the copies of the original documents occur after they have first been presented to the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade. -OnPointPress.net

Happy 52nd Independence Day Jamaica, land we love!

Jubilant crowd at previous Jamaica Independence celebration at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Jubilant crowd at previous Jamaica Independence celebration at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

By Carmen Glover

Kingston, Jamaica: On August 6, the picturesque island of Jamaica, known for late reggae icon Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley, delicious food, a lilting Caribbean accent and a cadre of fiercely proud and ambitious nationals, celebrates 52 years since the country gained it’s independence from the United Kingdom.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

The feeling of pride that infuses the hearts of Jamaicans at this time of the year is boundless. Many nationals, myself included, have flocked to the island to enjoy the Independence galas, festival song contest and other entertainment activities among family and friends.

Jamaica's Minister of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Hon. Robert Dixon Pickersgill.

Jamaica’s Minister of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Hon. Robert Dixon Pickersgill.

Jamaica has nurtured sons and daughters who have excelled on the national and international stage in just about every professional category imaginable. Among the Jamaican stalwarts who inspire a devoted following and interest in the country are former U.S.A. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Colin Powell; Charlotte Hornets Assistant Head Coach and former Knick center Patrick Ewing; track stars Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

NBA Hall of Fame Center and current Charlotte Hornets Assistant Head Coach Patrick Ewing.

NBA Hall of Fame Center and current Charlotte Hornets Assistant Head Coach Patrick Ewing.

Additionally, there is U.S.A.‎ Ambassador Susan Rice who boasts Jamaican heritage through her grandparents; entertainers and activists Sheryl Lee Ralph and Harry Belafonte; musicians Shaggy and Sean Paul and many more who span the professional spectrum.

Ambassador Susan Rice is the United States National Security Advisor.

Ambassador Susan Rice is the United States National Security Advisor.

While Jamaicans have a proud history of achievements, the country still has areas that need to be addressed in order to push the island forward to sustained growth and stability. For instance, the tendency that has recently been embraced of selling off national businesses to foreign investors is distressing and does not bode well for the nation.

Jamaican Independence postage stamp from 1962.

Jamaica Independence postage stamp from 1962.

Also, the incidence of crime, an issue which has plagued the island for decades, needs a feasible solution. The fact that the country is experiencing a drought since May, prompting the imposition of a water restriction by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill, dampens the spirit a bit.

2013 World Athlete of the Year Award winners Usain Bolt (l) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (r).

2013 World Athlete of the Year Award winners Usain Bolt (l) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (r).

Nevertheless, these are exciting times for Jamaica as it ‎celebrates 52 years as an independent nation. The country’s motto “Out of Many, One People,” resonates deeply as the genuine warmth and passion of Jamaicans shine through from the moment a visitor or returning native lands on Jamaican soil.

Popular reggae singer and Grammy Award winner Shaggy is actively involved in social issues in Jamaica.

Popular reggae singer and Grammy Award winner Shaggy is actively involved in social issues in Jamaica.

In my case, being here for the Independence celebrations after a long time away evokes a flood of pleasant memories of a carefree childhood filled with summer excursions to the beach in Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. As I retrace those steps with my family, I am grateful to be home and proud as ever of my rich heritage. Happy Birthday Jamaica, land we love!–OnPointPress.net.