Buju Banton. (FILE)
HAMILTON – National Security Minister Wayne Caines has granted Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton permission to perform in Bermuda, despite a well-publicised drugs conviction in the United States.
Caines said he had decided to allow the 45-year-old singer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, to visit the island. Banton, who last performed in Bermuda 12 years ago, is scheduled to appear on August 17 at the National Stadium.
Banton was released from a US prison last December after serving eight years of a ten-year sentence for conspiracy to import cocaine.
“As the Minister of National Security, which includes responsibility for police, Customs, Corrections, Fire and Immigration, I am keenly aware of the challenges that result from the misuse of drugs,” Caines said.
“As it relates to Mr Myrie’s particular situation, he has served his mandated period of incarceration, and has publicly said that he wishes to use his personal experience of incarceration as a way to uplift, motivate and help others.”
Caines said his ministry backed “any type of personal, rehabilitation, redemption and social commitment, particularly as we ourselves engage with at-risk young people on a regular basis”.
“Ultimately, we believe that if given the opportunity to perform in Bermuda, Mr Myrie’s performance will have an exceedingly positive effect on our community. I believe that Buju Bantonis a musical, social and cultural icon whose message of unity, redemption and love make his immigration circumstances rare and exceptional.” (CMC)