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PJ Patterson Says Jamaica’s Entertainment Industry Needs Better


Former Prime Minister of Jamaica PJ Patterson is urging Jamaica’s entertainment industry to design better organizational structures to help manage musicians as they advance in age and in their careers. As reported by

“Patterson, who was speaking at the opening of a reggae symposium organised by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) and sponsored by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St. Andrew last Thursday, says although musicians contribute immeasurably to the island’s cultural heritage, in their old age, many are facing extremely difficult financial circumstances.

‘It is troubling to see aging musicians unable to sustain a reasonably good way of life,’ Patterson said.

‘It is disconcerting, as well, that too often ailing musicians are unable to provide for themselves the quality healthcare we would want for ourselves and our loved ones,” the former prime minister said, highlighting circumstances in which the survivors of musicians have been forced to seek assistance to cover the expense of their funerals.'”

The issue that Patterson raises is not just one that relates to the Jamaican entertainment industry. Entertainment industries across the world typically have no safety net for their artists in relation to health care and financial stability.

As also reported by

“Supporting Patterson’s stance, Sharon Smith, consultant at JNBS with responsibility for the JN Individual Retirement Scheme, said while not all entertainers fail to plan for their senior years and eventual death, many do not prepare because the industry simply does not encourage it.”

There is definitely a need for thought leadership on this issue. Hopefully Jamaica can help to provide the blueprint for the rest of the entertainment world.

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