Sizzla Kalonji and other reggae artists assisted Dominica with a benefit concert organized by the government of St.Vincent and Grenadines on November 1 at Victoria Park. Dominica was devastated by Tropical Storm Erika, which caused 30 deaths and left hundreds of people homeless. The storm also caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
Artists representing Jamaica for the cause were Sizzla Kalonji, Half Pint, Jah Mason, T.O.K. and producer Richard Breadback Bramwell. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Camillo M. Gonsalves, assured attendees that 100 percent of all the proceeds would be given to the victims in Dominica to aid them in their time of need.
“Dominica has lost 50 percent of their gross domestic product in loss and damage,” Sen. Gonsalves said. “Entire villages have been washed away. So, its not an odd house here and there, entire villages are gone and hundreds of people are homeless.”
Sizzla Kalonji said it’s the duty of artists to use their influence to serve the community.
“It is the duty of artists to do something productive for the people when we are called to do so, especially during times of disaster,” he said. “We have a social responsibility to use our art to help and heal. Although our music is also entertainment, there are many times when it is necessary to use our talent to advance the nation and solve problems when we can.”
This is just one of many efforts by Sizzla to help uplift and empower communities, including his own. Just this summer, he led a month of activities through the Sizzla Youth Foundation with other organizations for August Town’s 177th Emancipation Birthday Celebrations. It included initiatives to unify the community, stop the violence, and open doors for community tourism in partnership with the Minister of Tourism Hon. Wykeim McNeal, MP Andre Hylton, Caretaker Fayval Williams and many community leaders.