The Spanish Court Hotel’s Worthington ballroom was transformed into an Afro-centric, musical playground on Wednesday, January 16, this as scores of celebrities, media personnel, historians, entertainers, and influencers gathered to witness the press launch of the opening leg of Buju Banton’s ‘Long Walk To Freedom Tour’. The tour, set to kick off with a massive concert at the National Stadium on Saturday, March 16, has been touted as a musical reconnection between the Reggae superstar and the thousands of fans from Jamaica and across the world set to invade Kingston.
Arguably his greatest fans, many Jamaicans will feel particularly special come March 16, as Banton’s home country was listed as the first stop on a world tour dedicated to the liberated musical heavyweight.
Indeed, several members of the Reggae and Dancehall fraternity, including Proteje, Jesse Royal, Etana; actors and actresses; business moguls; media personalities; government officials – nearly anyone and everyone from the ‘who’s who’ list turned out to show their support to Jamaica’s prodigal son Buju Banton.
The man of the hour was himself absent from his well-attended press launch, which equally frustrated and excited the dozens who sought just a glimpse of the Gargamel tonight, however, it was not to be just yet, as the artiste instead made a touching video. “First and foremost I wanna thank you all for coming out tonight. For taking time out of your busy schedule with us. I’m not there tonight with you, not in the flesh, but in the spirit,” Buju spoke via video to the audible dismay of many supporters. “On the 16th of March, the National Stadium will be a venue like no other. So many years, since I’ve seen my people and we have exchanged communication spiritually and mystically and on the 16th of March, we’re going to reconnect – and pick up where we left off,” he added.