While acknowledging the support and encouragement received over the year, the Jako Productions Team conveyed greetings for “a blissful and bountiful 2023… and for allowing us to be of service throughout the years”.
Notably, the production team listed several events that occurred “on the cultural front (and) quite a few bright lights adorned the 2022 St. Lucian sky”.
Among the persons recognized were; filmmakers, artists, musicians and public/motivational speakers, and business enterprises.
Pioneering Saint Lucian Film Maker, Mathurine Emmanuel, released her fifth movie, Shantaye’s World, and her debut novel based on the movie.
Former cabinet minister, Dr. James Fletcher, established Two Cents Tuesday, a timely, informative, and thought-provoking weekly video blog that further cements his status as a leading Saint Lucian public intellectual.
On the musical front, Luther François, perhaps the Caribbean’s best jazz musician and the greatest musician to come out of St. Lucia, was awarded France’s Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. Emrand Henry, one of Saint Lucia’s leading gospel artistes, won the 2022 Antigua Barbuda Gospel Music & Media Award for regional artiste of the decade and best gospel soca single.
Saint Lucia gave a stellar account of itself at 2021/2022 Dubai Expo, making St. Lucians proud. Saint Lucia won for the first time the World Travel Awards for the Caribbean’s leading adventure tourism destination and the award for the Caribbean’s leading honeymoon destination for the 13th consecutive year.
According to an official, “With most COVID-19 protocol lifted and having been starved for a couple of years of a carnival fete, calypso, soca and carnival returned to St. Lucia with a bang. St. Lucian authors were quite productive; all told, twenty or more books authored/edited by St. Lucians or about St. Lucians were published”.
Export St. Lucia established Taste of Saint Lucia at Pointe Seraphine, billed as the “first of its kind” and a “one-stop shop for authentically Saint Lucian products,” including books and other cultural products. 758 Books, probably Saint Lucia’s last traditional bookstore, which had closed down during the rage of the COVID pandemic, reopened its doors at La Clery, Castries.
On the regional front, Prime Minister Mia Mortley of Barbados hit a home run for the region when she made the Time Magazine list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People.
Jako Productions and Dr. Anderson Reynolds also had a productive year. Jako Productions published the political commentary, Jungle Democracy on Trial: The Politics of COVID by Modeste Downes, and republished The Brown Curtains, an award-winning novel by Clive Sankardayal. It expanded its website to include St. Lucia›s Public Intellectuals, St. Lucia Children’s Books, and St. Lucia’s Top Poets.
For his part, Dr. Reynolds published several well-developed articles/blogs, and he dabbled for the first time in the world of radio, hosting nine episodes of Conversations with Dr. Anderson Reynolds (on Roof Tropixx Media). All of Dr. Reynolds’ blogs, articles, and radio talk show episodes are carried on the Jako Productions website.
More excitingly, Dr. Reynolds completed his long-awaited book on George Odlum, They Called Him Brother George: Portrait of A Caribbean Politician, slated for publication and launching in February 2023. Along with the book and together with the George Odlum Foundation, Jako Productions conducted a national essay competition in which secondary school students entered essays of 1000 to 1200 words on The Greatness of George Odlum.
Jako Productions has announced the top three contestants, and hence the shortlisted essayists of the 2022 Secondary School George Odlum Essay Contest. The shortlisted essays have been published on the Jako productions website, and the awards ceremony will be held in February at the official launch of They Called Him Brother George: Portrait of A Caribbean Politician.
Following the launching of the book, Dr. Reynolds will embark on an international book tour to include secondary school visits, stops at several CARICOM countries, and stops at various North American and UK cities.
Dr. Reynolds and the Jako Productions team extend “special thanks” to sponsors and collaborators, both corporate and private—Massy Stores St. Lucia, Du Boulay Industries, Theobalds & Associates, General Security Services, Invest St. Lucia, Freezone Management Authority, Saint Lu Woodworking, MSOLE, Cultural Development Foundation, Creative Industries, Export Saint Lucia, and Stan Joseph—for their contributions to the publication of They Called Him Brother George and the Essay Contest.