Jamaica marks 50th independence day

2012-08-07 11:07
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Zuma Exposed
    This book exposes Jacob Zuma, in such a way that he would not want you or anyone else to read it. Now R189.00
    buy now
Kingston — Shrugging off economic hardships and high crime, people across Jamaica proudly wore the national colours of gold, black and green on Monday to mark the Caribbean island's 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Telephone poles and streetlights were wrapped in the flag's colours across the scenic island of less than 3 million inhabitants.

In the capital of Kingston, revellers wore shirts emblazoned with Jamaica's name as they thronged a "golden jubilee village" showcasing the country's history, food and culture.

On the grounds of the national stadium, displays paid tribute to prominent islanders like black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and reggae icon Bob Marley. The air filled with the smell of sizzling jerk chicken cooked in severed oil drums.

By Monday evening, thousands of Jamaicans gathered inside the stadium to watch military marching bands, gospel choirs and homegrown ska, rocksteady and reggae music. South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan were among the dignitaries at the festivities.

The celebration came a day after Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake thrilled the island by winning the gold and silver medals in the 100m dash at the London Olympics.

Athletes hailed

Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her second consecutive Olympic title in the women's 100m on Saturday to start off a historic weekend for her homeland.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who wants her Commonwealth country to sever some ties with the British monarchy so it can turn the page on its colonial past, made a special point to thank the nation's athletes.

"My fellow Jamaicans, across the city of London, with every stride that they made, our Jamaican spirits soared. With every jump high or long, we heard a proud Jamaican roar," said Simpson Miller, the country's first female leader.

But Monday's anniversary was not a reason for everyone to cheer. Some islanders, especially older Jamaicans who still long for the days of stability under British rule, argue that Jamaica has clearly fallen behind in the five decades since it achieved independence, largely due to political mismanagement by the two main political parties.

"Without all the 'politricks' from the parties we'd be a lot better off in this country," said Fitzroy Reid, a clothes vendor.

Opposition leader Andrew Holness said Jamaicans should be proud of their heritage but added that the country needs to do some serious soul-searching to confront its many challenges.

Repression

"We must accept that the quality of life of many Jamaicans remains at unacceptable levels. The images of poverty are very disturbing. Corruption and inefficiency are almost institutionalised in the society," Holness said in an independence day statement.

Jamaica came under British control in 1655 when it was captured from the Spanish. The colony was mainly used to produce sugar, relying heavily on the work of African slaves until emancipation in 1838.

Over the next century, Britain invested in infrastructure, but was criticised for repression of black activists who rebelled over high food prices and poor treatment.

Jamaica moved toward independence in the 1940s, when Britain enacted policies to give its Caribbean colonies greater economic and political autonomy.

At midnight on 6 August 1962, in the national stadium, the flag of the British empire was lowered for the final time and replaced by the gold, black and green Jamaican flag that flies today.

Since then, the island has become a hothouse for world-class athletes and musicians, even while struggling with intermittent political violence and other difficulties.

- AP
Read more on:    portia simpson miller  |  jacob zuma  |  colin powell  |  jamaica
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to let go of expectations and just see where the wind takes you. You are in the mood to make the most of any...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.