Jamaican artistes head to Africa amidst Ebola outbreak

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 04, 2014

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DESPITE the recent outbreak of Ebola in sections of Africa, and warnings issued by the local health authority, a number of Jamaican artistes continue to work on that continent.

On Sunday last, producers of the televised talent show Digicel Rising Stars said goodbye to judge Alaine for the remainder of this season. The audience was informed that the singer would be embarking on a tour of Africa, which will see her being absent for most of the season.

This is not Alaine's first trip to Africa. Last year, she performed in East Africa and recorded a track with Kenyan singer Wyre.

Another Jamaican artiste in Africa at this time is singer Christopher Martin, who is billed to perform in Uganda today. Like Alaine, Martin is no stranger to Africa.

"It's one of those feelings that you try to pinpoint one word that would truly express how you feel, but you can't really put your finger on the word so it is an awesome... awesome feeling," Martin said of his African reception.

"Growing up and hearing that we're all from Africa and being able to go there and witness it for yourself, to see the people and feel the love it's an awesome feeling. Words can't explain," he added.

The Jamaican Government, through the Ministry of Health, has issued an advisory to local entertainers going to Africa, urging them to be aware of the Ebola virus.

That warning follows on the World Health Organisation's declaration that the virus is a public health emergency of international concern.

Since its recent outbreak in Guinea in December, more than 1,300 persons have died from Ebola, which is transmitted through direct contact with blood, and other bodily fluids such as stool, saliva, urine and semen of infected persons.




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