Coming in hot

Tosh Awards for the deserving

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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For most of his 25-year career, Peter Tosh took a firm stand on issues such as racism, legalisation of ganja and black empowerment. Organisers of next week's gala in his honour, say recipients of awards must live up to the ideals he espoused.

The second Peter Tosh Gala Awards takes place at Pulse Rooms in Kingston on October 18. It kicks off four days of events marking the firebrand singer/songwriter's 74th birthday, and legacy.

Brian Latture, manager of the Peter Tosh Estate, told the Jamaica Observer that considerable thought has gone into who will receive the Equal Rights, Stepping Razor, Legalise It and Bush Doctor awards.

“We're doing this based on what Peter would have wanted. He was serious in terms of being a Pan African, legalising the herb and equal rights and it's important we honour that,” said Latture.

At last year's inaugural awards, Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, Tosh's former colleagues in The Wailers, received the Stepping Razor Award; the Legalise It Award went to ganja activist Ras Iyah V and singer Luciano; the Bush Doctor Award was given to Copeland Forbes, Tosh's former manager; while South African icon Nelson Mandela was first recipient of the Equal Rights Award.

Akayda McIntosh, Tosh's grand-daughter, is executive assistant of his estate. She agreed that the awards are more than just a night on the town.

“It's something we've discussed in depth, it's not something we take lightly,” she said.

This is the third straight year of events recalling the work of the outspoken Tosh, who and two friends were murdered at his St Andrew home in September 1987. An original member of The Wailers along with Marley and Wailers, he crafted some of reggae's outstanding albums in Legalize It and Equal Rights for Columbia Records.

The awards will be followed by the Peter Tosh Symposium at The University of the West Indies' Mona campus on October 19; a concert at Pulse headquarters on October 20 and a pilgrimage to the Tosh mausoleum in his hometown of Belmont, Westmoreland, on October 21.

For the past two years, a number of artistes including Tosh's son Andrew, have performed at the tribute concert, backed by Word, Sound and Power, his father's recording and touring band. This year, the 809 Band will support acts including Luciano, Jesse Royal, Etana, Christopher Martin, Jah9, Jah Cure, Rygin King, and Dre Tosh, Tosh's grandson.

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