Bermudan minister denies deejay travelled to island

By Kediesha Perry
Observer writer

Saturday, August 10, 2019

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BERMUDA'S National Security Minister Wayne Caines is rubbishing claims that Vershon was denied entry into that country as a tourist, after a concert at which he was scheduled to perform was cancelled last weekend.

In fact, the minister is positing that the dancehall singjay “never travelled to Bermuda”.

According to Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), Caines weighed in on the issue which was reported in the Jamaica Observer earlier this week.

Shuzzr Smith, Vershon's manager, told the Observer that the 28-year-old singjay (given name Kemar Brown) got turned away at the LF Wade International Airport after being told that the BDA Summer Music Festival at Snorkel Park in Dockyard had been cancelled at the last minute, thus making his work permit invalid.

Smith said he was then denied entry as a tourist. The manager demanded an apology from authorities, saying Vershon was a “brand ambassador for reggae-dancehall music”.

However, Caines has fired back.

He said concert promoters had been told “weeks in advance” that Vershon needed a work permit to perform on the island.

The Immigration Department was told last Friday of three Jamaican nationals saying they had come to perform at the same concert, but who did not hold valid permits.

Caines said the three were allowed entry to Bermuda as visitors, but that Vershon was not among them.

He said that there was “no record of Mr Brown (Vershon) in our system”, or of an application for him to perform.

Caines said no Jamaican nationals were refused entry to the island on Friday and Brown's name did not appear on any flight manifests for that day.

“I am disappointed that they have allowed both international and local media to misplace blame on Bermuda and the hard-working people at the Department of Immigration,” he was quoted in the Royal Gazette as saying.

Vershon is known for hits such as Inna Real Life (2015), Neva Happy Fi Mi (2016) and since recently On & Off Switch.

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