Ziggy gets concert-like send-off

Entertainment

Ziggy gets concert-like send-off

By Kediesha Perry
Observer writer

Monday, January 13, 2020

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The word celebration manifested itself on Saturday at the thanksgiving service for singer Ziggy Soul.

“The entire service was to the glory of God; you could just feel God's presence. I have never seen the glory of God like that in a funeral service. It didn't even come like a funeral; it was more like a concert,” his widow, Marlene Beckford, told the Jamaica Observer.

Hundreds turned out at Joy Town Covenant Community Church in Kingston, to bid farewell to the 59-year-old artiste who died on December 20 at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Ziggy Soul succumbed to kidney failure, induced by severe diabetes. He had previously lost a limb and was blind in one eye.

In attendance were Member of Parliament for South St Andrew Mark Golding and Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown.

The occasion saw performances by: the Ziggy Soul Ministry Dance Team, Judy Mowatt, Carlene Davis and Junior Tucker, who also ministered to the congregation. In an ode to Ziggy, Davis sang God is Light, which he wrote for her 2018 album, The Assignment. It was also the song she sang for him shortly before he died.

All performers were backed by the Livinkulcha Band of which Ziggy (given name Devon Beckford) was a member.

His widow said she will remember him for his admirable qualities.

“I'll always remember him for his kindness. He would feed hundreds of people in the community [of Trench Town]. I think God allowed me to meet such an Angel, before He took him to Heaven. He also had the ability to love and forgive easily. Unforgiveness is a disease itself that kills many people, but he was more concerned with helping,” she lamented.

In 2015, the Ziggy Soul Children Outreach Ministry was formed to help the less fortunate youth of Trench Town. Alongside Glory Music, which is spearheaded by Davis and her husband Tommy Cowan, the organisation helped many children in the area.

Beckford promised its work will continue.

“The work still continues. In the past we would host over 200 children in the community at our after school homework centre. During Christmas time, Ziggy would always host a treat; so this year, I will be putting on the treat for the children,” she said.

In an interview with the Observer last Thursday, Cowan, who was a close friend of Ziggy Soul, said he hoped for massive support at the funeral. He was pleased with the turnout.

“We had about 300 people in attendance. Although many residents did not come into the church; the support was great on the road. There was a band; people were playing his music everywhere and that sort of thing,” he said.

A protégé of Bob Marley, Ziggy Soul launched his recording career in 1988. In February 2002, Queen Elizabeth II visited Trench Town and donated a fully-equipped recording studio to help him develop his music.

In October 1994, he converted to Christianity. Ziggy Soul is known for songs such as Sing It Out, Born Again, Trust in The Lord, and Hosanna In The Highest.

He is interred at May Pen Cemetery in Kingston.


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