Shuga's phenomenal move

Observer writer

Friday, March 08, 2019

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The launch of Shuga's women's foundation, Femme Phenomenal, takes place this evening at 20A Millsborough Crescent in St Andrew. Activities start at 6:00 pm.

In a previous interview with the Jamaica Observer, the 2009 Digicel Rising Star winner said she was inspired to start a foundation because of her own experience with rape and abuse.

After that article, 'Shuga to the rescue' was published, the singer says countless women reached out to her and shared their traumatic experiences.

“Since the release of the article, the number of stories that have emerged is completely overwhelming,” Shuga said. “I have people sending me messages, sharing their lives with me. Doctors from England, one in particular, explained to me that she was raped in front of her daughter.”

In light of these tear-jerking stories, Shuga implores others to step up and join the cause.

“I strongly believe that if you have some sort of influence on anybody you must try to uplift them. It is very important for influential people to understand that they are role models, so you haffi jus' step up and make a change,” she stated. “People want to know that their role model is not an actor, not someone who just get up and mek up something or have a nice voice, or look nice an' just do something. They want to know that you are real, sey yuh guh through something and sey yuh overcome.”

Shuga says colleagues from the entertainment industry including Romain Virgo, Dalton Harris, D Major, Dwayne Gordon and Queen Ifrica have reached out to her. She has invited them to the launch.

The aim of Femme Phenomenal is to mentor and uplift women and girls who have been victims of abuse. According to Shuga, (given name Mitsy Campbell) the foundation will visit schools and women's centres across Jamaica and have face-to-face conversations with the affected.

According to 2016 statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, 473 women were raped between January 1 and December 24 that year. Nearly 50 per cent of the cases involved children. The statistics revealed that 180 victims were under age 15. Some were younger than five years old.

With today observed as International Women's Day, Shuga believes it is an appropriate time to launch Femme Phenomenal.

“Today the focus should be on women and I think manipulation, rape and abuse should be a part of the focus on Women's Day. We don't only want to talk about the good things, but also the struggles we face and how we fix things. We want our voices to be heard on this issue,” she told Jamaica Observer's Splash.

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