Laa Lee makes it count

Laa Lee's Census Seh All A Wi Count is the soundtrack powering Jamaica's 15th Population and Housing Census set to begin September 13.

The energetic deejay presented its jingle and dance at an official launch of the 2022 Census at AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston recently. The audience included Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Minister of Finance and Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke and Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Julian Robinson.

Laa Lee is elated to be part of the project.

"This is a big achievement, especially for a ghetto youth like me... It boils down to good music. Music that is clean. You cyaan lose wid clean music, as there is no reason fi edit it or remix it... Happy music. People tired ah di violence music," he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

Laa Lee stressed the importance of Jamaicans participating in the national census.

"The census is important because the government need to know how much people inna di country so dem can plan properly...so dem can get ah accurate GDP (gross domestic product)," Laa Lee said.

He is encouraging all Jamaicans to be part of the process.

"People always uncomfortable wid giving out dem personal information. The government wouldn't do anything to jepardise a national of this country's rights, so mi encourage people fi tek it," La Lee noted.

The 2022 Census, to be conducted from September 13 to December, by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) will see over 7,500 census takers going into communities to collect information on households, housing quality and other details.

Persons in private homes, hospitals, correctional centres, children's homes, university residencies and even the homeless will be approached by data collectors who will also gather information on age, gender, religion and educational qualifications.

The jingle was written to the tagline for the census, 'Yuh Count, Mi Count, All A Wi Count'!. It also inspired a dance routine which combines Laa Lee's popular moves including Leggo Di Bird and Dirt Bounce.

Holness expressed gratitude for his participation and urged Jamaicans to take part in the census as data collected will be used to guide policies that will ultimately benefit them.

"I was very happy to see Laa Lee here with us using his platform to garner support behind such an important national project. We urge all Jamaicans to participate in the census and assure you that the system is designed to protect your data," he said at the launch.

The data collected from the 2022 Census will be used to inform policy decisions and development of government programmes and services, as well as business expansion and development.

Laa Lee (given name Romario Ricketts) hails from Jones Town in Kingston. He attended St Andrew Technical High and Camperdown High schools, both of which he represented in Manning Cup football and Boys Champs in the 400 metres hurdles.

He got his big break in 2018 when a video clip of him deejaying went viral. Since then he has become a crowd favourite with songs including Tip inna It and Bong Bing.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (second left) and Laa Lee greet each other during the recent launch of Census 2022 at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston recently.
Laa Lee

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