Marketing Assistant for the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) Leroy “Wadix” Charles is questioning the call for reggae superstar, Jamaican Jah Cure, to be replaced in the 18th edition of the festival.
Addressing the second WCMF press conference at the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) on Tuesday, Charles pointed out that the artiste has in the past performed in Dominica.
“I can state categorically that right after this incident, I know Jah Cure came to the Krazy Koconuts and I know Jah Cure came to the festival,” he said. “So I’m not sure if it was an issue then and why is it an issue now.”
Recently independent candidate in the upcoming general election for Portsmouth, Cabral Douglas, said Jah Cure should be replaced because he served eight years of a 15-year sentence on two counts of rape, weapons possession and armed robbery.
Douglas referred to the matter as “insensitive and a slap in the face quite frankly to all rape victims to provide a platform here in Dominica to a man who has been denied entry into most countries, who are serious about protecting their woman from convicted sexual predators.”
He also called on all interested persons to let their voices be heard on the matter.
But Charles said that Jah Cure, whose real name is Siccature Alcock, was chosen based on popularity among the Dancehall DJ’s, radio announcers and music shops, noting that they were consulted before narrowing the field down to who he DFC could afford.
“There are acts that we would like but we can’t afford,” Charles noted. “Jah Cure was one of those artistes that were very current in the minds of the people …that’s why he was chosen.”
When asked whether the possibility exists that Jah Cure could be replaced, Charles said that there are “contractual arrangements,” that have to be adhered too.
“As far as I am aware of his bio, he performed here three times after that. So that would be left to the superiors to decide,” Charles said. “I can only suggest that all the comments be taken in good strides and will meet at the appropriate time and decide whether he deserves any action.”
Meanwhile, Charles said the DFC was unable to secure Nigerian group, P Square, for the festival because an increased subvention from the government was not possible and the DFC simply could not afford it.
He stated that P Square is presently valued at $200,000 for performance fee, excluding first class air fare to Dominica.
“An increase in subvention could possibly assist us,” he noted. “But unfortunately because of the global financial depression and the way it is in Dominica and there are other priorities, we were told that at least not for this year.”
He stated that the St. Lucia Jazz Festival was able to afford the Nigerian group because that festival “is slightly different from ours.”
“Over 10 years ago I know the government (of St Lucia) was giving them (the St. Lucia Jazz Festival) $5-million, and our subvention is less than a million,” he stated. “So we can see the disparity between what we can afford and what we can’t afford.”