Singjay Mavado and international superstar Drake are in the midst of building a learning center in Cassava Piece.
When THE WEEKEND STAR spoke with Mavado’s manager Julian Jones-Griffith he explained that two weeks ago Drake donated US$25,000 (JA$2.15 million) towards the building of the library. The popular rapper shot the video for his latest single Find Our Love in Jamaica in April. The rapper also visited the island prior to that for vacation.
Jones-Griffith explained: “Basically Mavado and Drake shot some scenes in Cassava Piece and struck up an immediate rapport with the people there. He thought they showed him a lot of love and he was very down to earth with them and wanted to do something positive.”
The idea for the learning center which includes a computer lab and a library, according to Jones-Griffith, was one Mavado had plans for so Drake decided to assist the project.
When THE WEEKEND STAR spoke to Drake he commented: “I had a great time when I was in Jamaica and the people of Cassava Piece showed me a lot of love. I just wanted to show back some love by helping out with Mavado’s project on the Gullyside. It’s a very positive move and something I am very happy to be a part of. Education is the key to life so to be able to assist in that process is very fulfilling.”
Two weeks ago Drake gave Mavado his contribution and since then construction has started in Cassava Piece. Jones-Griffith added: “Obviously it’s going to take more than what Drake gave so Mavado has contributed to it and pledges to put more towards it.” Tentatively the name for the library is ‘Drake and Mavado Peace Center’.
Mavado said: “I was born and grow inna Cassava Piece so mi always a look to impact di community in a positive way. We recently helped create peace between rival communities dat is going good, so we want to do sumpten new. We have been planning it for a while, when Drake was here it came up an he wanted to do sumpten to help and we mek di arrangements.”
He added: “We’re grateful for his contribution, it’s a great gesture, he is not even a Jamaican, so for him to do dis and help build a foundation of knowledge and learning in our community is, yuh nuh, appreciated. Odda successful Jamaicans should tek a leaf out of Drake’s book and gi back to di communities from weh dem born and grow.”
For Mavado and his team they are looking to Corporate Jamaica to assist in the project. Jones-Griffith said: “We’re reaching out to Corporate Jamaica which is always talking about transforming the garrison so it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is. LIME has already pledged to give us free Internet connection and we appreciate that.”
The learning centre will be free of cost to persons from Cassava Piece as Jones-Griffith explained: “It’s a community project not a business venture. People from the community are contributing to it from the ground up and are very happy about it.”
Mavado has turned a peaceful leaf of late with a number of socially-conscious musical releases of late including: Messiah, Change Right Now and Can’t Believe.