There were five recipients of the inaugural Peter Tosh Awards in
Kingston, Jamaica on October 19. The ceremony took place at the Spanish Court Hotel and was part of a series of events marking the late singer/songwriter’s 73rd birthday.
Nelson Mandela honored
South African icon Nelson Mandela, singer Luciano, Tosh’s former manager Copeland Forbes, backing band Word, Sound and Power, and marijuana advocate Ras Iyah V were recognized.
Kingsley Cooper, co-founder of the Peter Tosh Museum in Kingston, said it was fitting that Mandela receive the Equal Rights Award. Tosh was a passionate critic of the Apartheid system in South Africa that imprisoned Mandela for 29 years. Mandela died in 2013 at age 95.
“The award to Mandela was unanimous, based on the fact that he truly embodied Tosh’s call for equal rights and justice. Tosh died before Mandela, but the South African work was definitely among the lines for which Peter was passionate,” Cooper told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, Tosh’s former colleagues in The Wailers, received the Stepping Razor Award. Luciano and Ras Iyah V received the Legalize It Award for sustained calls for legalization of marijuana in Jamaica, another cause that Tosh fought tirelessly for. Forbes received the Bush Doctor Award for outstanding contribution to the development of the Jamaican music industry.
Several members of Word, Sound and Power were present to accept their awards for recording and touring with the fiery Tosh who was murdered at his home in St. Andrew parish, Jamaica, 30 years ago at age 42. Among the members present was drummer Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis who was at Tosh’s home that tragic evening. Davis was shot in the incident.
Guitarists Mikey Chung, Steve Golding and Donald Kinsey; bassist George Fullwood, keyboardists Keith Sterling and Robbie Lyn; saxophonist Dean Fraser; and singers Carlton Smith and Pam Hall, also received awards.
The Peter Tosh Awards preceded a symposium at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus on October 20, a tribute concert at the Pulse Complex on October 20 and a gathering at the singer/songwriter’s grave site in rural Westmoreland parish on October 21.
The Tosh Museum opened in October last year. It contains several of Tosh’s personal belongings such as his infamous M16 guitar and unicycle.
For recent article on Peter Tosh, click the link: Salute to Peter Tosh