Fifty-eight years ago today, Jamaica achieved its independence from Great Britain, a turning point for the nation that would go on to achieve far more than its size and population suggest.
The lowering of the British Union Jack, and the raising of the nation’s new flag – an unmistakable brilliant black, green and gold creation that would become recognised the world over – was a monumental occasion for the former colony.
From taking a stance against South African apartheid by being the first nation to declare a trade embargo against its racist system, to finding global success and recognition in sports, education, music, culture, food and tourism, Jamaica has always exemplified the popular expression ‘likkle but we tallawah’.
Specifically, we have given the world reggae and dancehall; popularised jerk; made Blue Mountain Coffee the envy of all; produced some of the finest sprinters in Merlene Ottey, Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell among others; given way to four Miss Worlds; entered the Winter Olympics multiple times ( like what?!) and continually exceed expectations in all fields.
It’s a testament to the strength, resilience, and determination of a people forged by pressure and destined for success, despite pervading economic and social hardships.
As we celebrate yet another year of our sovereignty and look forward to the future, let’s remember that our national pledge that moves the nation to play its part in “advancing the welfare of the whole human race”.