Grammy-winning reggae star Buju Banton has demonstrated that the moral support he gave to Accompong Maroon chief, Richard Currie during the leadership elections in February, was no fluke.
In fact, the Gargamel, who has declared himself a Maroon descendant of freedom fighters of Moore Town in Jamaica’s east, has put his money — millions of it — where his mouth is, equipping the St. Elizabeth community with two horses and a tractor, to aid the Maroons in their sustainable development and self-reliance efforts.
Back in February, Buju threw his full support behind front-runner Richard Currie, who was seeking to oust then-leader Colonel Ferron Williams and assume the responsibility to lead the Accompong Maroons for the next five years.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Maroon Chief Richard Currie praised Banton’s role in the provision of “two beautiful horses” on behalf of the Government for the State of the Cockpit Country.
According to Currie, the donation will “aid officials to venture across Maroon territories and also to be used for community tours”.
The Munroe College old boy added: “We plan to acquire more horses in the near future. @bujubanton your continued support and generosity in this critical time will be remembered and spoken about by the unborn. Much love to the legend”.
On Sunday morning, Currie revealed that Buju had donated yet another gift to the Maroons of Accompong Town.
“@bujubanton has provided a Tractor and other heavy equipment to help open roads in our community to access farming lands to enhance our food security. We are also creating a car park to ease congestion in our community. We will be clearing lands to build the first government building ‘House of Accompong’,” Currie noted along with images and videos of the tractor at work.
He added too, that Buju’s act of kindness makes him a gem, and of higher integrity than persons who have made empty promises to community members about developing the area in the past.
“The Government for the State of Cockpit Country continues to express our gratitude to @bujubanton for the unmatched generosity to the development of our government and territory,’ Currie noted.
“Many years have passed with promises from others to help fix our roads and develop our community. Finally there are a few people which the most high creator has blessed with wealth who have decided to uplift our people and territory in a meaningful way. Thank you for helping to break the curse of many unfulfilled promises made to the Maroon nation and its people. We will build a society that is safe, clean, and industrious,” he added.
Accompong Town is a landlocked expanse in Jamaica’s Cockpit Country which spans the parishes of Trelwny and St. Elizabeth. It is named after its founder Accompong, brother of Quao, Cuffy, Cudjoe, and Nanny, the leader and founder of Nanny Town, who were well-trained soldiers from the Ashanti area of West Africa.
They had the British militia and slave masters in Jamaica at their mercy in a guerilla warfare, for centuries until 1738, when, after being beaten into submission, the British soldiers yielded. Waving the white flag of peace, they made their way to the hills of Accompong where the Maroons had settled, to beg their chief Colonel Cudjoe for mercy and peace.
Hostilities formally ended by way of a treaty between the two groups in 1739, signed under British Governor Edward Trelawny. It granted Cudjoe’s Maroons 1500 acres of land between their strongholds of Cudjoe’s Town (Trelawny Town) and Accompong in the Cockpit.
Earlier this year, Buju Banton and his compatriot Blvk H3ro mocked Minister of National Security Horace Chang, after learning that he had declared in a radio interview last week, that to his knowledge, “there is no such thing as Maroon lands”.
Chang’s radio interview came in the aftermath of a much-publicized altercation between plainclothes policemen and Accompong Town Maroon Chief Richard Currie in the hills of Bethsalem in St. Elizabeth, a property which Currie insists are Maroon ancestral lands.