In his song ‘Untold Stories’ reggae legend Buju Banton laments “Opportunity a scarce, scarce commodity in these times I say. When mama spend her last and send you go class
never you ever play. It’s a competitive world for low budget people, spending a dime while earning a nickel…” He has further articulated “Born in abject poverty I know what it is for a child to go without basic needs. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams and lots of determination. Unfortunately, daunted and unable to achieve your destiny, due to lack of a helping hand. For this reason I established the Buju Banton Foundation to ensure those youths have equal opportunities to succeed.”
Denham Town High School alumni and reggae icon, Buju Banton, established the scholarship in honour of his beloved mother Murdine Clarke. Awarded to financially challenged boys, at that institution, who despite hardships, excel academically. Tajay Bailey, is the first recipient of the Murdine Clarke Scholarship. The scholar will utilise the $100,000 grant for procurement of school supplies.
The fifteen year old beneficiary is under the sole care of his grandmother. Since is dad is deceased and mom unwell. Although he hails from a socio-economically deprived inner city community, Tajay is resilient and directs his energies to positive endeavours. An exemplary student who thrives academically. He is respectful to school officials and peers. The reason for his selection for this prestigious endowment.
Tajay was presented the scholarship on Friday August 14, at Gargamel Music Inc. In counselling Tajay, Buju Banton advised “I am proud of you. At your age, a student at Denham Town High School, I recall sometimes going without, due to my family’s financial challenges. Despite this I had great dreams and ambitions of a successful career as a musician and remained focused on that goal. Take all subjects taught at school seriously; especially, writing and accounting. As those will prepare you to successfully function in the working world.” An elated Tajay heartily shared with his musical icon “ I am happy and feel blessed for being gifted the prestigious Murdine Clarke Scholarship. I will remain focused on my studies. As I look forward to serving Jamaica as a meteorologist.”
Donovan Hunter, principal at Denham Town High School voiced “ Our school, more so its students, will benefit from this wonderful scholarship, from the great Buju Banton and the Buju Banton Foundation. We are grateful for his support. Though born in abject poverty, Buju Banton overcame tremendous obstacles to achieve prosperity. Many students born in the same socio-economic situation, are motivated by him. We are thankful that he is a past student of Denham Town High School. One who has not forgotten his roots. We want more former students to do likewise.”