Dancehall entertainers and Jamaican musicians showed up in their numbers over the weekend to help veteran conscious Dancehall artiste Capleton bid farewell to his mother, Mabel ‘Mama Live’ Downer-Forbes. Mama Live died suddenly at the age of 73 and was a diabetic.
Many of his family and friends turned out for the thanksgiving service as well.
“It was a great service, the government stipulations because of the COVID-19 pandemic meant some family members had to be outside the church, but we understood and followed the guidelines. It didn’t take away from the occasion, Capleton delivered a moving tribute, he did Mama You Strong, and when he went up to sing, no one felt he could manage to sing, but he was great, so strong and powerful,” she said.
She also mentioned that she believed that this was the first funeral service that the Jah Jah City singer has ever attended since becoming a Rastafarian.
“This is the first funeral he has ever attended, the only one I know he has never been to… I am so proud of him because he was able to stand up and show his love for his mother.”
That’s more than likely because of the Nazarene vow that many Bobo Ashanti Rastafarians take when they join that sect of Rastafarianism.
Part of the vow states: “Not to become ritually impure by contact with corpses or graves, even those of family members.”
According to Loop Jamaica, reggae artiste DiMario McDowell performed ‘The Holy City’ and ‘Midnight Cry,’ while Ibo Cooper represented the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) and Third World. Many other conscious dancehall artistes like Luciano, Fantan Mojah, and Josie Wales also attended the service.
Capleton’s mother was a staunch Christian who was a member of the Cassia Park FourSquare Gospel Church. Her body was interred in Watt Town, St Ann, where she grew up.
Capelton, whose real name is Clifton George Bailey III, is 53-years-old and rose to fame in the 90s. He got his big break in 1989, when Stewart Brown, owner of a Toronto-based sound called African Star, flew him to Canada for a stage show alongside Ninjaman and Flourgon.
He was once known for his party lyrics before he converted to Rastafarianism and churned out anthems like Who Dem/Slew Dem and the massive hit Tour. He dominated the early 90s in conscious dancehall with hits like Prophet and Cold Blooded Murderer.