Veteran Jamaican artists Capleton and Sizzla Kalonji brought smiles to scores of faces at the Rose Hill RC Primary School in Laventille, Trinidad, with a surprise visit.
The pop-up, which was done on Thursday morning, was a breath of fresh air for the students, who had witnessed a shootout between two warring gangs just outside the school on October 31.
Police personnel have since stood guard outside the gates until school is dismissed daily, according to the Trinidad Express.
Sizzla offered words of advice to the children, who were obviously smitten.
“Each and every one of you is very important to your family, your country and the society and to the world and what you learn here, you will take to your future,” he said.
“Remember now, no fighting, no quarrelling, no picking, no stealing and no slandering, okay…You will be argumentative about stuff at times but you are a little human being growing up to be a beautiful person and I would not like for you to turn on the path of violence,” he added.
In true Rastafarian fashion, the Express also reported that the Give Me A Try singer reiterated the importance of obedience to the children.
“Be obedient to your fathers and mothers and always be looking out for each other. Do your homework and stay in school and always be thinking positive,” he told them. “You are the future leaders of your country and the world.”
Meanwhile, Capleton and the students reportedly had an exchange through the exclamation of “Jahhh!”
The two are in the country for the Kings of the Earth concert at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Saturday, November 26.
Ahead of the concert, Capleton shared a photo of himself and Sizzla at a local radio station studio, earlier today.
The concert, which will also feature Cocoa Tea and Anthony B, is themed “Return to Consciousness” and seeks to kickstart a movement to address the factors fueling crime in the country.
The promoter of the concert, Matthew Dasent, said proceeds from the event would go towards developing a hotline where people can call and talk to trained psychologists.
“There are a lot of people out here with no ability to communicate with anyone,” he said.
Speaking on the role of music in fueling crime and Jamaica’s broadcast ban on songs promoting such, Dasent said while he believes in freedom of speech, artists need to ask themselves what they are promoting.
“Are you promoting life in an art form or are you promoting violence and extremism? But, at the same time, the artists are singing and rapping about things they are experiencing so it is a thin line. The music is also allowing these youths to make money and feed their family,” he said.
He also questioned what the private sector was doing to address societal problems.
“Everybody always blaming the Government, but what is the private sector doing? Everybody posting record profits but what are they doing with their millions and billions?” he asked.