CAPLETON SHARES STORY OF MOVING TO KINGSTON
As a Jamaican, it is not uncommon to hear the statement, “Cuh country come a town.”
That is probably the phrase that many individuals would have used to refer to Clifton George Bailey III, more popularly known as Capleton, when he began his transition to Kingston from Islington, St Mary, at the age of 18 years.
“I came to live amongst family after leaving the plantation [life] come to town; it was not a bed of roses,” Capleton said.
The reggae veteran explained that in his journey to become an artiste, he held many jobs. These include working at Caymanas Park, then the Kingston Free Zone, and finally in the sales department of Lee’s Fifth Avenue in Tropical Plaza.
“Many people would not have known that, but I worked in the children’s section at Lee’s Fifth Avenue for many years. It was the last place that I worked before doing music full-time,” he said.
Following the launch for A St Mary Mi Come From: Come A Town, held at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre on Tuesday evening, Capleton said his career in music did not happen overnight.
Capleton, also referred to as ‘King Shango’, ‘The Fireman’ and ‘The Prophet’, has not only established himself as a reggae legend, but also a philanthropist who created St Mary Mi Come From, a long-running charity show that has been in existence since 2000. The show is being relocated to Kingston.
The That Day Will Come entertainer said, “St Mary mean everything to mi, it is weh mi navel string cut. The show coming to town is not taking anything from the parish, but to benefit it.”
He says the improved concept for A St Mary Mi Come From is exactly what he did after finishing school at the Islington High School (now Horace Clarke High School), that is, ‘come a town’, but he stressed that it does not necessarily mean it is a move away, but a way to create a bond between two parishes.
Aside from St Mary being his place of birth and first home, he shared: “It is the place that I go to as often as I can, when I am not working, to catch fish. Fishing is my sport and it is good meditation to be in the environment, taking in the minerals from the sea. I don’t eat fish, but I like to feel the line in my hands, it is a real joy for me and to use that space to meditate.”
The show is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, at the National Arena and features a diverse line-up of new and seasoned reggae and dancehall artistes, including Sister Carol, Cocoa Tea, Bongo Herman, Jah9, Beenie Man, Chi Ching Ching, Popcaan, Shane O and Ikaya, among others.
Capleton left Islington, St Mary, at the age of 18 to live in Kingston.