Guyana Diaspora

'89 percent of Guyana 's graduate population live and work in the 30 relatively rich countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -"Fruit that falls far from the tree",
The Economist, 03 November 2005'

It is estimated that there are as many Guyanese living overseas as they are in Guyana
They are spread out far and wide to almost every country on the planet
This blog was created to chronicle the news and and stories of the Diaspora

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Reggae Queen

This Guyanese born dreadlocked singjay is a graduate of Trebas Institute where she received her diploma in Recorded Music Production and Multimedia and also is the proud owner of her own music label “DONNA MAKEDA MUSIC” and a quarterly music magazine called “REGGAEXCLUSIVE Entertainment News”. Donna migrated from Guyana to Canada in early 1990 as a worker in the entertainment field.

Donna Makeda is definitely a musical force to be reckoned with. She performed at the Calgary International Reggae Festival – and created quite an impact on the 6000-strong audience with her dynamic and impressive stage show.

With her beautiful and very talented back up dancers ‘The Caribbean Dance Theatre’, she created quite a wonderful spectacle and together they had the audience mesmerized with their stage act.

Donna started singing and performing 25 years ago, her foundation in music came from the church, which she attended when she was a little girl.

She received the Consul General’s Award at the Guyana Awards late May 2004 in appreciation for her steadfast commitment and service to the Guyanese Community, she also walked away with the Female Dancehall DJ Of The Year Award at the 20th Annual Canadian Reggae Music Awards held March 2004, which makes it her 9th award to date.

Donna started out as a dancer; she was trained in Afro-Caribbean Dance, Modern Dance, Folk Dance, Kathak and Classical Ballet. At age 16, she opened her own dance & aerobics school called “Burning Flame International” Dance Troupe.

By the time Donna got to Canada, she had already been performing extensively throughout Guyana with her dance troupe. Singing at that time was just a fun thing for her. Upon siting Ras Tafari, Donna began to take her music more seriously and began writing lyrics and practicing on sound systems, singing at various stage shows and winning many competitions.

Upon migrating to Canada in early 1990 as a worker in the entertainment field, Donna did her first international stage show and captivated her audience to the point where Denise Jones of Jones & Jones Productions decided to manage Donna’s musical career. From there on in, it was just upward movements for Donna. Although that contract/relationship dissolved within one year, Donna kept on promoting herself and releasing her music.

Donna just released her new album entitled “Jah Ah De Rulah” which is a 12-track CD, which includes songs like “Come Into My Life” featuring Prince Everald, a slamming, conscious track, the hit single “Make Love, Not War” featuring Roger B, “In My House” featuring Negus Morris of the Heptones, the ever popular “Folk Song Medley” and ‘Sweet Victory’ (groundation dub). Performing on stage alongside many top artists including Capleton, Coco Tea, Marcia Griffiths, Sister Carol, Culture, Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Michael Rose, Cutty Ranks, Yami Bolo, Anthony B and Louie Culture to name a few, Donna has certainly made a name for herself.

With her bevy of beautiful and flexible dancers (Caribbean Dance Theatre) and her hard-core conscious lyrics, Donna Makeda is certainly making a mark on the national and international reggae music scene. She has been very busy working on shows such as the Jamaica Day celebrations, the Marcus Garvey Day celebrations, The Canadian Reggae Music Awards, The Toronto Street Festival, Irie Music Festival, Afrikadey in Calgary and Caribana to name a few. Donna Makeda has certainly proven to be one of the hardest working recording artists residing in Toronto, Canada.

She has garnered for herself eight Reggae Music Awards including “Top Reggae Newcomer” in 1993, “Top Reggae Dancehall DJ" (female) in 1995, 1996 and 1999 and 2003 and “Top Reggae Music Video (for her video “Jah Great Woman”) in 1995 from the Canadian Reggae Music Awards. An “Arts & Entertainment Award” for her contribution to the Arts from her home country – Guyana in 2000, and an “Artistic Award of Excellence” from the Inter-City Multicultural School of Excellence Reading Club in 2001. Donna has performed extensively in Canada in places like Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary, also internationally in Barbados, Guyana, New York and Jamaica.

Her song “Sweet Victory” was #1 on the reggae charts in Miami for eight weeks while “South Africa” (from her CD “Who Can Endure” released 1998) was following closely at #2. “Jah Great Woman” also enjoyed much airplay and was #1 in Miami for six weeks. The “Jah Great Woman” music video, which was done with the help of Videofact, was on high rotation on Much Music and played in countries like Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and New York on selected programmes. Donna Makeda signed a licensing deal with Amiata Records in Italy for the remix of her song “Life Story” and also was involved in many stage plays where she performed as an actress, dancer and singer.

She also starred in a Documentary film called “Roots Daughters” alongside Judy Mowatt and that film is constantly being aired on television throughout the world. Donna Makeda released a 45’ (vinyl) with two tracks namely “Jah Ah De Rulah” and “Wonder Weed” in October 2003, which were pre-releases from her new album. She also released another music video “Who Can Endure” which was done with the help of Trebas Institute and just finished editing her new video entitled “Make Love Not War” (another single from her new album), alongside Roger B, which is soon to be released to television. The National Film School here is doing that project in Toronto, Canada.

Since 1993, this multi-talented, multi-award winning and indefatigable artist has released two full length CD’s entitled “Who Can Endure” and “Jah Ah De Rulah”, two cassette-albums (Who Can Endure & Sweet Victory), two vinyl-singles (Sweet Victory & Jah Ah De Rulah & Wonder Weed), one vinyl-album (for Who Can Endure), two compilation CDs with Canadian Music Week and four CD singles (Just Hurry, Money Crazy, Make Love Not War and Family Medley – Part 1). Donna has appeared live numerous times on City TV’s Breakfast Television, Entertainment News, Clip Trip, The Scene, Lunch Television, Rogers Cable 10, Soul In The City and Da Mix (Canada).

This Guyanese born dreadlocked singjay is also a graduate of Trebas Institute where she received her diploma in Recorded Music Production and Multimedia and also is the proud owner of her own music label “DONNA MAKEDA MUSIC” and a quarterly music magazine called “REGGAEXCLUSIVE Entertainment News”.Without a doubt, her voice is her wealth; her intellect a cultural strength, and her stage presence is an expression of royal heritage.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work Donna, way to go. Keep up the good work.

2:19 PM  

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