Buju Banton whose real name is Mark Myrie was given permission to perform in Bermuda by the country’s National Security Minister, Wayne Caines. Bermuda’s law requires that convicted criminals can only enter the country by being granted special permission, even if the felon has already served their penalty for the crime.
Buju Banton will carry his Long Walk to Freedom tour into Bermuda’s National Stadium on August 12.
Caines says he had no problem giving permission to Buju Banton as he is convinced that the Rasta is a changed man and the people of Bermuda needs to hear his message.
“As the Minister of National Security, which includes responsibility for police, customs, corrections, fire, and immigration, I am keenly aware of the challenges that result from the misuse of drugs. As it relates to Mr. Myrie’s particular situation, he has served his mandated period of incarceration, and has publicly said that he wishes to use his personal experience of incarceration as a way to uplift, motivate and help others,” Caines said.
Gaines also said that he is a fan of Buju Banton and supports “any type of personal, rehabilitation, redemption, and social commitment, particularly as we ourselves engage with at-risk young people on a regular basis”.
Gaines went on to say he is confident that Buju Banton will have a positive impact on the people of Bermuda, especially the young.
“Ultimately, we believe that if given the opportunity to perform in Bermuda, Mr. Myrie’s performance will have an exceedingly positive effect on our community. I believe that Buju Banton is a musical, social and cultural icon whose message of unity, redemption, and love make his immigration circumstances rare and exceptional.”
Other governments that have given Buju Banton permission to perform in their countries include Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, the British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Bahamas, Suriname, France, and Germany.