Jamaica is the fifth largest island country in the Caribbean. The people boast ancestors from Africa, Europe and Asia that have helped shape Jamaica and make it the multi-faceted mosaic of international customs and traditions it is today. ‘Out of many, One people’ is the country’s very accurate motto. Whilst being known for its many beautiful white sandy beaches, Jamaica is best known as a worldwide leader in musical genres from reggae to dub to dancehall all of which originated from the island’s vibrant recording industry. You don’t go anywhere in Jamaica without hearing music in the street!
Jamaica’s most famous son, the legendary Bob Marley, is known the world over and his music was, and continues to be, influential around the world. Time Magazine named his Exodus Album the ‘Best Album of the Century’. The birth of hip-hop in New York City also owed much to the city’s Jamaican community.
While music put the island on the international map, the current stars of Jamaican athletics such as Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are showing that sportsmen and women from Jamaica can compete and beat the best in the world – a remarkable achievement for such a small island.
Sport is an integral part of national life in Jamaica and whilst athletics is what the country is famous for, cricket still remains the most popular sport.
Freddie Martin and Karl Nunes became the first Jamaicans to play international cricket when they appeared in the West Indies’s inaugural Test match against England in 1928.
Since that time many prominent Jamaican cricketers have represented the West Indies, including the likes of George Headley, Jimmy Adams, Courtney Walsh and Chris Gayle. Chris Gayle is currently one of the leading T20 batsmen in the world.
Many other famous cricketers hail from Jamaica’s shores including Gerry Alexander, Jeffery Dujon, Michael Holding, Lawrence Rowe and Alfred Valentine