>> View 2nd Annual Shashamane Sunrise Benefit Gallery

Fashion and Entertainment with a purpose … that was the mission of the night; and to enlighten the audience of the great work Shahamane Sunrise has been doing and continues to do. The 2nd annual Shashamane Sunrise (Trinidad & Tobago) Benefit and Auction was held at the Port of Spain Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency on 21-Aug-2011. Like, everything else Trini, the event started 30minutes late. However, once the stories were told, you couldn’t help but want to reach out and help these under-privileged children as well.

The foundation began back in 2005 when the founders, Dr. Rene Zazou Williamson and Markos Rose met each other in Ethiopia. They had both been visiting Africa to attend the 60th anniversary celebration of Bob Marley. While passing through one of the rural communities named Shashamane, a 12 year old boy approached them but instead of asking for money, he asked for a pen or pencil … surprised and inspired, these two men visited the young boy’s school and decided that they would help by assisting in giving something that could not be taken … an education … or at least the tools to assist in obtaining same. And so, Shashamane Sunrise was born.

Some 5 years later, the foundation has brought similar assistance to Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica and now, Trinidad and Tobago. Video footage of students from the Fishing Pond School and Salybia Government School in Trinidad were unbelievable … these children never saw a high rise building or got a drive in a car. However, with the help from Shashamane Sunrise, they were now able to fulfill their dreams of seeing and doing these things. Assistance was provided via the provision of books and other required tools. Additionally, Shashamane Sunrise was able to enlist a number of professionals in their respective fields to visit the schools … the likes of start batsman - Brian Lara, soca artiste – Macheal Montano, etc.

The ballroom of the Hyatt Regency was not filled to capacity but the crowd was sufficient to have raised some amount of funds for this worthy cause. The fashion show included designs from The Cloth, Zadd & Eastman, Heather Jones, Meiling and Claudia Pegus. It is always a breath of fresh air to see our own local designers take centre stage and never do they disappoint. Pieces from the Meiling collection even made it into the auction; along with some paintings donated by the very talented Leroy Clarke and surfing lessons from professional surfer Che Lovelace. Of course, for the technology enthusiasts, a blackberry touch and an iPad 2 were also on auction, amongst other things.

The performances included African drums, song and dance by Faces of Culture from Fyzabad, Freetown Collective provided a dose of reality in poetry, Brother Resistance reminded us of how important the environment is and Morgan Heritage closed off the evening with some sweet reggae music!

All in all, the fundraiser was deemed a success and awareness was heightened of the increased need for more to be done for the less privileged children of our sweet TNT … TJJ continues to support Shashamane Sunrise via bringing their good cause to the international forefront … 

-Copy Kat Juice

>> View 2nd Annual Shashamane Sunrise Benefit Gallery