Ellerslie Pen, St Catherine is busily preparing for the release of dancehall artiste Garfield ‘Zebra’ Vassell from prison by hosting a party in his honour.
The artiste, who has been imprisoned for the last seven years, is rumoured to be released this Saturday, September 6. However when THE STAR contacted Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Reese, he stated that Zebra’s earliest release date is set for Tuesday, September 9.
Zebra, who was born and raised in St Catherine, has been incarcerated since 2001. and was sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison for rape, assault at common law, indecent assault and breaching a probation order.
Now on the eve of his release friends of the artiste have come together to celebrate him coming back to St Catherine with a party and concert. According to a promoter of the event, it is entitled ‘Welcome Back Zebra’ it was originally planned for this Saturday. However due to problems with booking a sound for the event, it has been postponed to a later unknown date.
Get back focused
Instead the promoters are using the weekly dance ‘Canal Splash’, the back to school edition, to welcome back the artiste. Canal Splash will be held this Sunday in Ellerslie Pen (which is commonly known as ‘Capture Land’) and it is believed that Zebra will attend. While the artiste might not be so easily received by some after being in jail for years, according to the promoter there are many persons who are happy to see him out and want to see him succeed.
“Yuh done know is our artiste so we have to show him we encourage him, we have to help him get back focused, let him know we haven’t turned our backs on him. Cause I know he soon have hit songs again cause he’s capable of that,” the promoter said.
The promoters for the concert knew Zebra before his big break in the music business and has been in contact with the artiste’s family throughout his incarceration. The promoter told THE STAR that many persons are looking forward to Zebra performing this Sunday.
“Di people can’t wait, him wreck di place already so him can do it again. Wi expect him to be even more successful this time, have more tunes from his experience in prison. He’s capable, naturally talented,” the promoter said.
Zebra rose to popularity in the early ’90s and was immediately noticed because of his similarity to veteran deejay Tiger. His hits included Picture Frame, Rupert and Dem Unfair Eh-No.