'GANGUNJAH' the man of many names and titles

No. 60 Monday, March 1, 2010
When he was first introduced to the Montego Bay entertainment fraternity, he was known as Nevadye (Never Die) because of his indomitable spirit to survive the curse of the dancehall which has witnessed many untimely ends to the career of many of its icons. It was his ever-changing opinions and philosophies on life that made him change his name to Ganguhgeh.

   After another era, he is now known as Gangunjah. However, on his birth certificate are the name Windell Fabian O. Stennett. When he later became a Rastafarian Ethiopian Orthodox by faith, he was sealed with the baptismal name Ahadu Amlak which means 'One The Holy One Of God'. His mother never gave him his names for granted. She called him Windel because it means basket or Angel of Mercy and Death; Fabian means cautiously persistent and is also a social order dedicated to changing society slowly. Before his music sojourn, he was also known as Rubyn James.
   Interestingly, through his long and winding career, some journalists who appreciate his struggles and perseverance have described the Cornwall College graduate as 'multi-faceted, gifted and black, brilliant and talented'.
   The former National Water Commission (N.W.C) employee and winner of N.W.C's Islandwide Talent Contest 1995 has to date performed with incredible energy on Reggae Summerfest Blast Off 1993; Crystal Spring Resort alongside Errol Lee and the Bare Essentials Band; Assylum Night Club; Red Bones Cafe Calabash Festival 2005; Tastee Talent Finals 2005; Hotel Splash 1998; Jamaica Talent Festival 2004; Profound Glory 1, 2 & 3; U.W.I. Pre­-Spectrum Bash 2003; Rastafarian Annual Coral Gardens Incident Celebration 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2000; Dance Fever Part 1 & 2 at Disco Inferno Resort in Montego Bay (to mention some).
   In 2007, the University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica) conducted a series of lectures called 'Those Who Reside And Live Abroad' hosted by Professor Guttzmore. The legendary guitarist and producer of Steel Pulse Grammy-winning album 'Earth Crisis', Barbadian-born musician Jimmy Senyah Haynes was the guest per­former. Gangunjah performed on the night's event as co-performer alongside Haynes and the response was awesome. Gangunjah was also featured in the lead advertisement for Rising Star 2005 as the 'Ras' with the walking stick. He was also given the golden opportunity of an interview on Irie FM's Entertainment Buzz hosted by Ron Muschette and Andrea Williams. Roots FM 96, gave him a one-hour interview on Owen Pearson's show, 'Poetry & Motion'. In 2002, he then released his promo demo CD, "the Seer"; this was made specifically for media journalists and radio stations.
   On March 29, 2004 the C.P.T.C. invited him to participate in the filming of lyrical speaking, a poetry video concept with host, Mutabaruka. This video concept was directed by Judith Alberga and also featured Tarus Riley, Ras Rod, Nobby Natural, Ifarta, Gleaner journalist Mel Cooke and the Houston poets from U.S.A. among others.
   Gangunjah was also featured several times in the Gleaner, Star, the Western Mirror, the HardCopy entertainment magazine and the Northcoast Times. Gangunjah, at Calabash 2005 (at Treasure Beach), reportedly brought the house down (so to speak), as he per­formed in the open mike selection on Sunday, the final day of the 2005 Festival. He is also a certified Tastee Talent contest semi-finalist and was awarded the sectional prize for Best Original Costume in the Montego Bay leg of the Tastee Talent Finals 2005. He was placed third in Red Bones Poetry and Writers Award 2006, for the category of Poet of the Year.
   Amazingly, Gangunjah has spent a lot of time researching his family roots and has come up with an interesting finding, He has discovered that he is a blood relative to Cudjoe, Marcus Garvey, Jimmy Cliff, Garnett Silk, Peter Tosh, the late legendary singer Brent Dowe, Ernie Smith, Anthony Cruz and the famous West Indian fast bowler, Uton Dowe. His great, great grandfathers, William Reid and William Stennett (a.k.a. Becky James) were both hanged with Samuel Sharpe during the Kensington Rebellion. His great grandfather, Simon Marston, survived the onslaught and his great, great grandmother, Esther Nathan, was a Sioux lioness warrior. His grandfather; Theodore Stennett married Isabella Garvey, the sister of Marcus Garvey (Snr).
   Gangunjah hails from Tangle River, formerly Black River Road: one of the several districts, that make up what was then called Trelawny Town Maroon Settlement. The Tangled forest, as it was then known, was a very significant and decisive battleground in the first, second and the Sam Sharpe led Maroon wars which all resulted in the indigenous Maroons defeating and annihilating the British army.
   He has gained over five C.X.C. subjects, certificate in Voice & Speech for radio, television and platform purposes and certificate in sound recording techniques and also a certificate from the World Health Organization (G.T.Z.) for outstanding contribution to Jamaica Aids Support, certificate of Outstanding Performance from the National Youth Service, as well as certificate of Participation from the Tastee Talent Competition Board for performance in Tastee's semi-final 2005. He also serves as House Father: a member of the Camp's Management Team and was a former National Water Commission and Ministry of Education employee with over 15 years experience in the field of customer service, sales and entertainment.
   There seems no end to his multi-faceted talents because he is also known to many as a playwright, farmer, M.C., Herbalist, dub­poet, radio presenter, eulogist, motivational speaker, historian, philosopher, statesman and freelance journalist.
   According to the former Heineken Green Synergy Champion D.J. Pauly from St. Martin, "I play Gangunjah Nevadye's song, 'Crystal Bawl' ever so often; it is regularly requested and rotated on my programme here in St. Martin: Crystal Bawl is surely a bomber. Gangunjah was also given a live 25 minute interview on D.J. Pauly's radio programme via telephone line St. Martin/Jamaica.
   Gangunjah's recently-released debut album entitled the Seer Still Choppin', is now available and ready and features tracks like Money Cuffy, Card Madness, Dem No Teach I (Marcus), Deabeng, Politician, Crystal Bawl, Crystal Ball (Remix), Oh Mama, Ticky Picky, Battlefield, Naah Dweet & Hungry A Bite.

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