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Jamaica’s 55th Independence Celebrations

15 September 2017

On 2 September 2017, Jamaica’s High Commissioner, H.E. Cheryl Spencer and Staff hosted a Reception in celebration of Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of Independence in Pretoria. Addressing Guests, the High Commissioner said that in Jamaica, Independence celebrations began weeks before and would normally have culminated on 6 August, the day of Independence.

Photo: Photo: Jamaica’s High Commissioner, H.E. Cheryl Spencer and Director-General of the Department of Public Works – Mr Mziwonke Dlabantu toasting to  Jamaica’s 55th Anniversary of Independence.

However, as 55 is an important milestone and while still a young nation the achievements of the country, which despite its small size, has touched the lives and hearts of many, are worth being celebrated for as long as possible this year. 

In addition, this year has added significance as Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade also commemorates the 55th Anniversary of its establishment. Therefore, the event was also intended to coincide with the celebratory events of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Jamaica.

As the emphasis of Jamaica 55 celebrations was not only on the vibrancy, resilience and strength of the Jamaican people but also their creativity and lively-ness, the evening’s celebrations featured a cultural presentation through which Guests were treated to snippets of Jamaican reggae music, dance, films, poetry and cuisine. Importantly, South African performers were used to sing Reggae music and to dance Jamaican contemporary dance, reflective of the collaborative effort between Jamaica and the Republic of South Africa within the context of the Agreement on Arts and Culture.  

Jamaica’s tourism product was also on show through a video presentation, while the High Commissioner highlighted Jamaica’s achievements as a tourism destination, including being crowned by the World travel awards, the Caribbean’s Leading Destination and the Caribbean's Leading Cruise Destination for twelve consecutive years up to 2016, as well as the World’s leading wedding destination for a number of years, the last time being in 2016. Projections for tourism arrivals to the island for 2017 is 4.2 million visitors.

South Africa’s representative to the 55th Celebrations was the Director-General of the Department of Public Works – Mr Mziwonke Dlabantu who hailed Jamaica for having claimed her place in the fraternity of states as an equal global partner and is recognized by South Africa as a small giant for its contribution to the fight against apartheid. Both the High Commissioner and Mr Dlabantu emphasized that relations between both countries continue to grow stronger and more vibrant through the various Cooperation Agreements and people to people ties.

High Commission of Jamaica in Pretoria, South Africa



October/November 2019











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