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first_imgFrom the moment Jerome Suah’s first song, “Left Alone,” was recorded in 2007, it was received with positive feedback from family members and friends. His dream of becoming a reggae musician was just emerging; and since them, he has never backed down.“It was at that point that I decided to follow my musical career and chose the name ‘J. Younkonde’ as my stage name,” he said.At first J. Younkonde did not realize that being a musician was not going to be a walk in the park or in his case, becoming a star over night. But as time evolved, the young Liberian reggae star put in the hard work required for success.“With all this in mind,” he said, “I instantly got to work, with lots of sleepless nights, each time trying to perfect my musical talent.”After much hard work, one of his biggest breakthroughs came when J. Younkonde started performing for universities and other community events across America, including performances at UB University and the Chadron States College.Finally the biggest moment came when J. Younkonde was given the opportunity to do freestyle with Alicia Keys after getting her consensus to do so on the song “We Are Here.” Not just stopping at this point, the artist has started the year with a new single called “Struggle,” a song that speaks about the social issues in Africa and around the world. The song is making a wave on YouTube.“I feel that my dedication is paying off. As a reggae artist, I’m currently known as one of the best and stand out Liberian artists because of the style of reggae music I do and its powerful message,” he said.Liberia Music Award Foundation Country Representative, Joseph Junior Teah, spoke about him as the LMA 2015 nominee who rocked the stage at that event, and described him as one of the best raw and structured Liberian talents based in the United States, “and the energy he brings to the stage make him unique.”Teah added that the “artist represents change; from Don Bosco life to being a well-defined artist.”Like other Liberian children that experienced the devastating 14 years of civil war, J. Younkonde was separated from his parents at a very tender age. Because of this, he had to experience life in the streets of Monrovia, from one orphanage home to another.He said: “While I was at the St. John Don Bosco orphanage home, I was given the opportunity to attend Feama Community Elementary School and there I began my education sojourn. But not too long when another war broke out, I had to flee from Monrovia to go to my hometown in Grand Gedeh County, my parents’ birthplace.”Years later he was given the opportunity to migrate to New York; where in 2004, he purchased his first reggae album called “Reggae Power,” which was a defining moment on his journey to superstardom.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_img…“inaccurate filing” blamed…payments made late WednesdayThe reshuffling of personnel within various security sector agencies has caused a glitch in the payroll system, thus resulting in a delay of salaries for several members of the Joint Services.Among the agencies affected were the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the Guyana Prison Service (GPS).However, Guyana Times understands that issue has been sorted out and those affected were given their salaries late Wednesday.“I understand that it has been corrected and everybody will be paid, I think, today (Wednesday)… My PS (Permanent Secretary Daniella Mc Calmon) has been handling that matter along with some officials from the Ministry of Finance,” Ramjattan related to this newspaper when contacted on Wednesday.According to the Public Security Minister, the issue stemmed from incorrect fillingPublic Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattanof reshufflings within the affected agencies.“There were some postings and relocations of officers of CANU and some [Prisons] Service people, and that was not done to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Finance,” Minister Ramjattan explained.On Tuesday, a circular from the Public Security Minister, which found its way on social media, was issued, informing the Joint Services agencies that their October salary has been delayed due to insufficient funds.The document, titled ‘Payment of salaries for October 2018’ and dated October 22 – the same day salary was due –, was signed by PS Mc Calmon and sent to the heads of the Guyana Forensic Laboratory; Guyana Prison Service; Guyana Fire Service; the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA); the Juvenile Holding Centre; the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit.It states, “I refer to the caption and wish to regrettably inform you, that there is a delay in the payment of salaries for the month of October 2018 due to insufficient funds as a result of new appointments. The Ministry is working assiduously with the Ministry of Finance to ensure salaries are paid at the earliest possible time.”Inaccurate informationHowever, Finance Minister Winston Jordan on Wednesday claimed that the delays were in fact caused by the submission of inaccurate information and not by unavailable finances.In a statement to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Jordan said theFinance Minister Winston JordanPublic Security Ministry’s payroll was released to the Finance Ministry on October 18, 2018, while a request for 6141 and Virements was received the following day with insufficient information.He went on to say that a request for additional information was satisfied after 17:00h and a letter for Budget approval sent to the Director of Budget on Monday, October 22, 2018. According to the Minister, approval was granted, and the funds released the same day.However, Jordan noted that attempts to import the payroll on Tuesday, October 23 highlighted several errors resulting from incorrect postings during the year.According to the Finance Minister, staff worked into the night to correct the detected errors. He said the staff of the Public Security Ministry were unable to assist in the process with necessary explanations despite being provided with tables and demonstrations from the technical staff of the Ministry of Finance, for hours.The result, he posited, was the inability to process the Public Security Ministry’s payroll to date.Nevertheless, Minister Jordan had assured that the processing of the payroll continued on Wednesday with staff from the two ministries working to rectify all errors and ensure salaries are paid to the joint services.Trouble at the Public Security MinistryThis situation is not the first salary-related trouble the Public Security Ministry has found itself in. In fact, the recently released Auditor General’s 2017 report revealedThe letter circulated to the agencies informing them of the salary delaysthat some staff members have been overpaid by millions, prompting the Ministry to seek help from the Attorney General to recover the money.According to the Auditor General’s report, 10 public servants were overpaid in that fiscal year by $1.3 million. While some of the money was subsequently recovered, some $1.1 million is still outstanding.Monies were also outstanding from the previous year. According to the report, overpayments totalling $2.5 million were made. Some of that money has also been recovered, leaving approximately $1.5 million in limbo.The Auditor General’s report went on to outline that a pay change mix-up with the Central Accounting Unit at the Ministry is responsible for the overpayments. In its recommendations, the Auditor General urged the Ministry to continue in its efforts to recover the money. In addition, the office recommended that the interface with the Central Accounting Unit be enhanced to prevent recurrences.Nevertheless, the Public Security Ministry revealed that they have sought the help of the Attorney General Chambers to recover the outstanding monies.Overpayments of salaries to staff are not isolated incidents. Nor are they limited to Ministries.In fact, hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries were overpaid to staff of the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Administration, and this was flagged by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier this year – a situation which indicates that not much has changed since the Auditor General found in its 2016 report, similar overpayment of salaries the prior year.last_img read more

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