Gone but certainly not forgotten. The tributes told the story as renowned Jamaican artist and spiritual leader, Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds, OD, was honoured on the 110th anniversary of his birth in a floral ceremony at National Heroes’ Park in Kingston.
Fittingly, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, led the celebrations in an environment tempered by measures to curb effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Still, it was a case of ‘respect due’, as lead officials from the Culture Ministry and its extended body, JCDC, rolled out with the troops on an evening when shortened curfew hours threatened to slow down or bring proceedings to a halt, with many uncertainties. Fortunately, the spirits lined up on the night and protected the event from breaking any laws.
A member of the ‘Intuitives’ artistic movement, Kapo holds many accolades and is considered one of the greatest Jamaican artists of his time. His work is highly praised, and he was most influential throughout the 1970s. His influence continued long beyond his death in 1989.
“We are grateful that Kapo’s work has inspired subsequent generations to continue revival worship,” said Mrs Marjorie Leyden-Kirton, Acting Executive Director of JCDC, as she delivered remarks on behalf of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Minister Olivia Grange.
She added: “It is important that in today’s Jamaica, where there are so many external influences competing for the attention of the youthful mind, that Revivalism and its deep African retentions still have relevance in society.”
Kapo’s awards include a gold medal from none other than the inspirational Ethiopian ruler, Emperor Haile Selassie, during his visit to Jamaica in 1966; a gold and a silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica and the Norman Manley Award for Excellence in the Fine Arts.