Lady Allen joins me in expressing deep regret at the passing of Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford; educator, creative artist and founder of the internationally acclaimed National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC).
Professor Nettleford was well regarded as one of Jamaica’s cultural icons, and his death yesterday (February 2) has left a significant void in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, where he was highly respected.
As a scholar and advocate of African and Caribbean history, arts and culture, Professor Nettleford’s life and work were dedicated to the preservation and promotion of indigenous traditions, languages and artistic forms of expressions. He was particularly seized of customs and mores that have their origin in African ancestry, because of their seminal role in the development of a national cultural and social identity for Jamaica.
Professor Nettleford was acclaimed by many local, regional and international organisations, which diligently sought his advice, recommendations and expertise on a range of matters relating to culture and social development. He was a crucial link to the past, and a bridge to the future for Jamaica.
He has left an indelible mark on the cultural life of Jamaica and the Caribbean that may not be filled. Jamaicans should endeavour to preserve his legacy, by ensuring that future generations are schooled in traditional norms, values and principles that are fundamental pillars of our society.