Category Archives: Health & Wellness

The Trailblazing T`Shura Gibbs

Panache Mag October 2018 D2_Page_01

Interview by Tricia Williamson

Our cover girl, T’Shura Gibbs, has served for almost twenty years in the airline industry getting her start with AJAS Aviation Services then Avianca Airlines where she served as General Manager for Jamaica before joining US Airways as Station Manager for several Caribbean Islands. She then switched industries, moving on to Jamaica’s sole electricity distributor, JPS, where served as Regional Director with responsibility for almost half of the island. After five highly successful years at JPS, T’Shura decided to trade “kilowatts for CBD” and took up the role as CEO of Zimmer and Co. She is the former President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and sits on the Operations Board of Junior Achievement Jamaica, the CanEx Jamaica Advisory Board and is the Executive Director of the I Love MoBay Foundation.

PANACHE: What exactly makes T’Shura Gibbs tick?
T’Shura Gibbs: Knowing that I am able to make a difference in the lives of so many people; knowing that we are creating jobs and adding to our country’s economic growth is enough to get me going.


PANACHE: What motivated you- a former regional director for an energy company to decide to get into the cannabis industry?
T’Shura: The tremendous medical benefits; I first learned about the health benefits of medicinal cannabis in 2015. In 2017 at the CanEx conference I seized the opportunity to participate in the industry after realizing the extent to which the medicine could change and improve lives and what I saw to be a significant opportunity within the Caribbean.

PANACHE: What product/ service is your company Zimmer & Co focused on now? Where can Jamaicans and travellers to Jamaica find them?
T’Shura: Zimmer is a health and wellness distribution business that right now is focused on hemp-based CBD products. Our products are available in pharmacies island wide. Some products require a prescription, therefore, requiring a visit to a doctor.

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PANACHE: Given that your company distributes a range of medicinal cannabis products what has that retail experience been like for you both success and challenges?
T’Shura: One of the biggest challenges is the stigma associated with cannabis and the lack of education from both end users and medical practitioners surrounding the medicinal benefits of cannabis. We have embarked on a campaign to educate both groups which have been effective. We consider it a tremendous success every time we get a story from one of our customers about the difference the medicine has made in their lives. Hearing an individual go from living a life of discomfort and pain to happily enjoy their days and moments after taking our products gives me a huge sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

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PANACHE: What would you say differentiates your business from other cannabis companies?
T’Shura: In Jamaica, many of the companies are focused on cultivation while we focus on finished products. While some are developing the input and commodity that is medicinal grade cannabis and its various extracts, we are focused on finished products and in the process lead the way in terms of educating the medical fraternity and our target audiences about medicinal cannabis, its uses, effectiveness, and medical properties. Additionally, as a licensed distribution pharmacy; we have opted to specialize in medicinal cannabis.

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PANACHE: You’ve received a US $1M investment into Zimmer & Co, can you tell us what that investment will be used for?
T’Shura: Our investment will fund working capital and the expansion of our product portfolio and the markets in which we operate.

PANACHE: What are the challenges you think the industry in Jamaica/Caribbean faces financially/ legally or opportunities that need to be pursued to truly move forward?
T’Shura: The major industry challenges include: banking issues; not enough governmental support for small farmers to enable them to fully participate in the industry, lack of education surrounding growing cannabis for medicinal purposes and speed. This industry is the fastest growing globally and is evolving daily. We salute the recent moves by the Jamaican Government but Caribbean governments on a whole need to move faster and more purposefully if we are to secure the collective benefits that exist for our region.

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PANACHE: How can Jamaica’s formal cannabis market, now in its nascent stages, ensure that everyone (from the ground up) truly benefits?
T’Shura: The legal cannabis industry holds the promise of tremendous economic benefit for Jamaica. First it offers a significant source of additional tax revenues, but more compelling is the transformative power it holds when a fully engaged industry sees the benefit of the job creation and all the attendant economic benefits that come with opening up a thriving economic sector – people buying houses, renting apartments, purchasing cars, eating at restaurants, investing in the stock market, etc. The potential economic impact of this industry to Jamaica and the direct improvement it will make to the quality of lives of so many Jamaicans warrants the attention and focus it has started to receive from the Government, JAMPRO, the Economic Growth Council and other entities charged with driving growth in the country.

PANACHE: What’s your ultimate goal for Zimmer & Co in 3 to 5 years?
T’Shura: We expect to be a major player in the industry shipping products globally and providing world-leading work environment and culture.

PANACHE: We have noted that in addition to CanEx 2018 you are also a guest speaker at the Doing Power Differently Breakfast workshop on October 28 in Kingston Jamaica. Why is it important for persons to attend each of those events that you are headlining?
T’Shura: Ongoing education is key to our personal and professional development. We all have our individual stories and experiences that we can share to help others along the journey of life. CanEx 2018 was a huge success with delegates from 22 countries present; Doing Power Differently is already sold out.


PANACHE: As a working mom and entrepreneur/ CEO how to do balance it all?
T’Shura: Balancing is hard; so I try to integrate the two. I am fortunate to have a strong support system and with the advent of video calling, I am able to do homework via WhatsApp. I have two young sons (and two older daughters) who hang out in the ‘chill corner’ at my office when I am there on weekends. They stop by the office on the way home from school when I am working late and I try to take them to and from school and extra-circular activities as much as I can.

PANACHE: What is your mantra? What motivates you?
T’Shura: Our Vision, ‘Helping People. Changing Lives.’ Is not just a four letter word, it is something I believe in.

PANACHE: Any final thoughts?
T’Shura: Thank you for this opportunity. I hope our readers will conduct their own research into medicinal cannabis and in particular CBD, and talk to their doctor or pharmacist about the benefits of these products.


Craig Harley & His Inspiring Journey

by Denar Brown

When the reality that life is a marathon and not a race hits you, then the little changes you made start having big impacts. To think that 2 years ago I was over 40 pounds heavier, struggling in my career and trying to balance the other aspects of my life as well. Craig Harley is the managing director at Creative House Photography and also an athlete. Craig’s work surpasses horizons and expectations, as he is not only known in Jamaica but internationally. However, the process of building himself has been a really heavy deadlift. Owning a business and balancing the gym is not an easy task, especially when your goal is to compete on a national level for men’s physique. When I just started out, I only worked out 3 days a week, until I moved to 5 days a week and then I stopped for a couple of years. Craig told us in his interview that work became cumbersome and fitness had to take a back seat. The stress from work and family was unbearable. Craig told us that there were moments when he had to just stop where he was, drown the world out and remind himself what he is trying to achieve, what he wants from himself, what he wants to eat… In 2016, Craig’s weight struts down the runway of his life, sporting a brand new 40 pounds of fat. This was a stressful point in my life.

Photography by Dash Productions

Craig lost his father when he was 12 years old, and growing up in the community of Norman Gardens would never be the same. His father was an entrepreneur, and Craig was determined to make his father proud with his business ventures. To do this, Craig created a narrow depth of field for his career, which blurred out the other important aspects of his life: family, friends, and fitness. When you are on the go, working in a fast paced environment and trying to get everything done with only 24 hours in a day, you are more likely to eat food that follows the pace, fast food. Late nights meant late eating, networking meant lots of drinking, everything felt like it fell in place, the right moment and the right time for me to have a drink or to eat the stress away. We were at a Christmas photo-shoot when I accidentally saw myself in the mirror. I looked unflattering; I was so busy building my career up, that I neglected the diameter of my gut. This was not a good look Pull up! Pull up! Lift! Harley’s life needed a change.

Craig Harley: Before & After

Sooner rather than later Craig realized that the work stress would never end, owning a business will always be a stressful job, so when the work stress started again, Craig decided to use the gym as a relief. However, just going to the gym did not suffice, Craig wanted a challenge, something to motivate himself to keep going, to do better, to build himself. With such a drive a need, there is only one thing that you do to push your own determination and cement it in the memory of others, and that is to make a social media post pledging to enter the countries biggest bodybuilding and fitness competition. Craig thinks of himself as a Harley whenever he is training at the gym, powerful, loud and determined. I won’t quit, but I will cuss the entire time. In preparation for the competition, Craig went through 3 trainers, intense dieting and rigorous training exercises. Sleepless nights were replaced by hungry nights as I worked on curbing years of bad eating habits. The worst part of the process was expecting faster results, I felt like I was on the brink of having the life sucked from my body and the results did not match my pain then, but I knew I had to trust the process. The best part of the experience came next, when the trust started paying off and I started seeing the improvements, the joy of stepping on a scale almost became an addition as I took pride in knowing I took some weight off earth’s shoulders.

Since his decision to invest more in himself, business has been better, Craig’s level of confidence has positively affected his professional and other relationships. He has struck a balance in his life between work, family, his mental and physical health. We asked Craig if he could tell someone who is having a similar issue some words of encouragement what would he say? Make the effort to do the work and allow your body to respond. Life is a marathon, not a race, it’s not about when you start or how fast you go but rather how long you can stay in the game. A healthy lifestyle promotes a longer life, take a risk on bettering yourself.

PANACHE Archives: Dr. Lawrence Williams- Paving the Way In The Fight Against Cancer

PANACHE Magazine Archives: April 2011 ¬Exclusive Interview by Tricia Williamson

In 2011, Dr. Lawrence Williams was a Research Consultant consulting at the time with the Products Research Unit at the Research Council (SRC) in Jamaica. He was also continuing his research into natural products for agrochemical and medicinal purposes. In our exclusive interview with him several years ago, he shared insights into his ground-breaking research. In this issue, we’re sharing that story again.

PANACHE: How did you get started at the Scientific Research Council (SRC)?

Dr. Lawrence Williams:
I have a long history with the SRC. It began from my Ph.D. days after I completed my B. Sc, I was told that the SRC had a project where they wanted to explore natural products as insecticides and that was being facilitated through Professor Ajai Mansingh, at University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. I applied for the job and was successful. Later I was informed that the work would count towards my graduate program. I later pursued a Master’s of Philosophy which was upgraded to Ph.D. In 1990. I completed my Ph.D. in 1991 and graduated in 1992. I eventually returned to the SRC as the project supervisor for the Natural Product Unit. After two years I went back to the University of the West Indies (Mona) to pursue a post-doctoral program with Prof. Ajai Mansingh and after completing one year on that program I joined the Anatomy Department (UWI, Mona) teaching histology and conducting neuro-anatomy tutorials.

While in the Anatomy Department, I explored the toxic effects of plants that displayed promising pesticidal potential. I was interested in extracts of the guinea hen weed and a compound isolated from the extract known as dibenzyl trisulphide (DTS). From these studies in the Anatomy department, we saw that DTS had interesting pharmacological properties.

Photo credit:

Dibenzyl trisulphide stimulated the proliferation of cells in the thymus gland which is an immune enhancing organ along with the stimulation of some bone marrow parameters. I later decided to explore the mechanism of action of DTS. Which was done through an Alexandervon Humboldt Research Fellowship program with Professor Harald Rosner at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany using neuroblastoma cells in 1999.

We found that while looking for the mechanism of DTS, it would inhibit the proliferation of the neuroblastoma cells at the micro-molar concentration which suggested to us that it could have anti-cancer potential. And that’s where the cancer work began.

Dr. Lawrence ¬ Photo credit: UTECH

PANACHE: Where are you now with the cancer research that has got everyone a buzz in 2011?

Dr. Williams: We published a paper in the journal “Biochimica et Biophysica (BBA)” In 2001 looking at the mechanism of dibenzyl trisulphide (DTS); particularly how it inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells. Shortly thereafter a group in San Diego lead by Professor Haoyun published a patent on DTS and its derivatives as anti-cancer agents in animals. We later found that when DTS is bound to serum albumin the anti-cancer potency increased by 2,500 fold and this discovery was patented by us.

Now the research is at the stage of exploring the toxic effect of the conjugate (DTS and albumin) in animals. To date, the conjugate seems to be non-toxic, and we are planning to use human serum albumin in the testing. Thereafter we will do the clinical trials.

Photo Credit: Hallsharvestfood

PANACHE: Tell us more about the guinea hen weed?

Dr. Williams: The plant is good for various types of cancer including lung, melanoma, breast, prostate, and lymphoma and that is known from people who are using it. The pure compound is far more powerful than the crude extract. The plant is grown locally throughout Jamaica and is also grown in Latin America, and in some parts of West Africa. It has a traditional history of being used as a medicinal plant from ~the time of the Mayans and in Africa, it is known as a cure-all for a variety of diseases. It is a dark green leafy vegetable- type plant. It is a cowering plant and somewhat similar to callaloo only that it has a spine that grows out of it when cowering.

The plant has several aliases including gully root, guinea hen weed, and anamu. Anamu is the name of a celestial god in Mayan mythology and this plant is said to have that name because of its healing properties it is also called Strong Man Weed in Jamaica.

PANACHE: Do you know it to be used in any roots drink?

Dr. Williams: No, however, it is used in a ritual where they use plants to heal the very sick. It is an African religious ritual and it is one of the main plants used.

Photo credit: Santo Products

PANACHE: What is your vision 10 years from now with this work and the impact of this research?

Dr. Williams: This plant not only has anti-cancer potential but it also has anti-aging properties and this is supported to some extent by the thymus research we have done. The thymus is an immune organ which when it is dying off (atrophy) your body becomes prone to degenerative diseases including arthritis. If we decide to pursue the anti-aging market then we can have a medicine on the market within ten years. We nevertheless will be going for the conjugate as opposed to the pure compound since it is more superior as an anti-cancer agent in comparison to the pure compound and I hope that will be on the market in 10 years. From what we have seen it inhibited the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cells, it is non-toxic and more importantly does not have any effect on non-cancerous cells and seems, therefore, to be selective for pathological cells.

Photo credit: Queen’s University Belfast

PANACHE: In terms of research do you think more needs to be done by the private sector, the government to support the research that is coming out?

Dr. Williams: Yes, research is very expensive and particular the private sector should play a greater role. The government should offer benefits such as tax breaks to businesses in the private sector. In return, the money from tax breaks should go to research institutions such as the University of the West Indies and the Scientific Research Council. I personally feel that the government should look into that as our plants are very important because there seems to be a wealth of traditional knowledge which could serve as leads to the development of our natural products and that in turn could improve our economy.

Photo credit: Stills Branding

PANACHE: What has been your biggest challenge in conducting this research?

Dr. Williams: The laboratory facility is one example, labs for cell culture needs to be improved. I know that Dr. R Delgoda is doing cancer work and has struggled to get the facilities in place and now they have advanced in that pursuit which in itself is a good step. Sophisticated laboratory equipment and qualified personnel are areas that need to be addressed.
Photo source: IamJamaican

PANACHE: We have noticed that you have patented your work, how important is it to protect that intellectual property?

Dr. Williams: It is very important because cancer is one of the number one killers in the world. For example, breast cancer treatment in the United States is a 40 billion US S industry per year. Therefore, if this compound is effective on breast cancer and is non-toxic, as we have seen thus far, this would become an important foreign exchange earner. Thus, from an economic point of view, this protection via the patent was important so that no one can steal it.

PANACHE: Lastly what would you say has been the most rewarding?

Dr. Williams: Getting the patent. That has been the most rewarding milestone…to date.

This story was originally featured in PANACHE Spring 2011 Issue.

All Rights Reserved.


2017 Update:  UTech, Jamaica Adjunct Professor Lawrence Williams Receives Patent for Anti-Cancer Drug 

Dr. Lawrence Williams displays two of his Guinea Hen Weed pharmaceutical products retailed under the Timeless Herbal Care brand – the Guinea Hen Weed Tonic and Restorative and the Guinea Hen Weed Magic Relief pain ointment.  The occasion was a special briefing session at UTech, Jamaica’s Papine campus on Thursday, January 12, 2017, to announce a Memorandum of Agreement signed between UTech, Jamaica and Timeless Herbal Care Limited to support the development of the medicinal cannabis industry in Jamaica.

Twenty eight years of dedicated research on one of the endogenous plants of Jamaica Petiveria alliacea (guinea hen weed) has landed Adjunct Professor in the College of Health Sciences , University of Technology, Jamaica Dr Lawrence Williams and co-researcher Dr George Levy (USA) a patent with the United States for the discovery of anti-cancer activity of the plant.

The invention involves the isolation of the active ingredient dibenzyl trisulphide (DTS).  DTS is classified as a polysulphide mitogen with a wide spectrum of activity including anti-proliferation and or anti-cytotoxic effect on human cancer cell lines.  DTS also acts to stimulate the production of stem cells from bone marrow and thymus with very little toxic effects.

Dr. Williams joined the College of Health Sciences in 2016 and has been involved in plant-based research at both the graduate and undergraduates levels.

Dr. Williams obtained his Ph.D. from the University of the West Indies followed by post-doctoral studies at the University of Hohenheim, Institute for Chemistry, Stuttgart, Germany. He is an accomplished researcher with over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on plant-based medicine.

His extensive research profile had made him the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the 2013 Honored Member for Research, Continental Who’s Who, USA;   2011 Silver Musgrave Medal for Outstanding Merit in the Field of Science (Scientific Research) from the Institute of Jamaica; Induction into the International Biographical Centre (IBC), Hall of Fame, Cambridge, UK (2004), among many other awards.

Dr. Williams’ current work at UTech, Jamaica also includes the supervision of a post-graduate research project on the anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin and cannabidiol and undergraduate research projects on the Insecticidal activity of Neem extracts and malathiam and Antibacterial activity of Neem extracts.


Garth Voisin…Model to Author

by Marshelle Haseley | Photos courtesy of Garth Voisin

Garth Voisin is a US-based writer from the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He is the author of “The Journey Continues- Evolve,” a book he wrote with the hope of inspiring others to dive deeper so they may grow into the better versions of themselves each day.

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Photo by Nathan Pearcy

In his book, he shares life-altering experiences and tips he learned along on his own journey. The book includes activities that require deep introspection—leaving each reader in a state of reflection at the end of every chapter.

At first glance, one’s first assumption would not be that he is a writer. Traditionally, writers seemed to have always manifested as middle-aged scholars, who would seem far removed from most of their potential audience. Voisin however, shows up in the world in a way that could make anyone comfortable and see him as relatable, while asserting himself in a way that effortlessly commands attention and respect.

“My mantra is, ‘Faith has to be more than a fancy saying. Faith has to be an action’,” Voisin said. “I say this because everyone prays, but fail to take actions toward what they want. People say they have faith, but they are afraid to take the leap in the direction of their dreams and goals— not me.”

Garth Voisin- 1

He recently released his second book, “My thoughts on the way over.” He has been receiving feedback proving the profound impact of his work from readers in the Caribbean and US. Readers range from the youth in Trinidad, to well- known actors in Hollywood.

This neo-Caribbean man, who now has the ability to impact a new generation of creatives said he did not see himself becoming a writer. He had options that would probably give him greater financial rewards by popular vote, but he decided to do something to make a deeper impact on a wide scale.

PANACHE asked Garth what he wanted to be as a youngster— he said, “I thought I’d be footballer at first,” after which he laughed. “I then thought I would be a celebrity trainer— writer was not on the radar, even though I’ve been journaling since I was young.”

Voisin said, “Truth is, I had a few acting gigs, and my experiences were not good.”

“I was introduced to some grimy people, and realized I was not willing to give what they wanted from me,” he said. It was as a result of the speed bumps encountered that he decided to change the trajectory of his life.

“So writing and publishing my books (which I had lots of material from writing on Facebook) was the one thing I remained passionate about, and felt good about creating, day in and day out.”

He said becoming focused on one thing allowed him to invest 100% of his creative energies. Voisin said his perception of things changed, and he realized that writing was his passion.

He realised what he felt inspired to share through writing had profound purpose attached to it. His new mindset was therefore to help as many people as possible through writing— if even one person at time.

“My motivation comes from all the things I am still able to do for my family. I’ve always had what I needed growing up, so ensuring my parents are comfortable is first on my list, and the kids having all they need is a priority,” Voisin said.

Asked if he has gotten less than favourable responses. He said, “Funny thing is when I decided to start writing was told no one would want to read my writing, so I should stick to modeling and acting. But I believe everyone will have their opinions— good and bad, favorable and unfavorable. So I guess this serves as my motivation, to prove them wrong.”

Asked how he balanced writing with modeling and personal training, Voisin said it took time, but he learned along the journey. He learned to not only seek balance, but to learn how inject his energy into one thing at time, and said this practice takes some tunnel vision at times, but by doing things fueled by passion he remains consistent and persistent in spite of how challenging they may be at times.

In closing the interview, PANACHE asked Garth a few more questions:

PANACHE: What inspired you to work on another book?
Garth: The Journey itself is inspiration. I really think that we’re put here to have experiences, good and bad, and we should share them with the ones that haven’t had them as yet. I think I just attached a purpose to my passion.

PANACHE: How has it been, making an impact on a larger scale?
Garth: It feels great! The idea behind the Journey is to share it with at least one person— and if that helps make a difference, then my job is done. So therefore, helping on a larger scale means you can’t feel anything but great about that.

PANACHE: Does being from the Caribbean make a difference in how you see life?
And does it affect how people interact with you?
Garth: That’s a great question. Being from the Caribbean does make a difference in how I see life, and how I think about where I’d like to be. I have an appreciation for how I grew up in Trinidad and the interactions with people. It’s where I learned the idea of family and community— which is ingrained in me. As for how people interact from me, it does make a difference. It’s a great conversation starter, once they hear the accent. People seem to have less walls up as their questions are initially directed toward finding out which island I am from, and how the beaches are there—or at what point of the year we’re having Carnival (hahaha).”

Garth Voisin is a man who may be generally prejudged based on his physical appearance, but he passionately continues to prove onlookers wrong along his journey by seeking to become his best self—mind, body and soul. While seeking to become his ultimate self, Voisin retains passion for inspiring others to acknowledge their innate right as human beings to do the same.

Asked what he would tell his 18- year-old self, his response was, “Don’t worry, everything will fall into place. Keep being consistent, and keep the faith.

A Celebration of Sisterhood at the 2018 Essence Festival

Photos courtesy of the Essence Festival

The National Urban League hosted its first “Women in Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” luncheon at the Essence Festival last week, providing attendees with a spirited and empowering experience. The event included an intimate conversation with twelve-time Grammy®-nominated artist Ledisi, moderated by NYC’s 107.5 WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu, an inspirational moment with five-time Grammy® award-winning gospel singer Erica Campbell, and a performance by R&B star Keke Wyatt.

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Actress Kim Fields, 107.5 WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu, r&b songstress Ledisi, and Roc Nation artist Victory Boyd pose for a photo on the red carpet at the National Urban League’s “Women In Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” Luncheon at the 2018 Essence Festival on July 6, 2018.

The luncheon kicked off with NUL executive Rhonda Spears Bell, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, welcoming the excited crowd. Wanda Jackson, National Urban League SVP & Chief Talent Officer, then took the stage to introduce WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu and twelve time Grammy®-nominated vocal powerhouse Ledisi to a huge round of applause. Moderated by Déjà Vu, the luncheon attendees were then treated to an intimate conversation with Ledisi who talked about some of the prevalent issues professional African American women face today. Speaking to the importance of celebrating sisterhood, Ledisi offered the festivalgoers insight and advice through her own experience as a rising star in the entertainment industry. She then answered a more light-hearted round of personal questions about her day-to-day life, much to the delight of attending fans.

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National Urban League’s “Women In Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” Luncheon at the 2018 Essence Festival on July 6, 2018.

Photo Credit: Jennifer DeTiege/Red Carpet Images

Following Ledisi, five-time Grammy® award-winning gospel artist Erica Campbell delivered an impassioned speech to the audience about the inherent strength and power that comes through sisterhood. The enthralled crowd listened closely as she spoke about motivation, mentorship and the importance of helping one another succeed. The luncheon then capped off with National Urban League CEO and President Marc H. Morial speaking to the crowd before an exhilarating performance by popular R&B songstress Keke Wyatt, who performed three songs, “If Only You Knew;” “Nothing In The World;” and “Y.O.U.” Other attending celebrities and influencers included actress Kim Fields, BET co-founder and Nopsi Hotel owner Sheila Johnson, supermodel Beverly Johnson, Roc Nation artist Victory Boyd, actor and choreographer Darrin Henson, and fashion stylist Memsor Kamarake.

MIIEGO AL3: The Perfect Fit for a Busy Lifestyle


Today we are reviewing the Miiego AL3+ Freedom for women. First of all the presentation of the box is beautiful, the colours on the box are a true representation of the device contained inside, this is the Rose Gold Edition.

Opening the box we were presented with a really nice and sleek looking headphone, the headphone has smooth rose gold earpieces and a black flex wire that goes around the back of the head. The headphone really easy to set up and use, it fits easily on your head and gives a nice snug feeling which makes moving about very easy and worry-free. We took the headphone into the gym where we had our model go through a workout process with the headphone, it was perfect; through her spin class, outdoor obstacles and even her weightlifting session.

We would definitely give the Miiego AL3+ Freedom for women a 10 out of 10, this genius way of getting headphones to stay firm and comfortably on your head while going through your everyday activities. The battery life is really amazing, now let us talk about sound quality; on par with most of the expensive brands out now, it almost gives you a sense of noise cancelling but it’s not full noise cancelling but that is how good these headphones are. Sweating in your headphones is no longer an issue the covers for your headphones easily absorbs your sweat and give you a dry and comfortable fit for all your sweaty situations.

We would recommend the Miiego AL3+ Freedom to our female readers, so go out and get this headphone as a part of your new gym accessory. A word to Miiego, men are into rose gold too, so you guys could look into a male branded packaging in the future.


Kaya & Jamaica’s medical ganja industry

Jamaica’s medical ganja industry takes ‘historic step’ with Kaya

Chairman of Kaya Farms, Balram Vaswani, has said that sister company, Kaya Herbhouse is set to officially open its doors in March to the Jamaican public and visitors to the island, who are interested in sampling its offerings of medical marijuana and related products.


In making the announcement on Tuesday, Vaswani said persons wishing to purchase ganja and ganja products must comply with one of four regulations.

“We remain in compliance with the rules enacted by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), and persons will be able to legally purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes while also being able to experience the Kaya Herbhouse and Kaya Café,” Vaswani said in a press release.

The development comes as Vaswani’s Kaya Farms – which is home to the country’s first legal medical cannabis dispensary – harvested its first crop.


The first official ‘cut’ and harvest took place on Tuesday in the presence of Augustus Staples, Chief Executive Officer of the CLA, at Kaya Farms in Drax Hall, St Ann.

According to a press release, the plants from the harvest will be cured, trimmed and packaged for sale to Kaya Herbhouse in St Ann for the first sale to medical patients, and ‘Everything Oily’ for processing. This it said satisfies the tripartite agreements signed to ensure a closed loop system for the sale of marijuana as enacted in the Dangerous Drugs (Cannabis Licensing) Regulations.

The press release said the regulations allow for the sale and use of ganja for specific reasons, namely in accordance with the written recommendation or prescription of a registered medical practitioner, for consumption on the premises or for the provision of therapeutic services utilising ganja.


“I am truly honoured as a Jamaican to make the historic step where our country can finally monetise on this industry as Europe, Australia, India, China, and the US have already done,” said Vaswani.

According to the release, Kaya’s goal is to make Jamaica the flagship of the global wellness tourism industry and become the new symbol of the island’s roots and lifestyle.


‘Got To Have Kaya Now’ – Marley Son Advocates With Bob’s Slang

In the 40th year since the release of Bob Marley’s romantic album Kaya, the legend’s slang for cannabis has become a branding tool in the ongoing campaign to legalise the herb. Many of the sons of the global reggae icon have put action to Tuff Gong’s long-standing cannabis advocacy.

Rohan Marley of Marley Coffee (left) and Balram Vaswani, chairman of Kaya Inc, cutting the ribbon to the Kaya Café at the grand opening, recently.

Stephen, Ziggy, Ky-mani, Julian, and Damian Marley will headline the second annual, all-ages Kaya Fest, named after the 1978 album. The music festival relocated from Miami, Florida, to San Bernardino, California, where the festival can benefit from the state’s legalisation of cannabis for recreational use. The two-day concert will also feature guests Toots and the Maytals, Lauryn Hill, Cypress Hill, and Tom Morello.

“He would be at the forefront of this movement for people to know the herb. It’s in his nature, where he come from,” Stephen said in an interview with Rollingstone Magazine. In 2016, the family launched Marley Natural, a name brand for various strains of cannabis, pipes, hempseed body wash, and other products.


“You see marijuana becoming legal. You see his legacy has taken on more importance because of what he has been telling people for years. ‘Hey, I told you so!’ So the legacy has grown another step,” Damian added.


Also making bold moves is the entrepreneurial son, Rohan Marley. As of last weekend, Ocho Rios, St Ann, became home to Kaya Farms, the first legal medical cannabis dispensary in the English-speaking Caribbean. Kaya Farms and sister companies Kaya Herbhouse, Kaya Spa, Kaya CafÈ, and Kaya Tours plan to offer a variety of services for Jamaicans and tourists, including the sale of marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.

Participating in the grand opening event last weekend was Balram Vaswani, chairman and chief ganja officer at Kaya Farms and his associate Rohan, chairman of Marley Coffee.


“It’s great when what is naturally produced here, the herb, can become a business and drive the economy. So it’s never too late, and that’s why it’s happening right now,” Rohan said during the launch. He accompanied Vaswari in the official ribbon-cutting ritual.

“For me, the journey has been extremely long. This is an economic change for Jamaica. With this product, we have a chance for it to be a product of Jamaica, made in Jamaica, where we can control the start to finish. This could be an export. This can bring in revenue and wealth creation and help small farmers all the way up to large companies – not only farmers but auxiliary businesses, carpenters, plumbers, bartenders, etc,” Vaswani said.

Guests are welcome to tour Kaya Farms and its processing facility and kick back inside Kaya CafÈ, which exclusively carries Marley Coffee.


Guests to Kaya Farms are able to purchase various strains available and legally purchase medicinal marijuana, once proper documentation as required by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has been provided. The regulations outlined by the CLA allow for the sale and use of marijuana in limited quantities and for specific reasons, namely, in accordance with the written recommendation or prescription of a registered medical practitioner, for consumption on the premises, or for the provision of therapeutic services utilising ganja.

Kaya Farms’ grand opening closed with a concert featuring Ky-mani Marley, Keznamdi, Jah 9, and Toots and the Maytals.


Ganja Company Kaya To List On Toronto Stock Exchange

Kaya Inc, a licensed ganja business in Jamaica that opened its first ganja cafe in Ocho Rios in March, is going public in Canada and will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Under the transaction, Kaya will enact a “reverse takeover” with a listed company called Buzz Capital.

The takeover also comes with a separate plan to raise CAD$8.5 million of which CAD$5.5 million is being sought from institutional investors, while another entity called HIKU Brands has already agreed to provide backing of CAD$3 million, said Kaya Inc CEO and founder Balram Vaswani.

The Kaya brand is framed on a shirt worn by Owen ‘JahJah’ Warren, chief grower at Kaya Farms, during the March 10 opening event for Kaya’s operations in St Ann. Kaya is merging with another company called Buzz Capital and will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The listing is being preceded by a series of transactions, which will see Kaya merging with Buzz. The latter company was formed in 2017 and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in the same year, with the intent of being utilised as a vehicle for a takeover.

Buzz issued a letter of intent about the transaction earlier this month indicating that the companies would finalise their negotiations and secure a deal by April 15. It will result in Kaya shareholders owning nearly nine-tenths of the amalgamated shares.

Vaswani told the Financial Gleaner that the ganja authority in Jamaica was abreast of the dealings to list overseas.

“All contemplated transactions are subject to oversight and approval of the Cannabis Licensing Authority. This includes both Jamaican ownership and directorship exceeding 50 per cent at all times,” he said.


“We will continue to work with all governing bodies as we continue to build a Jamaican brand that can extend beyond the shores of our island. This will give all Jamaicans access to invest and participate in a transparent regulated industry,” said the ganjapreneur via email.

The structure of the takeover deal involves Buzz enacting a reduction in its ordinary shareholding from 8.2 million to 4.1 million units followed by a name change from Buzz to Kaya Inc; then the exchange of all issued and outstanding shares of Kaya for common shares of the resulting entity; followed by the exchange of all issued and outstanding Kaya options and warrants for shares of the new entity.

The resulting company is expected to have 43 million issued shares “of which approximately 89 per cent will be held by the current shareholders of Kaya, and 11 per cent by the existing shareholders of Buzz”, according to a press release on the transaction.


Kaya reaped the first legal harvest for sale last month in the presence of the Cannabis Licensing Authority. This harvest will feed the stock of the store or herbhouse, the first of which opened in St Ann.

The costs associated with the development of the cafe, dispensary, and farm to date have surpassed J$76 million.

Shaggy & Friends…Making A Difference

In 2001, Shaggy was introduced to the Bustamante Hospital for Children whilst visiting a friend’s son who had been admitted there. He was so moved by what he witnessed, that he vowed to do whatever he could to make things better there for our nation’s children.

Jump ahead to 2018 and Rock music legend Sting and Haitian American musician Wyclef Jean were among the international stars that performed at the 2018 Shaggy and Friends Concert, held January 6 on the lawns of Jamaica House in St Andrew. This benefit concert was hands down one of the best shows in Jamaica and the Caribbean. From the decor to the food and drinks to the overall experience Shaggy & Friends is a must-see event that is in aid of a worthy cause.

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SPECIAL THANKS for the photography by Steve James of Semiyah Photography

Having been a staunch supporter of this charity over the years, it is truly amazing to see how this concert has grown over the years. Nevertheless, the mission to make a difference continues unwavered. As Shaggy shared on the night about the concert, this article too is not about promoting a show. Our goal with our support is to help the foundation raise awareness and get donations in so we can meet or even better surpass the goal of raising $100Million for the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Also hitting the stage for free were a number of local and Caribbean stars in an effort to help the struggling government-run hospital acquire vital equipment to save the lives of children in the ICU. They were Jodi Rockwell, Romaine, Ity & Fancy Cat, Christopher Martin, Aidonia, Dexta Daps, Junior Reid, Shenseea, Barrington Levy, Third World, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Capleton, Professor Nuts, Wayne Wonder, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons.

The following was republished from
The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation (SMADF) will once again donate all the proceeds from the concert to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

According to co-producer of the show, Rebecca Packer-Burrell, Shaggy’s wife, funds from this show will be used to increase beds in the ICU of the hospital, which is the only full-service children’s hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.

At the launch on Wednesday, at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Shaggy appealed for support of the venture, stating that each ticket will save one life.

He said the venture started as a means of him giving back each year until he realised that it was more than he could give personally, after which he was advised to start the SMADF.

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In outlining the needs of the hospital, Dr James, Head of The Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the hospital, gave an example of the little boy who came in with his organs failing and would have died, if it wasn’t for the equipment that the SMADF donated over the years.

He said the boy can now be a worthwhile member of society and can now in the future “pay his taxes”, which brought laughter to the large gathering at the launch.

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James said, “we admit 150 patients annually to this five-bedded facility, but are beset by the consequences of resource limitations; inadequate physical space, inconsistent supplies of critical items, difficulty with the acquisition of cutting-edge equipment as well as maintenance of the equipment we have.

“We, therefore, feel extraordinarily grateful to the Shaggy and Friends Foundation for their on-going efforts in assisting the hospital and the unit. Please keep it going,” Dr James urged. |P

The MIIEGO Review

The M1 by MIIEGO is one of the best earphones I have ever experienced.

M1 packaging backside
Photography courtesy of MIIEGO

Sleek and modern in its feel and design, it is the perfect pair of earphones for the stylish modern music lover, who does not necessarily want to fit in by using the typical go- to options for an excellent listening experience. The Premium Isolation Eartips of the M1 has customized fit which holds effortlessly, cancelling external noise completely, thus taking the listening experience to another level. Using it is absolute sonic perfection!
The clear sound quality brings to the fore, every instrument, sound and rhythmic variation- and the powerful bass when listening to Dancehall, House or any other genre of music in the gym prompts me to bust a move in the middle of my workouts. The battery is long-lasting and it definitely lives up to expectations, and the battery indicator allows me to keep track of when the M1 needs to be charged.

M1’s Bluetooth v.41 wireless technology works like a dream and has had me leaving my phone behind at reasonable distances without disconnection.

Whether going for a run, weight training in the gym or working on my laptop- the M1 by MIIEGO has become a part of the electronic devices I refuse to leave behind on any given day.

MIIEGO has won a new loyal fan! #TEAMMIIEGO.|P

Wine Down for Charity

By Marshelle Haseley | Photography by Craig Harley

A friday night, post work get together to purchase and share bottles of wine and unwind with your pals, for a cause- a great way to end the week.  Shauna Fuller Clarke’s B.A.S.E. Foundation teamed up with organiser, Sabrina Webster to deliver a clean and classic affair to enhance Endometriosis awareness- awidespread , yet sadly insufficiently discussed disease. A crippling affliction that impacts every fibre of what it means to be a woman, affecting millions of women worldwide.  Research has indicated that one in every ten women is being affected by this condition in this moment, while you read this article.   The event, hosted by the stunning world class ATL Audi Showroom on Oxford Road, Kingston, had at its crux, the intention of calling attention to Endometriosis and the impact it has on women of all ages, from all walks of life.  The patronage was a clear indication that this disease cares not to whom you were born, how young you may be, or what responsibilities you must carry out in your professional life; forming a diverse family of “Endo Sisters” here in Jamaica. The depth of the experiences shared would not be readily seen in the showroom amidst patrons and serverswaltzing to and from the bar with purchased of bottles of wine; enjoying fashion displays, movement inducing music and live performances.  These were the powerfulconversations revolving around the character- building encounter with Endometriosis endured by so many women in the showroom. It was stunning how these amazing women were able to gleam through the pain a lot of them experienced, even while they spoke with Panache Magazine.  Women willingly disclosed notonly how Endometriosis shifted their life experience, but also how it shook the worlds of their loved ones who journey with them day by day.  It was an eye- opening and humbling experience, speaking with this wide cross-section of persons impacted so deeply by Endometriosis.   The debilitating pain caused by this condition is defined by in their      July 13, 2015 article, Endometriosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment   as “…a painful medical condition in which endometrial implants, comprised of tissue normally found within the uterus, are present in other areas of the body.”  The technicalities were further indicated as being “…problematic as the tissue continues to as as though it is within the uterine cavity and counties to thicken, break down and bleed during a woman’s menstrual cycle and becomes trapped within the area of the body affected… scar tissue and adhesions form when irritation of the surrounding tissues occur causing organ fusion and anatomical changes.”  Based on that brief exploration of the nature of Endometriosis, it is evident why the debilitating pain that many women described would cause them to contort and move from foetal position to some never before seen. Shauna Fuller- Clarke, founder of B.A.S.E. Foundation described the attack the disease launched on your body.  Fuller- Clarke, who has been fighting Endometriosis for eight (8) years, elaborated on her experience of having one of her lungs collapse as a result of tissues constricting her organ.  She passionately tries to spread hope and advice for women facing Endo- indicating that through exercise and dietary modifications such as cutting back on gluten intake, the self identified foodie has been able to manage the symptoms.  It was in response to hearing of the suffering endured by Shauna and other friends that Sabrina Webster, organiser of the event began the process a year ago.  She envisioned an event that would bring awareness to a disease that seems overlooked, even though it is just as debilitating and harrowing as cancers. Webster mentioned how deeply impacted she was by the stories she heard and felt like it was necessary for her to give back; and this was a wonderful way for her to give of herself for a cause that could help to change lives and save young women from having to get to the point of a lung collapse before doing thorough medical exams.   According to Sara Stanford, co-owner of Bliss Bridal Boutique, who has been coping with Endo for over seven (7) years “..if your periods push you over the edge every time, its not normal, and it should be checked out.” Looking at Sara, one would not imagineher suffering at the hand of Endometriosis.  Sara’s vibrant spirit, like so many of the women who fight this disease are exemplary of regal resilience.  Reigning Miss Jamaica World, Ashlie Barrett, younger sister of Sara Stanford, shared that endometriosis has shown evidence of being hereditary.  Ashlie was diagnosed at the age of sixteen after having felt sick for an extended period of time.  She spoke of how her sister’s journey helped her in her process of coping with Endometriosis.  When asked how she managed to win the Miss Jamaica World Pageant, bearing pain, Ashlie explained that in spite of the pain and discomfort she was ironically empowered by the pain she had to withstrand- a condition she sees as an unfortunate thing that happened to her, but has had the positive effect of allowing her to feel as if there isn’t anything in life that she would not be able to fight through. Ashlie further stated that by no means did she feel at a disadvantage in competing for the crown of Miss Jamaica World 2016, despite the pain she bore throughout the competition.  Like diamonds, these women seem to become even stronger and more beautiful from the conditions they exist within. Panache got to speak with the host of the event, another Endo Sister, Roxene Nickel. Roxane has been fighting and coping now for eight year.  The depth at which the condition has built tissue on every fibre of what allows her to identify with being a normal woman was tear kindling.  She spoke of her difficulties in forming a family of her own.  Even while speaking with us, she indicated that she was experiencing some discomfort. Pain has become a part of her daily experience, it is just a matter of the degree to which the pain grabs. An experience described also by Sara, Shauna and other women with whom I spoke.  In spite of this unfortunate affliction, Roxene finds a positive in her suffering; seeing these experiences as the first hand hit that allows her to most effectively deliver a message on the importance of Endo awareness and coping mechanisms and advice for other women affected.  Among the interesting interactions, was meeting Kamoy Douglas- Clarke. A discussion surrounding her journey- from being told she would never be able to have children, to continuing to battle nine years later. Kamoy was granted the miracle of giving birth to her three sons.  While counting her blessings, she spoke of her reality, which ties into her inability to participate as practically as she would like in the activities of her young sons. She recalls being asked by her eldest son, who is now nine year old,  why it is that she’s always in bed, and why she is not able to play with them; all of which is also painful on a level beyond the physiological suffering.  Kamoy smiled gracefully as we spoke, her warm presence and gentle demeanour reflected someone who lived a life of pure bliss, and not a woman who experiences debilitating pain on such a regular basis.

 Brian Stanford, co-owner of Bliss Bridal Boutique makes reference to the pain that would seem to make a contortionist out of his wife, Sara.  When discussing the condition he asked “You know ben’ up? That’s what this thing does to Sara.” Brian undoubtedly carries out, not only the function of husband, but he has been a doctor of sorts, having to understand the condition as well as any patient would have to; and has to be there for his wife who he refers to as his soulmate, every step of the way.  The impact of Endo on his wife, has a deep impact on his life, from the emotional strain of seeing his wife in pain, and feeling helpless, to sometimes leaving social gatherings to tend to the needs of his wife- Brian would do it no other way.    The event raised a total of…. and through live social media posts from attendees, without a doubt, further awareness would have been brought to this rampant and aggressive disease.  The endeavour and event was graciously facilitated by ATL Automotive.  Matthew Cripps General Manager of ATL Automotive asserted that “…one in every ten woman is affected by Endometriosiss, and sixty percent of Audi customers are women- there is no way we could not have supported this cause.”  We look forward to witnessing expanding initiatives that will help to educate our population on these diseases which remain understated- but have the potential to impact the deepest fibres of our humanity. |P|