(From left) iCreate General Manager Carl Carram and CEO Tyrone Wilson with Declan Tully, Group Head of Revenue for Trend Media, at the signing ceremony held at the Trend Media headquarters in Kingston on Friday. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Trend Media has partnered with iCreate Institute to offer certified digital courses across the Caribbean as of June 21, 2019. The world of digital is constantly changing but these online and face-to-face courses will offer people a flexible way to pursue these certifications, allowing them to keep up to date with trends in the industry and to learn how best to optimize their own digital skill set. Through this partnership, anyone can become certified as a digital marketing professional or associate, or a digital and social sales professional. Other available options through iCreate include specialized diplomas in digital strategy and planning, social media and digital paid search. The courses will be available online in Barbados, Turks and Caicos, Cayman, and Bermuda, while Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago will offer face-to-face learning options. “The partnership we have with iCreate allows us to take digital in the Caribbean to another level by equipping the next generation of marketing and media practitioners with the skills they need to navigate the future of digital marketing,” said Declan Tully, Group Head of Revenue for Trend Media, the leading digital marketing house in the Caribbean. As part of the arrangement, Trend Media and iCreate will provide training sessions for each course, hosted by in-house subject matter experts. These professionals work in the industry and are able to provide real-life, practical knowledge in the world of digital marketing. Another aspect of the partnership includes iCreate curating a digital portal for staff members at Trend Media, enabling them to pursue their own professional development using the various learning support materials. “We’re happy to have this partnership with Trend Media which helps us take our knowledge and resources to new audiences across the region. Through our exclusive license with the Digital Marketing Institute which is the most widely taught digital certification standard in the world, we are able to strengthen the digital ecosystem across the region with globally relevant skills,"said Tyrone Wilson, President & CEO, iCreate Institute.

Jonathan Wemyss-Gorman Vice Chair of the Jamaica Bankers Association Anti-Fraud Committee shares a word with Dirk Harrison( right), Director of Prosecution, National Integrity Commission.

“As e-fraud attempts and opportunities continue to increase, financial services institutions must remain aware of the various tools that exist to mitigate criminal efforts”, notes the JBA Vice President, Jerome Smalling. Smalling was speaking at the annual Anti-Fraud Seminar in association with the Jamaica Institute of Financial Services (JIFS), held at the Terra Nova Hotel on June 19. The seminar sought to expose to the over 100 participants the capabilities of the existing technology through presentations from local and international experts on Fraud Trends, Data Protection, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and CCTV imagery in fraud prevention. Darlene Jones (1stleft), Executive Director, Jamaica Institute of Financial Services(JIFS)welcomes Dirk Harrison(1stright), Director of Prosecution,National Integrity Commission.Captured in photo isJonathan Wemyss-Gorman (centre), Vice Chair of theJamaica Bankers Association Anti-Fraud Committee. Keynote speaker and Director of Prosecution, Dirk Harrison, quoted various statistics from Transparency International as he drove his point of the deleterious effects of corruption on governance structures and progress. He encouraged a “solution-oriented fix over a problem-oriented fix” to addressing fraud and invited that we must “stay ahead of the fraudsters” – who may ultimately be responsible for programming the same technology and machines on which we are to depend. [image_gallery] Click the gallery for highlights. Harrison was keen to reinforce the critical importance of engaging the youth and implored seminar participants to “go out into the schools, the youth clubs, the cadet force and island-wide engage, engage the youth on right and wrong, and that there are consequences for the choices they make”. Seminar presenters Damian Small - Director of Corporate Security at Scotiabank; Nicola Whyms-Stone – Legal Counsel within the Group Legal and Compliance Division of NCB; along with international presenters, President of Diligent eSecurity (Atlanta) - Kirk Chambers, and John Lopez of 3VR, provided participants with practical tips of mitigating fraud from a personal and corporate standpoint, and highlighted the tremendous opportunities that lie in the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence as well as video surveillance to appropriately and effectively manage fraud, reducing time for investigations and potentially discouraging fraudulent activities entirely. Effectively managing fraud in a digital world is dependent the utilization of a combination of strategies that inspire trust and transparency with clients; and create awareness of the various social engineering tactics used by criminals to gather data, while ensuring that ‘fraud prevention and detection is an organizational objective” as noted by seminar presenter Damian Small, Director of Corporate Security at ScotiaBank.


Dancehall artiste Bobby Bigga 5 is pleased with the feedback to the video for his popular 'Day One' single. The video was released a few months ago and based on the buzz around the song, will be released on all major cable channels this Summer. "The feedback to the new 'Day One' video has been phenomenal online so far and the next move will be to get it on the cable TV channels as the song has already got a big highlight on the radio. The great feedback shows that even though Jamaicans like gun songs and party songs, there is definitely a market for positive message-oriented music that can play anywhere and at any time of day because they deal with real life situation, betrayals, heartbreak, perseverance," Bobby Bigga 5 said. The single, released on the Trinidad-based Universal Stars label, was released In January 2019. He is booked to perform at Summer Splash Wata Dash on July 27th in Gutters, Old Harbour and Overdose: Totally Wet in High House, Old Harbour on July 31. Bobby Bigga 5 is now based to the US-based label Shelldung Records. Born Phillip Jackson on April 16 1995, he grew up in a Christian home in Kitson Town with both parents where he was exposed to a wealth of music as a child which influenced his development. He attended Tacius Golding High, before finishing his secondary education at Children First. Once he finished with his secondary education, he poured all his energies into fine-tuning his sound. First, he experimented with rap music, showing up on a well-received cameo on the Jonnah single, 'Money ah De Topic'. After that, Bigga 5 began to experiment more with dancehall music, putting together all his influences from hip hop, reggae and trap music to create his own distinctive sound. Certain changes in his life have affected and influenced the content of his songs. Other singles include the reflective 'Time Ah Di Master', and 'Prime Time', a hardcore dancehall song, which have only been released on YouTube via the Crushroad channel. "Look out for Bigga 5 in 2019, mi a grow from strength to strength, especially with the backing on my new label, Shelldung Records," he said.

Former Digicel Rising Stars contestant Jermaine Michaels is getting major props for the reggae-flavoured single, 'Am a Soldier' which was released on May 23rd on the Big Dreams Production label. The song which preaches the power of perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds has struck a chord with the Jamaican public. The artiste, who placed third in the contest in 2010, has been working steadily on his craft to fine-tune a new distinctive sound. He showcases that sound on his latest single, 'Am a Soldier' "After entering Rising Star in 2010, not many producers were willing to help, but one morning when I rise up I was there meditating and I heard a voice saying 'you are a soldier and don't give up until you reach your goal'...so I just started singing am a soldier and there and then words just start coming," he said. “This song is for every teenage mother faced with the decision to go back to school, for every young male trying to avoid the clutches of gang violence, for every ghetto youth who ever had a dream and felt that no one believed in that dream. We are all soldiers in the army of life,” Michaels said. Jermaine Michaels has had a challenging time in music. He got recognition for songs such as 'Cornerstone' and a collaboration with Etana called 'Who Is Responsible for This?" but never got mainstream success. Last year, he signed to Big Dreams Productions which is owned by Sikona Blagrove aka Fadda Biggz, and now Michaels is working with one of Jamaica's top engineer Karl Morrison, and label songwriter Ra Deal. "For the last few years, I have been writing music. I believe in myself and I have perseverance, so I know that one day I will reach my goals. I want to encourage all up coming artistes to hold on to your dreams and never give up," he said. He has upcoming shows in Barbados in July and another show confirmed for Oracabessa, St. Mary in December. There are plans to release an EP in September. "We have a EP coming out soon because right now we are in the studio putting some good songs together, so the fans can look out for that," he said.


Trinidad and Tobago is set to host the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2021. T&T was selected to host on Friday, following the Commonwealth Games Federation's decision to remove Belfastas host last yeardue to the political strifein Northern Ireland. The Commonwealth Games Federation's Executive Board voted for the country to host following an outstandingpresentation led by Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association President Brian Lewis. "This is awesome and historic," he said. "On behalf of the youth and young people of Trinidad and Tobago, thank you to the Commonwealth Games Federation. It's an honour to be entrusted with the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games. On the announcement, CGF President Dame Louise Martin said, "We are delighted to award Trinidad and Tobago the opportunity to host the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games. We had a very strong bid process and the Board felt at this point in time, the Caribbean offers a fantastic platform for the Commonwealth Sports Movement to build upon. "We look forward to working closely with Trinidad and Tobago in the lead up to the Games in what we are confident will be a fantastic event for the aspiring young athletes of the Commonwealth. The seventh edition of the competition will runfrom August 1 to 7, 2021. The first Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Scotland in 2000 with the event subsequently going to Australia, India, Isle of Man, Samoa and, most recently, the Bahamas in 2017.

Elaine Thompson (left) moves away from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to win the 200m at the Jamaican trial on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

Olympic champion Elaine Thompson completed the sprint double on Sunday's last day of the four-day Jamaican trials after posting a world-leading 22.00 seconds to win the 200 metres. The 26-year-old Thompson, who won the 100 on Friday night, easily beat her MVP Track Club teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to regain the half-lap title she last won in 2015. Fraser-Pryce, beaten by Thompson in a photo finish in the 100 metres, had to settle for second again, clocking 22.22, whileSchillonie Calvert-Powell of Altis came home third in 22.92 after finishing eighth and last in the 100. “Now that the championship is over I finally can sleep and eat some good food, go back to the drawing board, I have Prefontaine Sunday coming so I have to just regain my focus,” said Thompson. The 26-year-old Thompson said her intention is to compete in both the 100 and 200 atthe IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Doha, Qatar from September 28 to October 6 “It was a good run,” said a smiling Fraser-Pryce. “Congratulations to Elaine, she’s a 21.6 runner, I knew she was going to go. My aim tonight was to get a season’s best or a personal best after seeing that I ran 10.73 on Friday night. It has been an extraordinary year so far and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue representing Jamaica." In the men’s 200, Rasheed Dwyer denied 2011 World Championship gold medallist Yohan Blake, running unattached,the sprint double. The 30-year-old Dwyer outbattled Blake in the closes stages to post 20.23 seconds. Blake finished in 20.27, whileUS college athlete Andre Ewers, came home third in 20.48 to also bookhis ticket to the World Championships. Akeem Bloomfield’s decision to step down in distance did not work out. He was never in the hunt for a medal andfinished fifth in 20.81, running from the dreaded lane one. Dwyer (10.10) had finished third to Blake (9.96) and Tyquendo Tracey (10.00) in the 100 metres on Friday night. Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Shericka Jackson produced a lifetime best of 49.78, her first sub-50 in three years, to win her second 400-metre national title. The time represents the second best of the year behind Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo (49.05). Anastasia Le-Roy of Sprintec was a distant second in a season’s best of 50.94, while MVP Track Club's Stephenie-Ann McPherson clocked 51.01 for third place. “I am feeling pretty good,” said Jackson, who focused on the 200m last year. “Right now I am happy with everything that is going on and trying to stay focused. I remember at the London World Championships, I sat on the steps waiting to see if I made the final. It was a learning experience for me that broke me down mentally and I promised myself that it would never happen again.” The absence of sub-44-second performer Bloomfield and Nathon Allen took some sheen away from the men’s 400m. But Demish Gaye, a runner-up for the past two years, ran superbly to capture his first national title, winning in a season’s best of 44.83. The 26-year-old Gaye came into the homestretch with a narrow advantage but switched gears to power away from the rest of the field in the final 80 metres. Racers Track Club’s newly found star Terry Thomas extended his fine form at these championships, bagging second place with another lifetime best of 45.47. Javon Francis battled home for third place with a season's best 45.60 to leave national record holder Rusheen McDonald back in fourth in 45.83. Sean Bailey (the University of Texas at El Paso Athletics), the top Jamaican entering these championships, stopped after the opening 100m and did not finish. Danielle Williams was disqualified from the 100-metre hurdles for a false start and the decision did not go down well with the 2015 World champion,who refused to leave the track, resulting in a lengthy delay. The 26-year-old Williams was shown the red card on three separate occasions but remained adamant that she did nothing wrong. She eventually left the field after a conversation withGarth Gayle, general secretary of theJamaica Athletics Administrative Association. When the race was sent off for a second time, there was furtherconfusion, as the starter had torecallthe athletes. However, more than three hurdlers run at least six flights of barriers, while an unaware University of Arkansas student JaneekBrown, who smashedthe national women's 100m hurdles record on June 8 in Texas,finished the race. The organisers thendecided to pushback the race, 45 minutes after the men’s event, but the event was cancelled after threeathletes reported they wereinjured in that aftermath. The men’s hurdles was won by Commonwealth Games champion Ronald Levy (13.23) ahead of World Under-20 silver medalist Orlando Bennett (13.27) and Andrew Riley (13.33). In the field, Shanieka Ricketts retained her triple jump crown (14.73m) ahead of Kimberly Williams (14.39m) while O’Dayne Richards, bronze medalist from the 2015 world championships, won the men’s shot put with a throw of 19.93m.