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Shaggy: Philanthropist of The Year?

Shaggy: Philanthropist of The Year?


If we are to speak of philanthropy in the Caribbean, we cannot look any further than the ‘It Wasn’t Me ‘ legend Shaggy. Born Orville Richard Burrell in Kingston Jamaica, Shaggy continually finds ways to give back to the less privileged as he feels it’s like a tit-for-tat situation in terms of blessings and fame.

Shaggy went to visit a Michigan prison and spoke to inmates giving them advice on life. In addition, through his co-sponsorship, Shaggy had been invited as a guest speaker at the prisons graduation event, IGNITE (Inmate Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education). This initiative is sponsored by Colour Bank (which is co-owned by Shaggy) and serves people of Caribbean and African descent. Particularly, giving banking access to individuals without social security numbers. At the graduation ceremony held on the 15th of November 2022, 15 inmates graduated earning themselves accounts and debit cards.

Philanthropy is no competition but you have to hand it to Shaggy for providing inmates with a chance to re-integrate themselves into society properly after they serve their time. The penitentiary system is riddled with flaws, but, this initiative gives sustainable solutions. From banking services to attaining financial literacy, Shaggy, is not one to shy away from his social responsibility and we know he does other things like throwing his annual Shaggy and Friends concert for the island’s Children’s Hospital.

It’s probably a huge overstatement to say Shaggy is the pinnacle of philanthropy as I cannot take away other artists’ contributions like Shenseea’s child assistance for education or Beenie Man and Buju’s construction initiatives.

After all the dust has settled it boils down to the music and Shaggy is still hitting the right notes. With an album nominated for Best Reggae Album at next year’s Grammys, Shaggy can do no wrong. He is arguably the Caribbean’s best export to the world with all his achievements but that is another debate for another time as I know Sean Paul fans will have a lot to say about that.

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