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Nov 2, 2009

Shyne’s legal advisor, Charles Ogletree, visits him in Belize

Story PictureShyne’s appearance at Wesley College was not only for the students; it was also his first press conference with the media. Professor Ogletree indicated that they would not discuss his case or his time in prison. They were, however, going to discuss Shyne’s future. Although religion is an important aspect of his life now, his music will continue to demonstrate the realities of life. Whether or not the U.S. is in his immediate future, Shyne intends to take everything he’s learned to other continents.

Charles Ogletree Jr.
“People’s lives are not determined by where they are born or what they do when they are given certain gifts. It’s determined by how they use those gifts. He’s used his gift all over the world but he’s back in Belize to use his gifts to help his community out. He has some very ambitious plans for Belize, we won’t go into those today but you can already see he will be travelling around the country meeting with young people, talking with young people about his own issues and he makes no excuses for what he went through. He made mistakes in his life and he is adult enough to recognize it and he’s a transformed man as you can see from what he’s been doing and what he’s going to do.”

Moses Michael Leviy AKA Shyne
“Nobody’s perfect and a lot of us grow up in imperfect situations, as myself, and our lives continue to be imperfect. But there are no excuses. President Obama didn’t make excuses, Governor Patterson over there in New Yorke, he was a blind man and the first African American governor, didn’t make excuses neither. Professor Ogletree whose grandparents used to pick cotton, didn’t make excuses and I make no excuses. I hold myself accountable for the mistakes I made in my life but that’s not the end of me or anyone who has made mistakes. The point is to transform those mistakes and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. So if I can come here, and I can go to that juvenile home and inspire one of those kids, not to be a gang banger, not to be a criminal activist, but a community activist I’m here to do.”

Charles Ogletree Jr.
“United States is important but the reality is that if you look at the major artists, particularly from this genre, their impact is world wide; not just the United States. That’s number one. And in fact, the response to his release has been reported not just in the United States—people think that there’s Belize and United States. There is Europe, there is Asia, there is South America and it’s amazing how the culture of what he’s talked about is translated.”

Moses Michael Leviy AKA Shyne
“There was no conversion to Judaism. This is an already—it’s in my ancestral background. As you know, many Africans in Central Africa, East Africa come to Belize. You have Stann Creek, Manatee; we have all the Africans there so this is not a conversion, but nonetheless in life you are what you are and this is what I am. I don’t want to be like Michael Jordan, I want to be like Moses or King David or King Solomon, those are the guys that aspire to be like. I don’t want to be like the king pin on my block, I want to be like the guy that part the sea. That’s why I took that name. Making music is my life and one of the greatest musicians is Bob Marley and he—there was nothing misogynistic about his music and but he talked about some harsh realities sometimes and he came with his tough game. He was tough. That’s who I would like to be like. I would like to make that type of contribution, that type of Marvin Gaye contribution but at the same time, we curse. At the same time life is violent and life is troublesome sometimes so don’t expect my music to be sanitized.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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