There are not many activities just for high school students here. There are certainly enough street dances and street parties, but not many just for the kids. So the Digicel Showdown is a great event for Kingston’s high school students. Founded by Digicel Rising Stars producer Sanjay, the competition takes place every Friday afternoon and involves a competition between disc-jockeys from different high schools. Yesterday, Kingston High emerged as the winner over Wolmer’s Boys. From the web site:
SHOWDOWN is a disc jockey competition between 16 of Jamaica’s high schools. Each school will be represented by a 2 person team and will compete against other schools for a grand prize.
SHOWDOWN Is a way to foster comraderie between schools through a friendly competition among peers. It also serves as an outlet for the youthful creativity and helps promotes and develop an art-from very integral to Jamaican culture.
16 schools total will participate. 2 schools will compete each week for a 15 week tournament.
Each week there will be 2 resident judges and one guest judge, who will also be featured as the guest disc jock of the night.
The High Schools will be competing for the grand prize of a computer lab, comprising of 15 DELL COMPUTERS for their school and $100,000JA for themselves. The Runner up will received 5 DELL COMPUTERS for their school and $50,000JA for themselves.
Basically the competition means that these brave kids get up in front of a massive crowd of their peers and freestyle, whether it is with music or DJing (as singing is called here). The crowd’s reaction is instantaneous and merciless: either the gun salute (bap, bap, bap!) or unmistakable booing. As someone who could barely function socially in high school, I admire the courage. I also admire the innovation and style these youth are able to inject into their school uniforms.