WATCH: Emotional Shaggy speaks about ‘Busta’ Hospital charity funds
Shaggy with his wife, Rebecca Burrell, at the press conference at Bustamante Hospital for Children.
Recording artiste Orville ’Shaggy’ Burrell says questions raised around funds held in the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation have left him feeling disheartened and at a point where he and his team will be thinking long and hard about the way forward.
The artiste, speaking at a press conference inside the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew on Monday, said not only did the development leave him feeling disappointed, but it was most impactful when his nine-year-old daughter came to him and said she knew why he was going to the meeting at the hospital.
“Something happened to me a little while… Rebeca (his wife) was asking why you were in a bad mood coming out; my little nine-year-old daughter comes to me and says, ‘Daddy, I know why you going to the meeting, to tell them that you didn’t steal the money.’ That lick mi heart; that’s my nine-year-old,” said Shaggy.
The artiste said the development has left him thinking about the way forward with his charitable work.
“In moving forward, I have to really think about this with my team. I am going to sit down with William, who has been an amazing advisor to me, Rebecca, Jackie, Sharon, just my core team, and really figure out how we move forward from this part because this was disheartening,” said Shaggy.
“So when uno a write uno paper them and a say uno little things, think very carefully how uno do them, and it’s not that we didn’t have a conversation before with yuh people before we spoke before the article was published. Be careful!” urged Burrell.
“And let’s not take this from what it is, whatever uno tabloid and uno deflection, and whatever a gwaan ina uno politics, (this) has nothing to do with the children of Jamaica."
He was a picture of emotion as he sought to explain the delay in the hospital receiving the benefits from his Shaggy and Friends Concert which was held nearly two years ago, to aid the institution.
"We have the children's hospital at heart. Everything we do with this foundation is about the children of Jamaica," Shaggy said.
The funds raised from the charity concert had been earmarked to be used to put additional beds in the intensive care unit of the hospital. However, despite the handing over of a symbolic cheque for $100 million after the concert, the hospital said last week that it was yet to receive the equipment or the money that was raised from the event.
"Mi neva touch nuh money," Shaggy said at the press conference. "Mi neva move nuh money. The money is there! Full transparency; that's what we are about," he said.
The entertainer said the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation was waiting on the expansion of the ICU space at the hospital to facilitate the additional beds.
Furthermore, he said it was never the foundation's policy to hand over funds raised directly to the hospital, but rather to meet the medical facility's needs through the purchase of items.
However, he said following a commitment made by the hospital’s chairman, Kenny Benjamin, to expand the ICU through the addition of another building, the Shaggy foundation has agreed to hand over the $100 million to build and equip additional wards, among other uses.