Hailing from a country hard hit by poverty with fewer opportunities, if any, for the less privileged, international Liberian rap star Jon Bricks has established the Zama Plus Foundation International to help support the less fortunate in society.
The Liberian HipCo rapper hopes that with this new organization, he will be able to give back to the same society that made him by creating educational opportunities for his compatriots.
Upon his return to Liberia last year, Jon Bricks made a donation of food items valued at over US$500 to Orphan Relief and Rescue, a local NGO, and Francis Gaskin Rescue Home for Children, an orphanage.
Concerned about this latest development LIB Life caught up with the star to talk about his new initiative.
LIB Life: What inspired you to establish this NGO that intends to support the less fortunate?
JB: I got inspired to establish a charity organization through my experiences back in Liberia, seeing the needs and aspirations of young unfortunate kids after traveling the 14 out of the 15 counties in 2008. I once told my self that I would one day fulfill this dream because I know what it means to be in need.
LIB Life: How will this newly established organization get funds to support its projects?
JB: The team aims to raise funds through solicitations, public means and personal contributions locally or internationally. The organization will first be launched on the 3rd show of my Diva Dream live concert along with Chinese super star Zheng Zheng in Liberia next month on February 14 on Bernard beach.
I’m coming to Liberia for three shows, and 50% of the funds generated from these concerts will go toward implementation of the foundation’s future projects. The account number of the organization will be announced the same date of the launch so we can get donation from the public as well; we look forward to everyone’s support.
LIB Life: Please tell us the services that Zama Foundation International will engage in?
JB: We want to engage in providing food, clothing and shelter for these under privileged children. We also look forward to providing educational materials to these kids, if possible. We will also try to find sponsors for some of these kids to help them with their education and well being in the nearest future. We hope and pray that we get the support we need as time goes by.
LIB Life: What’s the meaning behind the name Zama, and your vision for the foundation in the coming years?
JB: Zama Plus Foundation International represents hope, love and peace; and doing charity is part of me because it’s stated in the Bible: “Blessed is the hand that Giveth.” In the next few years, we look forward to seeing more kids back in school, more kids having the requisite necessities like food, clothes and shelter. We hope to expand into more developments as we grow. I’m mostly known as Zama, which represents status positively, and the organization’s name came through the combination of Zama Records and Royal Plus International, that is run by my local manager. So we decided to call it Zama Plus Foundation International.
LIB Life: Do you have an office space?
JB: We currently have our office space in Paynesville on the Benson Hospital Road, fully equipped and ready to get started. Our teams are all set – myself, along with Prince Jallah and Bill Passaway and few others.
LIB Life: To what extent has charity affected your career and how do you feel about associating with the less fortunate?
JB: I’m still trying to move my career to higher heights but again I’m grateful for where God has taken me presently because I truly know both hard and good times.
I’m grateful; therefore, I can’t pay him back for all the things done in my life. All I can do is to share the little I have with others that do not have. Giving back means a lot. It is not that I’m that rich guy but I honestly know what it means to have nothing.
LIB Life: Thanks for the interview, anything else to add?
JB: I would like to thank everyone for their continual support of my career, physically or morally; I’m grateful most especially to my loyal fans.