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Artistes call for prayers for soca star's family *LINK*
In Response To: Onika Bostic dies ()

Soca artistes yesterday called for prayers for the family of Onika Bostic, female lead singer with Antiguan band Burning Flames, who died at the Intensive Care Unit of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital at 9.30 pm on Sunday. The popular singer died from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on December 11. They also called for appreciation for artistes while they are alive. Reflecting on Bostic's death, 2004 Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin yesterday said he wished the news was untrue. "Death is not a thing mankind appreciates. I wish things were different." He said the nation's prayers should keep Bostic's family in mind. "The family needs our prayers and support to keep them strong." Garlin said soca performer "Ninja," Reynold Joseph, was "mentally affected" by the accident and needed support. He was driving Bostic to a performance at the Base nightclub in Chaguaramas when the accident occurred. Joseph's car picked up a skid along the Eastern Main Road in Laventille, hit a wall and landed on its roof. Garlin saw a warning in the tragic moment.

"We, in this whole soca fraternity, are the biggest preachers of love and togetherness and we are slowest to put it into action." Garlin warned that more tragedy can follow if lessons were not learnt. "You never know when your time up. It may be too late." He said there should be no pointing of fingers at those who did not visit the hospital (to await news of Bostic's condition). Garlin said for the one finger pointing, three others were pointing back. He said the "vibe" at this time should be positive. Garlin said radio stations and DJs should not wait until tragedy struck to "overplay" an artiste's music. Road March 2004 winner Shurwayne Winchester said he could not believe the news of Bostic's passing. It came on a radio station 15 minutes after a visit to the hospital, and he hoped it was "bad information. I don't know how to express myself," he said. Winchester said he got to know Bostic backstage at shows, "getting kicks and laughing."

Winchester said what God had in store for man is unknown, but he said the energy which went into prayers for Bostic should now go toward prayers for her family, especially her mother, Jacinta. He said Bostic will live on through her songs. Faye-Ann Lyons said she hoped the Lord gave strength to Bostic's family. She said all the artistes were feeling the loss. Lyons called for greater appreciation of artistes while they were alive. "Stop waiting until people are sick, dead or dying before they start appreciating them. It does not make sense." Lyons illustrated her statement by referring to deceased veterans Kitchener, Ras Shorty I, and Merchant.

"If you really love artistes, appreciate them while they are here and can appreciate the love. Stop waiting until they are in a hospital and can't do anything." Lyons said Bostic died in the line of fire "trying to make others happy with her music." The National Chutney Foundation of TT and the Chutney Calypso Touring Tent of TT and National Cultural Promotions of TT yesterday extended their deepest sympathy and condolences to Bostic's family. They hoped that all who knew Bostic would continue to support her music.

Bye Bye Onika

By Gary Cardinez

You came, you saw, you conquered, and just as you did in your performances, you left us too soon. In just five years, you my dear became a household name in a business that is rife with pretenders and backstabbers. Onika, I am deeply touched by the friendship we shared for the short period of time you came into the world of entertainment. You were always polite, kind and gentle and carried yourself with dignity. A diminutive person, yes, but you packed a powerful punch, your voice, your performance and your ability to move a crowd was outstanding. As a Trinidadian soca artiste you have blessed music lovers with a high standard of music and songs. People could not understand how you became so successful in so short a period of time. Simply because they did not know you were into music, and that from the age of 16 you were involved in radio (Gem 93.5). You had the toughest decision to make in 1999 when, at age 19, you packed your bags and headed for Antigua to join Burning Flames. Hindsight has shown it was the right choice, as you went on to record the band's biggest hits such as "Aching," "Mud Dung" and "Almost Naked."

When you recorded "Mash It Up" in 2002, it was the start of a career in which you excelled at the speed of light. In 2003 there was "Wine," "Power" and "No Matter What" a duet with soca hot shot Machel Montano. This year you recorded "Get On Bad" with the eventual Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin. When I heard "All Is Yours" I knew 2005 would have been your biggest year to date, not knowing the song would be played over and over because of your tragic accident. Of course only you and I know about our interesting conversation just one week before your accident, the very weekend you appeared on the front page of Newsday's People Magazine.

Onika, as hard as it may be to us here on earth, God the Almighty must have greater things in store for you. That could be the only reason why he took you away just when we were getting accustomed to your good music and dry humour. I do hope your dying was not in vain, and that others in the business would take stock and be careful of how they take their engagements and always have a designated driver. Rest In Peace Onika Bostik; you will be missed.

Govt saddened over diva's death

JUNIOR Culture Minister Eddie Hart yesterday expressed condolences on behalf of the Government to the family of soca star Onika Bostic. Twenty-four-year-old Bostic died at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital around 9.30 pm on Sunday, one week after she was hospitalised after a vehicular accident.

Hart said many members of the Government were "very saddened" when they learnt of Bostic's death. The minister lamented that "a young lady with so much potential" had died in such tragic circumstances. He appealed to the population to learn from Bostic's tragic passing and to act more responsibly on the nation's roads. Hart disclosed that Community Development and Culture Minister Joan Yuille-Williams was going to visit Bostic's family yesterday.

ACP Mobile on Bostic's death
'I am not going to prejudge the issue'

By Samuel Mcknight

WHILE expressing his condolences and his regrets to the Bostic family on the death of soca singer Onika Bostic, ACP Mobile Nazamul Hosein has called on the family and the public to be tardy with calls for speedy action. "I am not going to prejudge the issue until I get all the files and evidence. Then and only then will I decide if there is enough evidence to charge somebody, order an inquest, or make the State responsible." While many people are blaming the state of the road and water, it could have been a case of human error. I cannot say.

"When the roads are wet or a person does not know the area, there are cautions to take. "Just look at the fact that the car flipped and spun, that says a lot. "Look at the situation yesterday at Valencia where two died, or on the foreshore Highway where one died, or at Endeavour where the pick-up flipped, spun and hit the people in the bus shed killing three. Caution would have prevented this." When Newsday visited the family's Rosalino Street home in Woodbrook, efforts to speak to the Bostic family were futile, but sources said they were not taking the loss well.

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Onika Bostic dies
Artistes call for prayers for soca star's family *LINK*
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