***OFFICIAL PETITION AT THE FOOT OF THIS ARTICLE***
As far as ludicrous decisions go, yesterday the UK Border Agency presented one of the highest calibre in their epic travesty of a move to deport British rapper/urban music artist Cashtastic back to Jamaica. What is even more outlandish is the fact the lyricist, real name Cashief Nichols was flown back to his country of origin against his will, violating his human rights.
20 year old Mr. Nichols was born in Jamaica but grew up in Peckham in South London. Cashief has been living in the UK for 14 years, coming to live with his mother at the tender age of 6. Cash attended school from the age of six and has been living in the country ever since. As a youngster Cashief was always in to music, and even performed at the Royal Albert Hall when he was 11. Cashtastic has been chasing his dream career, and has made monumental progress landing a publishing deal with Universal Music in the summer of 2013. Cashief has turned his life around, coming from poverty, grasping every opportunity given to him to not only improve his career prospects but inspire the next generation of young inner city youths and young black children.
Cashtastic has built up a loyal following of fans, releasing quality music over the last few years, making numerous video appearances on some of the biggest urban music channels such as Link Up TV and (Richard Branson’s pal) Jamal Edward’s SBTV music channel, stringing together umpteen performances, radio interviews, featuring a number of times on the BBC radio stations, Radio 1 & 1Xtra. Cash was working hard to promote his current project Alarm Clock, which has received widespread positive reviews and the rapper was performing up & down the country making his presence known, expanding his fan base.
This is why it came as a great shock when the Cashief informed his followers that he had been detained by the UKBA, with an impending case to remove him from the country. On Monday he tweeted: “I’ve been detained/given removal directions by the UKBA.” Cash added “They’re saying even though I came to the UK age 6 I have no right to be here.” I mean imagine trying to deport a young man with the world at his feet, signed to one of the worlds largest record companies and halt his progress in the country he grew up in. Sending Cashief back to a country and town, that in his own words, “has no memory of” and “no family or friends there”. An absolute disgrace of a decision to make.
Yesterday on the 28th of March 2014, Cashtastic was flown back to Jamaica, unwillingly, ironically on a Virgin Atlantic flight (an airline owned by a UK record label entrepreneur Richard Branson, who has always shown love to Urban music artists, supporting SBTV, a media platform where Cashtastic made his name amongst others). The public backlash toward the UKBA and support for Cashief via social media, in particular Twitter has been immense:
Fellow rapper Realz – @RlzWorld tweeted “Cashtastic has been here for so long but u wait til he’s doing something positive before u can deport man?”.
@OfficialSkibz posted “If that Cashtasticting is true, it’s only coz he’s black, making a name for himself and trying to do something positive with his life.”
Whilst MOBO award winning rapper and Top Boy actor Kano Tweeted, “This can not be happening to such a good brother like Cashief Nichols (@cashtasticmusic). A positive brother in the community. He has lived here since the age of 6 and is now a role model, tax paying professional in the music industry. This is wrong.”
Its not a wonder that Friday’s happenings have left a bitter taste in the mouths and sadness in the hearts of the black British community in particular. How can a young man, having made such life changing strides to make a dream come true be deported. Would they deport Mo Farah, Emma Watson, Luol Deng, Emmanuel Frimpong, Naughty Boy, Raheem Sterling, even Cliff Richard aka Harry Rodger Webb who is originally from India? Probably not, which renders the UKBA’s actions somewhat questionable.
Cashief Nichols has made a success of his life, turned adversity in to triumph and inspired a young generation to do great things if they work hard. In today’s media driven society, where the celebrity culture is full of hollow, false role models where people from reality TV shows with no talent or skills are paraded around like puppets, selling sexual promiscuity, rehab stories, unhealthy fake self images and an ideology of putting little or no effort into achieving anything in life, yet reaping the rewards of fame without work, it comes as an utter ignominy that Cashief was deported. Is Cashtastic really less of a positive idol than seemingly moronic Joey Essex or good girl gone bad Tulisa? If anything Cashtastic somebody for the youth to look up to.
When you think of all the murderers, rapists, terrorists and other unsavoury characters residing in the UK, some in prisons or claiming benefits at the expense of the tax payer, the reason cited by the UKBA that Cashief Nichols is of bad character is lamentable.
A spokesman from the Home Office said they were unable to comment on individual cases but released a statement which read:
“When an individual is found to no longer have the right to remain in the UK, we expect them to leave the country voluntarily, but if they fail to do so we will seek to enforce their removal.”
More of the usual question dodging, political BS from the government regarding prejudiced legal acts.
If you feel an unjust violation of human rights has been committed by the UKBA under their insubstantial immigration laws, please sign this official UK HM Government (direct.gov.uk) e-petition. Lets get behind Cashtastic and bring back one of this countries most promising musical talents to the place he deservedly calls home.