Dominican reggae artiste Nelly Rafoul, who uses the stage name “Nelly Stharre”, was found dead in Mahaut, in the parish of St Paul, Dominica, yesterday evening. She was 41.
Sources have confirmed to Caribbean News Service (CNS) that Stharre’s burnt remains were among two bodies discovered in the heights of Mahaut.
Stharre, a Rastafarian, was married to a Jamaican national with whom she has children.
Stharre has been a fixture on the Jamaican musical landscape for more than 20 years. She lived in Kingston for several years but made frequent sojourns to the Nature Isle “to refresh, reconnect and share with her Jamaican husband and children the Caribbean’s ‘Garden of Eden.”
Some of her notable albums include Rain Jah, Wake Up! and Soul Country.
Here’s an excerpt from a lovely interview by Paul Crask for Caribbean Beat that captures her love from Dominica:
Born in the year of Dominica’s notorious Dread Act (1974), Nelly Stharre picked up the nickname “Revolutionary Baby”. (The Dread Act outlawed groups of alienated dreadlock-wearing youths, some of whom were violent.) It is a title that seems to fit perfectly with both a rebellious adolescence and a philosophical adulthood. “I have always been a rebel,” she says. “At school I would stand up for the underdog or against something that I thought was wrong. I was always getting into trouble.”
Stharre attended a strict Roman Catholic high school and found the attitudes oppressive. “The problem with questioning things and wanting to believe in something different was that people couldn’t accept it. If you didn’t conform, they thought there was something wrong with you. Maybe you were possessed. Maybe you needed medication. Maybe you should be put on a psychiatric ward.”
Was her non-conformity a factor in her becoming such a dedicated Rastafarian?
“You don’t become a Rasta. It is inside you,” she says. “It has always been there. You just have to connect with it. Everyone has it. I remember once writing that I thought Jesus was a bit of a Rasta, enduring everything he did. I got into lots of trouble for that too,” she grins.
Police are carrying out investigations.
For the complete article by Paul Crask go to http://caribbean-beat.com/issue-104/woman-earth-nelly-stharre#ixzz3jO4JOWgK