April 2020 Volume 16

Old Boy Visits 97 Countries Living a Life of Purpose and Global Impact

Sharon Henriques
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What do Bob Marley, Devon Harris and Usain Bolt have in common? It’s pretty clear. They are all Jamaican history makers and Krishna Brown is no exception. Former headboy of Kingston College and cultural ambassador to Jamaica residing in Madrid has been creating history for Jamaica behind the scenes at the academic, artistic and cultural levels.

On January 2, 2020, Brown cemented himself in history by becoming perhaps the first ever Jamaican to have visited all the European capitals on a Jamaican Passport. This historic feat took him almost 15 years when he started with London and ended with Kyiv.

To date, this tallawah and adventurous Jamaican has taught, coached, mentored and empowered over seventeen thousand leaders, professionals and students in more than 300 cities/towns, in 97 countries on 6 continents alongside his NGO, One Love International- thereby, etching himself in the annals of history as one of the most travelled cultural ambassadors to Jamaica.

Curiously, he had to overcome his struggles with acrophobia and claustrophobia while enduring hundreds of hours of flight time on his mission trips.

How on earth is it possible for a youngster, born and bred in the ghettos of Greenwich Town and to a large family of six children with scarce economic resources, to have aspired to such heights?

Brown explained: “If I had been asked at age twelve what my future held, I would have said just trying to get in to high school and then perhaps get a job at KFC.”

Nevertheless, within a year his outlook and mindset about his life purpose were drastically altered and revolutionized and since then he has lived with the vision of an eagle and the attitude of a lion.

He expounded: “The turning point in my life occurred at age thirteen. While searching for truth, I finally discovered that I was a prince and an ambassador to a country called the Kingdom of Heaven, so I took back my passport in order to become a legal citizen of the country. For the religious minds, this would be understood as becoming a Christian.”

From then on, his devotion to God and service to humanity became the hallmark of his existence.

“I felt deep down I was designed, created and destined for international impact, but how, when and where were totally oblivious to me…but I had faith in God,” relayed Brown.

Consequently, Brown has always had stars in his eyes.

“It was my dream to represent Jamaica at the Olympics but woke up to the grim reality that this was not my calling,” said Brown. However, he did not give up on his dream to represent Jamaica on the international stage. He added: “Therefore, I decided to think outside the box and represent Jamaica academically, culturally and artistically. After all, this is my talent and my forte.”

Devon Harris, 3-time Bobsled Olympian commented: “Krishna’s profound love for people, the arts and his culture, is evident in the extraordinary steps he takes to share his talent and connect with people all over the world. Krishna is certainly a cultural ambassador and has had to overcome countless challenges to do so. He is the perfect example of the difference one can make when they follow their dreams.”

Brown was the sole male student to pass the Common Entrance Exams at Greenwich All Age School and followed in his brother’s (Aston Brown) footsteps to attend Kingston College. Brown started his journey as grade captain in first form and finished as head boy, just as his role model did.

Brown understood that he had to get involved in order to change, influence and impact people and situations. Hence, he held executive posts in almost every extra-curricular activity at the school, including being drum major of the cadet corps and became Jamaica’s top cadet bugler in 1991. He founded and directed the Spanish Club and also coached and captained KC’s Spanish Quiz Team that made a historic win in 1992 at the Secondary School National Spanish Quiz Competition.

In addition, his environmental awareness and concern as a teenager led him to be a founding member of WECAN (Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Action Now) where he lobbied for the protection and conservation of endangered endemic species. At university, he continued with environmental campaigns through the Jamaica Geographical Society and the Sea Turtle Recovery Network Programme.

Nevertheless, his accomplishments were no manna from the sky as he had to contend on a daily basis with the widespread violence and shoot-outs in his neck of the woods coupled with delicate health issues such as being born with low pulmonary capacity, and suffering from acute migraines and chronic asthma to which he almost lost his life on several occasions.

He also had to overcome the trauma of being a victim of bullying, physical assaults on the streets and hijacking to name a few.

However, what was most painful was the loss of his loving mother to cancer on his completion of sixth form. Periodic depression in sixth form as well as at university made the reality of his dreams a bit far-fetched.

Brown’s resilience to adversity is truly remarkable and rare. Notably, his achievements as an environmental activist and teacher were recognized by PALS through their publication “40 Young Outstanding Achievers” in 1998.

Bolt is to athletics as Brown is to academics. Through blood sweat and tears for almost 20 consecutive years (1997- 2016) he amassed more than 20 postgraduate diplomas and degrees (with 20 distinctions), including 7 Master’s degrees.

Unfortunately, by and large, our society undervalues academic achievement and life-long learning and in contrast they overvalue the glitter of sport medals and accolades.

Amidst adversity, Brown persevered to become the top achiever at every academic institution where he studied, from primary to tertiary education.

So groundbreaking was Brown’s undergraduate research about Tourism in Jamaica that it was published in a text book called Tourism in the Caribbean in 2000.

In the frigid winter of 2001, he relocated to Madrid, Spain to pursue postgraduate studies in Spanish Language Pedagogy as a scholarship recipient thanks to the Spanish Government and decided to stay after successful completion.

His academic fortitude was also recognized in Spain as his Master’s thesis about Small-scale Farming in Jamaica was published by the University of Complutense in 2004.

He recalls in the first few years sleeping only four to five hours a day and having to work 5 jobs while studying to make ends meet, resulting in insomnia, fatigue and eventual burnt out. Today, he has adopted a more balanced, focused and effective lifestyle.

Krishna’s artistic trajectory started at age nine when he gave his first performance in Indian dance at Greenwich All Age school.

While studying at the University of the West Indies, he became the principal male dance figure of the Prima Satsang dance group to promote Indian culture in Jamaica. Besides, in order to improve his Spanish skills, he took up Latin dancing in Kingston and was branded with the title “The King of Merengue.”

Furthermore, he founded and directed the Montego Bay Community College Latin Dance Club in 2000 while he was a teacher there.

Not being complacent with his artistic achievements in Jamaica - he spearheaded pioneering artistic projects to create history for Jamaica on the European continent. For instance, in 2002, Brown collaborated with award-winning Spanish dancer and choreographer Carlos Chamorro, with the creation of Flamenco-Jamaican dance fusion in his show Malucos, a historic achievement.

Subsequently, Brown discovered Egyptian dance in 2002. Fueled his new passion for this art form, he created history to become Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s first performer, instructor and producer of Middle Eastern dance and Jamaican/Latin/Indian dance fusion. What’s astounding is that he accomplished this feat at an age when most professional dancers usually retire.

Brown was determined to learn from crème de la crème of this art form and therefore went to Cairo, Egypt in 2005 to take classes from Mahmoud Reda, the Father of Egyptian dance among other renowned master teachers.

Afterwards, he founded and directed Spain’s first Christian dance company called Soul Danza International in 2006.

His distinctive artistry as one of Jamaica’s most international performers and instructors has been witnessed in more than 100 cities in over 70 countries on 6 continents, where he has delighted audiences counting on the presence of Heads of States, ambassadors, celebrities, and artists to name a few.

Spanish personality, Laly Ruiz, asserted: “El príncipe KLABdul is the most unique, creative and exquisite dancer I have ever seen, simply sublime.”

Additionally, Brown has produced three short films and a video clip in Spain.

In recognition of his artistic and linguistic contribution to Spain, he was chosen by the Ministry of Tourism and Immigration in 2009 for the publication “Nuevos Rostros de Madrid”- New Faces of Madrid.

Brown’s vision to establish an NGO called One Love International (OLI)-giving love, sharing hope, inspiring growth- came to him in 2010 in Madrid. Nonetheless, being overwhelmed by the scope of the mission, he did not act on his conviction until May 2013.

Backed by an international team of 20 individuals - comprising of his father Aston Brown (Global Ambassador), his siblings and like-minded friends - they kicked off their first project through their Educational Development Programme Initiative by offering an academic scholarship to a first former at his alma mater KC.

Power Support Catalyst at OLI, Dr. Mahesh Mutuerulan from Malaysia, remarked: “I am extremely grateful to have Krishna as my mentor who never ceases to amaze me and everyone he meets. He has been an impeccable mentor to me over the years and has taught me so much about many aspects of life and I'm forever indebted to him.”

While on missions, Brown has been a victim and a survivor of robbery, assault, burglary, and kidnapping but God has always delivered him. What’s more, the same God he claims has also healed him of illnesses like chicken pox, pneumonia, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and migraines. No setback deters Brown from pursuing His God-given purpose.

“Every day when I get up, I have to face the tyrant of procrastination to which I fall victim at times. Had I been more disciplined, I could have helped more people,” he stated in a rather repentant tone.

His father, Aston Brown declared: “Krishna is the greatest son ever, the greatest world traveler in the history of the family. Mi proud a mi bwoy cause him falla him dream and always help everybody. Even when time hard, him nuh give up.”

Brown is extremely grateful to his parents Naomi and Aston Brown, his siblings, teachers, mentors and friends, all of whom have supported and encouraged him along the way.

Brown currently works as a linguistic consultant to universities in Madrid while he spearheads OLI’s International Team to global impact. On top of that, he is an international life and wellness coach, mentor and motivational speaker, having catalyzed world champions, Olympians, celebrities, world leaders and influencers to greater glory.

His mentor Rebecca Jacob in Madrid, remarked: "Krishna thinks globally and acts locally, and does so with excellence and passion. His generosity of spirit is rare. His kindness is genuine, his leadership amazing.”

Clearly, Brown’s life is built on an unshakeable identity of self and faith in God, a clear purpose and a conviction to serving God and humanity. Moreover, he defines success as seeking, finding, and fulfilling your God-given purpose. By this measure, he is surely on his way to becoming one successful man!

Sharon Henriques is One Love International’s (OLI) Management & Communication’s Specialist

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