Our Stories: I escaped the gunshots- Donai

In this installment of Our Stories, recording artiste Donai Singleton explains how he and his colleagues were almost laced with gunshots….For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!

Meet Donai Singleton

He will never forget that afternoon when he and his friends were almost laced with gunshots. The Jamaican, recording artiste described hanging out with some colleagues when suddenly a group of armed men approached the scene and opened fire. And while that incident could have driven fear in his heart and shatter his courage, Donai said he is actually inspired to be stronger as he assumes a deeper purpose for his life.

1. So why were you and your friends hanging out there?
…is like we deh pan a spot and me and my friends almost got shot but we were just dealing with our music at the time so it really show seh u nuh really have to be a gunman or have to partake in any crime to get shot. A lot of time when people hear the news seh somebody got shot, some a di time dem feel seh the person partake in some crime or some evil acts fi dat happen to them. Well people need to understand seh with reality, sometimes you just deh at di wrong place at di wrong time.

2. How did you escape?
We just get low enuh, when we see seh no shots nah fire in our direction we just pull a disappearing act.

3. Were you being targeted?
Well they came for somebody else but they didn’t see the person so they just wanted to carry out that task same way. Dem nuh really wa abort the mission, dem just wa somebody feel pain…kill one a we or hurt one a we would mek people feel pain.

4. Did you ever report it to the Police?
No we nuh report it to the Police. Certain things just happen fi a purpose enuh cause just like how me wise up and seh mi cyaa just live life so, mi affi live life with a purpose, dat happen fi dat purpose.

5. Immediately after the incident, how did you feel knowing that your life was at risk?
Well it change me enuh. It mek me do some real thinking on my purpose in life. Wa mi start aim to do is…build everyone on a whole. Just like how my life and my friends’ lives could have been cut short, yuh have to protect the people and mek dem know seh there is more to life than just living.
You can’t just get up every day and feel like seh tomorrow is promised. You have to live life with a purpose and mi a live my life with a purpose. And my purpose is to get my message out to the people as much as possible.
Mek the people dem unite because right now, even in the Dancehall scene, yuh nuh really see where people a try unify the people dem. You more see is like a hype and ting and we nuh really deh pan dat. We a do dis for the love, we nah do dis for the hype….now me believe wa mi a do fi my purpose, mi fi change the world and me one cyaa change the world but mi a formulate an army.

6. What type of army is this?
When mi seh army, it nuh literally mean seh we a go out there and fight people and fight the war….how we communicate to the people, a di unity we a bring. It’s a good army. We want to build people, we not trying to destroy people with our music, we a build people.

7. Excellent initiative, now let’s talk about your music. Which genre do you commit to?
We nuh really commit to a genre. We just do music based on the vibe and wa di instrument a tell we, or based on what’s going on, social commentary. Coulda’ Dancehall, Pop or Rap…mi last single was a Jazz (song). We nuh really restrict we self. Music is something that soothes you. It will relax your mind….a really dat mi believe inna.

8. Now you identify your music as filled with many messages, what are these messages?
By right mi shouldn’t even answer that still. I should leave that up to you. I would let you listen them and you tell me.

Well I’ll certainly listen them. Thank you for sharing your story Donai!

Donai recently released a music video for his latest single, I’ll be there. Check it out!

(Check out the rest of this interview on the Facebook Page- Jamaica ‘Ave Talent Episode 3 (Part One)

Follow Donai on Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud.

Our Stories is a feature which shares the other side of Jamaican entertainers: their innermost thoughts, inspirations and personal stories. Are you a Jamaican entertainer with a story to share? Contact us [email protected].

About the author

Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt

Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt is a journalist who practises her craft everyday. Ashleigh-Ann loves to tell stories, human interest stories or stories of the heart. She hopes that by sharing these stories, she is ultimately helping persons to lead better lives. Check out her other stories on her blog,