Dr. Kingsley "Ragashanti" Stewart, a well-known talk show host and poet, was kidnapped last night from the UWI, Mona parking lot by armed assailants, but later released. He gave a harrowing account of his ordeal on radio this morning to fellow broadcaster Fae Ellington where he recounted that the men had wanted to kill him but let him go when one recognised that he was the television personality who "defended poor people".
The CCN confirmed this morning that they had heard of the incident but had not compiled a formal report of the kidnapping.
YardFlex.com will have more on this story as it continues to break.
He ran a phenomenally popular version of Disclosure on HOT 102 FM. He had stints as co-host on the highly regarded radio news program Nationwide, a club member on the much respected Breakfast Club, co-host for Television Jamaica's (TVJ) highly popular morning show Smile Jamaica, and host on Mantalk, the very earthy and popular Sunday night talk show.
According to his website, Ragashanti is a sociocultural anthropologist, an expert on Jamaican and Caribbean culture. Another major focus of his expertise addresses various issues that emerge between Jamaica's reggae-dancehall culture and identity development.
Ragashanti is quite known in Jamaica for his remarkable coming of age life story from living in the streets of Kingston, running afoul with the law on many occasions, placed in several boys' homes, incarcerated in several jails, to obtaining his doctorate in anthropology and being a lecturer at universities.
He grew up in rough, urban, working-class areas of Kingston, including Water House, Olympic Way, Jacques Road, Waltham Park Road, August Town, and Southside. After his many run-ins with the law, subsequent incarcerations in jails and the experience of a very meaningful event, he decided to turn his life around.
Dr. Ragashanti is also known for his many appearances on Jamaican radio and television shows. He also spends much of his recreational time in the creative poetics of a Dancehall deejay, (Jamaicans use the term "deejay" to refer to artistes who perform in a manner similar to that of a rapper in the US and a toaster in Britain).