Former Minister of Education, attorney at law and radio broadcaster Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Thwaites will return to prime time radio, as host of the ‘Public Eye’ that will simulcast starting Wednesday, September 15th on The Bridge 99FM in Jamaica (11am-1pm) and Irie Jam radio, WVIP, 93.5FM (noon – 2pm) in the tri-state area, station founder and Chairman Bobby Clarke announced.
‘The Public Eye’ will connect Jamaicans at home with those in the diaspora, whether it is discussing politics, covid-19, tourism, global opportunities, culture, lifestyle and more through unfiltered conversations with host Ronnie Thwaites.
“I am particularly devoted to improving relationships with the diaspora,” Mr Thwaites shared as his primary goal.
“The diaspora’s loyalty to the homeland is in fact keeping us alive. If we did not have the constant increase in remittances, we would not be able to afford life in Jamaica as we know it. I am anxious to reassure, to inform and to encourage our Jamaicans, living abroad, to increase and confirm that loyalty and The Bridge is a very important medium to do it.”
Mr Thwaites has been an important voice in the community for over 50 years and he promises to have a different approach than the status quo when he sits behind The Bridge’s megaphone.
“The main thing is for us to listen to the diaspora. For too long we have spent our time telling them (the diaspora) what is going on here. We need to listen because you in the Diaspora are as much Jamaicans as we are. We need to listen, to build that governance which will make Gravey’s dream come true – I am paraphrasing – not Africans at home and abroad but Jamaicans at home and abroad” he noted.
Regarding the hot button topic of the Covid 19 pandemic, he implored Jamaicans to “Be patient with each other. We have to be resolute about the fight against Covid and that means we have to put aside gossip and conspiracy theories and listen to the science; listen to our leaders, trust them as far as we can. Also we must think long and hard and realise that Covid brings many long term disabilities. I am thinking particularly of education and therefore we have to all share in the exquisit balancing of lives and livelihood” he noted.
The former Minister of Education comes to the table with vast experience in media. He began his journalism career in 1966 and hosted his very first radio talk show in 1976. As an attorney, he established the Jamaica Legal Aid Clinic in 1972 and has provided legal representation for thousands of Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora. Minister Thwaites has been credited with the establishment of the Jamaica Legal Aid Clinic in 1972. He was also the clinic’s Managing Director.
His influence on education and the development of Jamaica cannot be overstated having held several positions in academia as well as the private and public sector. He entered the political arena in 1997 as a Member of Parliament for Central Kingston and in 2011 assumed the position as Opposition Spokesperson on Education. The following year he was appointed Minister of Education. He also served as Chairman of the PNP’s Human Rights Commission. He represented the People’s National Party as Member of Parliament for Kingston Central, serving from 1989 to 2002, and again from 2007 to 2020. He is well-informed and his opinions transcend political affiliation.
“Being a member of a political party does not necessarily mean you are biased or prejudiced” he unequivocally stated.
“I remain a member of the PNP. I am glad to be but I am a fair minded person and the ultimate test will be to listen to Ronnie Thwaites on The Bridge and you can decide that. Won’t you?”