I'm Makonnen Blake Hannah
In his role as President of Spirit & Truth - The Light Must Unite, Makonnen Blake-Hanna’s mission is to unite the world by breaking down the divisions of racism and religion, and bring awareness to mankind via its already-established avenues of communication and digital media technology. Best known in Jamaica as the 13-year-old technology genius who was appointed Youth Technology Consultant to the Government in 1998, in his role as Technology Consultant, Makonnen traveled across the Diaspora to encourage technology use and establish information technology programs at schools with an emphasis on programming, web design and digital media disciplines. In 1999 Makonnen spoke at a special United Nations seminar to establish a Caribbean Digital Diaspora initiative, and was so impressive that he was invited back to the UN 3 months later to speak at an ECOSOC seminar, where he chose to focus on the developing use of technology in Jamaican music. His work led to an award in 2001 of the inaugural Musgrave Youth Award, a prestigious honour presented by the Institute of Jamaica to achievers in the arts, science and literature. His awards also include an IADB MasterCard Youth Entrepreneurship Award in 2004, and a Silver Award in the 2001 Oracle Technologies ThinkQuest Design Competition. Makonnen has worked on social impact projects with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, as well as former President Jimmy Carter’s The Carter Center. In March 2023 Makonnen was inducted as an Officer of the Royal Guard by His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, Chairman of the Crown Council of Ethiopia. Makonnen began his music career at age 7 years composing the theme song for the film “Kids Paradise” sung by Susanne Couch and produced by Tyrone Downie of the Wailers, that won an Audience Award at the 1994 Chicago Children's Film Festival. Makonnen's musical journey took off when his talent as a composer & music producer was recognized by legendary Jamaican musical giants Steely & Clevie whose infections beats gave rise to the Reggaeton genre, and who gave Makonnen an internship at their state-of-the-art Studio. There Makonnen started his foray into mainstream music by recording music with DJ's Aidonia, Fanton Mojah, Turbulance, Lutan Fyah, Erup, Mr Peppa and Wasp, who were upcoming artists at the time, but all of whom have since become household names and legit stars in Jamaica. As producer, Makonnen lists 'Pain” by reggae icon Capelton featuring Bobo Zaro and Contractor as his favourite production. The song was a smash hit for Capelton, who credits Makonnen with giving him a hit every time they work. Other memorable production hits include ‘Tenth Stage' by Vybz Kartel, “Way We Roll” “Poverty” & “Ghetto Life” by Masicka, ' and an updated version of the legendary reggae band Third World's hit "96 Degrees" featuring Stephen & Damian Marley. Makonnen has also been involved with production on songs for Lil Wayne, Sean Paul, Carlos Santana, Akon, Rick Ross, Future, Wiz Khalifa and more.. In 2016 Makonnen produced and recorded “Rockers Revolution”, a solo mix-tape album, working with his production team Natural High Music, that established his name as a solo artist. The album was noticed by music celebrities at home and abroad, including being followed on Twitter by pop music mega star Justin Beiber and the Major Lazer crew. Makonnen has not sidelined his personal music career and continues to record his own songs, while adding to his long list of solo releases, co-productions, as well as singles and collaborations with leading young artists and several established Jamaican reggae stars. He recently worked on music for other production labels that had massive hits for upcoming young stars such as Teejay, Jahvilani, Chronic Law, and ever -ontroversial Munga Honorable. During that time, Makonnen also created a Billboard-charting compilation album "Tropical House Cruises To Jamaica" alongside noted marketing guru and artist Sean "Kontractor" Edwards, who Makonnen helped to make a star years prior. Featuring a Who's Who of Jamaican music including Sean Paul, the Marley brothers and legends like Lee Scratch Perry, alongside international stars like Ed Sheeran, Wyclef Jean, Sean Kingston and others, the album reached the top of the Billboard reggae chart and stayed for weeks, also spawning Reloaded and Collector's Edition versions of the album that charted highly as well. Makonnen is also production manager and engineer for reggae icon Sizzla Kalonji, for whom he has recently produced two albums and multiple singles including two international collaboration. In 2017 Makonnen co-founded FARSIDE, a medical cannabis company and digital app specializing in connecting patients to doctors and related medical treatments, using technology to profile and create the best options for users. The company’s services include product research and development, consultation and project management implementation and deployment. FARSIDE has worked in Jamaica with the Cannabis Licensing Authority, Agriculture Investment Council, Rural Agricultural Development Association and the Ganja Growers & Producers Association. FARSIDE is licensed in the Cayman Islands and through partners in Canada and Jamaica. Now Makonnen heads “The Light Must Unite”, the movement created by the Spirit & Truth” church that works to bring race and religion together in a positive unity that overcomes racism and hatred of other religions. The Spirit & Truth Church represents all world religions, with members from all major denominations and operating in countries around the globe.
CTF (Change the Frequency) Global Ventures is the social impact fund that has been established by financier Michael King to finance the good work being done by the Opioid Awareness Foundation he established in 2020. CTF, and its program The Light Must Unite, has joined with many other initiatives that support the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Along with Jamaica’s 144 Initiative, these are collectively an urgent call to action to generate peace and prosperity for all people and the planet, that are high priorities on the radar of CTF.
As he steps forward into his role as full-time technology evangelist, Makonnen – the SpaceAgeRasta – sees the prospect of further achievements as a well-deserved development of his achievement-filled life.