Busta’s Person of the Week: Life lesson: Never regret what you can learn from

Jarrard Goldsmith Sr. stands with children who attend school in Kampala, Uganda.

Busta’s Person of the Week: Life lesson: Never regret what you can learn from
July 11
08:45 2019

By Busta Brown

The people of Kampala, Uganda, including ministers and high officials, calls this Winston-Salem native “Muallim,” which means “teacher.” He sends weekly sermons to Kampala, Uganda.

It all began when a minister from Kampala saw a few of his inspirational Facebook posts. “One night about three o’clock in the morning, I got an email from a minister in Africa. I thought it was just a joke. It said he read some of my Facebook posts and wanted me to come speak at a conference in Kampala, Uganda.” What’s most interesting about that, while posting inspirational messages on his Facebook page, he was battling depression and anxiety. “As I was posting those messages, I had tears coming down my eyes. I wanted to kill myself, but I was still typing, encouraging other people to live,” said Jarrard.

He battled with this for five years and every day he asked God the same questions: “I asked God, how can I go to Africa and minster to people and I’m sick? How can I pray for the sick and I’m sick too?”

Jarrard decided he would still accept the minister’s invitation to come speak at the conference in Kampala, Uganda. But as he was packing for this opportunity of a lifetime, something major happened. “I ended up suffering from a slight heart attack and was in the hospital for four days, so I couldn’t make the trip. When I got home, due to my heart attack, I had developed anxiety issues, which prevented me to fly.”

He said if he didn’t go through those afflictions, “I wouldn’t know how to pray the way I do now. I learned how to pray with God.”

The ministers and the people from Africa sent him prayers and well wishes. Days later, God’s word, “there’s strength in numbers,” had manifested. The minister asked Jarrard to send sermons so they can teach their people, and I did.” He wrote his sermons weekly and the African minsters would translate them into three different languages.

Muallim, as the people of Kampala intimately calls him, couldn’t fly to Africa, but God made a way to get his message to there. Today, his sermons are sent out to five different countries in Africa. Jarrard built a strong bond and friendship with the minster. “One day he called me to pray about his daughter, who was suffering from a life-threatening disease. At the time, she was six years old. We talked about the power of prayer, and Busta, four years later she’s running and playing like any other healthy 10 year old.”

He also sponsors kids at Kapere Memorial Primary School, the school she attends. “A lot of the kids are the heads of their households, because their parent is sick with HIV/Aids or dead. The Winston-Salem native shared his story on Facebook and his friends sent donations. “I wasn’t surprised, because my friends are amazing people.”

The students sent him a thank-you video that he watches daily. “It inspires me to keep doing what I do.”  The school named one of their halls Jarrard Goldsmith Sr. Hall. “I am humbled daily and I know where my blessing come from.”

Jarrard Goldsmith Sr. does promotions and marketing for Diamond Life Concerts Inc. It’s one of the most successful and influential concert promotion companies in the country. He also helps his business partner and founder and CEO, Tony Williams, with negotiating contracts. Diamond Life is responsible for the biggest concerts in the Triad, including NC A&T University and Winston-Salem State homecoming concerts. The list is far too long, so I’ll name a few: Earth Wind and Fire, Pattie Labelle, New Edition, Jay Z, Mary J Blige, The Whispers, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Cardi B, Migos, Baby Face, Maxwell, Tyler Perry’s Madea, Tupac, The Fugees, Rick Ross, Kirk Franklin, and the list goes on and on.

I asked Jarrard, what is the most challenging part of such a demanding job? “Making sure the people leave happy. That’s what matters to us, the people. That’s who we do it for.”

Goldsmith has overcome his anxiety and depression and now uses his success and testimony to minister to others. At age 17, Diamond Life Concerts Inc. Founder and CEO Tony Williams gave Jarrard the break that skyrocketed his career as a concert promoter, but it was his childhood church, Ambassador Cathedral in Winston-Salem, where he caught the bug. Church is where it all begins. “My pastor, the late Bishop Frederick D. Patterson, introduced me to sound and production, and then his son David Allen took my passion and interest in gospel music to another level. He showed me how to look at contracts, did gospel workshops at the church, and would bring gospel artists to the church. He also took people to James Cleveland workshops.”

Jarrard’s apprenticeship continued to expand when he met Walter Jones. “He did the Waljo People’s Choice Awards. Before the Steller Awards, this was the biggest gospel awards show. He introduced me to the biggest names in gospel music at that time and gave me a chance to do audio and production on the next level. Bishop Frederik D. Patterson, his son David Allen, and Walter Jones were the first three men that put that inspiration in me.” 

In 1991, Goldsmith did his first concert independently, so when he met Tony Williams, he had some experience. The two met at NC A&T, where Williams saw something special in Jarrard. “He told me I can be successful in this business and we bonded from there. I started off with Diamond Life as a runner and driver, and then worked my way up.”

Tony was like a father to Jarrard. He taught him life lessons that I wish I had learned as a young man. One of the most important lessons was how to save his money. “He asked me where do I see myself in five years? At this time, I was driving a BMW, had lots of jewelry, nice clothes, I thought I had it all under control. He made me price everything I had on, and then asked how much money I had in my pocket. I had $900 and he said, ‘I bet that’s all you got. You ain’t got no money in the bank, no savings account, nothing.’ He said, ‘You’ll be broke in five years unless you learn how to save your money.’ It’s lessons like that and more that changed my life for the better, forever.” 

Jarrard paid it forward by becoming a mentor himself. Tony planted the seed in Jarrard, but it needed water to grow, and that’s when Goldsmith met a young man at church. He was the water. “His name was Jason Jowers. He said he wanted to be just like me and at first I was proud. Then I realized I was still living as I called, ‘fly, flashy and foolish.’ I asked him why he wanted to be like me and he said because you have the fly clothes, cars, jewelry and pretty women. That’s what I’m trying to do. I told him, ‘Don’t be like me, be better than me. And he became everything that I wasn’t at the time.” Jason Jowers is now one of the top principals in Durham County Schools. 

He said his mother, Debra Hale, is his greatest inspiration. The lessons she taught him prepared him for the hard work and stress that comes with his career. “When we brought New Edition to Greensboro, Whitney had died the day before and everyone was wondering if Bobby would show up. Because of seeing how my mom handled things, I didn’t stress. I made the necessary phone calls to make sure Bobby was coming and then arranged for him to be in a hotel away from everyone else, so he would have some peace and privacy. I worked like my mom, she made me the man that I am. So, when I work with these entertainers, giving comes naturally. In the concert business, you must give so much of yourself all the time. My mom taught me how to be a giver. We didn’t have much, but I always saw her giving. She always found a way to be of service to people. And that’s why I do this job well; I know how to serve our audiences. Because of my mother’s strength and love, I didn’t know we were poor. She was a single parent, doing the best she could, and made us feel like we had everything. She raised two boys alone and we never got in trouble or went to jail. She worked all the time and that’s why I don’t mind hard work. My mom made me the man that I am. I told my kids that I will never walk out on them. Because of my mom, I made sure my kids never had to text happy Father’s Day and I never had to text them happy birthday, because like my mom, I was always there for my kids.”

Goldsmith is a graduate of Glenn High School and received a scholarship to NC School of the Arts, where actress Jada Pinkett Smith attended as well. During that time, he met Smith and late Rapper and actor Tupac. He owns Goldfinger Inc., which works with NBA superstar point guard and Winston-Salem native Chris Paul’s Foundation, and also ex-NBA star and Twin City native Josh Howard’s foundation. Jarrard coached Paul at Hanes Middle School. Before moving to New York and now Virginia Beach, he was very active in the Winston-Salem community. One his most memorable moments as a successful concert promoter was “when I won the Entertainer of the Year award on my grandmother’s 80th birthday.”

His brother, Mischeal Goldsmith, is a successful gospel artist and has performed with some the biggest names in gospel music today. He’s also the minister of music at St. Peters World Outreach in Winston-Salem.

So, Debra Hale, job well done.

Jarrard said he’s rebuilding his relationship with his father, better known as Mickey. He took his father to a Mike Epps concert, promoted by his Diamond Life Concerts. Comedian Mike Epps told his father what a phenomenal son he has and that he should be very proud. “My dad got this big smile on his face, because now he’s hearing somebody talk about me. Mike told my dad, “When I get saved, I wanna be like him. That was one of my favorite moments in my career.”

Another reason he’s able to do his job effectively is “my wife of 21 years. We’re high school sweethearts, so we been together for 31 years. She’s a phenomenal mother, wife and my best friend. I couldn’t do this without her. My advice to men, don’t propose unless you’re ready to die for your wife. I would die for mine.” He and wife Latosha have two boys, AJ and Jadon.

What next for Jarrard Goldsmith Sr.? “Writing books and teaching. I would love to teach more of the new generation that’s coming. I want to teach them how to generate income the right and honest way. And to never have regrets from past mistakes. You should never regret what you can learn from.”

For more info and to contact Jarrard Goldsmith Sr., visit diamondlifeinc on Instagram and Snapchat. 

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