One of the big ironies of our racialised national motto is that it fails to recognise that it’s not a vague ‘out of oneness’ that unites us as a people. It’s the specificity of the Jamaican language. Most Jamaicans, irrespective of class, colour, gender, sexual orientation and age, are more or less competent speakers of Jamaican.
Both NEPA and the Housing Agency of Jamaica are on a very slippery slope. They appear to be operating on the ‘principle’ that ‘wa gone bad a morning cyaan come good a evening’. But is this really so? Why can’t we stop the erosion of protected lands? Why should the water supply of Kingston be put at risk? So that fifty-eight lots can be sold to selfish people who simply must build their dream house on what is supposed to be public lands?
“So I mek them know me don’t run joke with words. Every time I see the word ‘peace’ you know where I see it? In the cemetery: ‘Here lies the body of such and such. May he rest in peace.’ So how a guy waan come tell me say him a go have a peace treaty amongst the living, where all the dead rest in wha? Peace? Ah-oh.”
Who would have thought that out of Kingston’s concrete jungle would have come a ‘riddim’ of resistance that now reverberates across the world? Reggae music and its wild child, dancehall, symbolize the unlimited potential of the creative industries that enable hard-working, talented people to make ‘nuff’ money out of brainpower.