Devon House a Fi di Whole a Wi

Two spelling systems are used for the Jamaican language below. The first, ‘Chaka-Chaka,’ is based on English spelling, which is notoriously irregular. The second, ‘Prapa-Prapa,’ is the consistent, specialist system designed by the Jamaican linguist Frederic Cassidy. It has been updated by the Jamaican Language Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona. After the two Jamaican versions, there’s an English translation.


It look like seh some a wi nuh understand seh Devon House a fi di whole a wi. Uptown, downtown an all bout town! An di whole a wi ha fi look after it. Pon top a dat, some a di people dem weh go a Devon House nuh know how fi behave demself wen dem lef dem yard go out a road. Dem nuh have nuh brought-upsy. Dem drag up. Dem nah treat di place right. A it mek di good ha fi suffer fi di bad.

Mi did hear seh a ongle if yu pay fi go pon Devon House tour, yu coulda go pon di front lawn. One pretty-pretty garden out deh! Mi nuh believe inna hearsay to dat. Mi done know seh wi love fi seh, ‘If it nuh go so, it nearly go so.’ Mi did waan know how it go fi true. Mi did write one column bout di situation wid dis ya headline, “Devon House management on the defensive.” It did come out pon Sunday March 5. Sake a technical problem, di column drop offa di website pon di Monday. Gone like Sammy mout! A no till di Friday it go back up. So nuff smaddy never get fi read it.

Anyhow, mi did email di marketing and events manager pon February 1 fi find out wa a gwaan. Shi send back one email pon February 10. Shi seh, one time, any an everybody coulda go pon di front lawn an dem never ha fi pay nutten. Di manager dem did ha fi stop dat. Some a di people dem dash weh dem rubbish all bout. Garbage pan di deh, but dem nah use it. Believe it or not, some a dem find all kind a dark corner pon di property fi have sex. An dem lef dem condom same place. Dem nuh even put it inna garbage pan. Wa mek dem so worthless? Dem nah nuh shame?


December last year, tings change fi di better. Any an everybody can go back pon Devon House front lawn certain time a day. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day! Dat a good news. Sometime, di garden mighta rent out fi wedding, birthday party an such di like. Dem deh time, di general public can’t go inna di garden chroo di event private. Devon House ha fi mek money fi help keep up di place.

Mi ongle hope seh di outa order smaddy dem, weh a mek it bad fi di rest a wi, a go try behave demself a Devon House. Mi know seh wi ha fi start wid di pikni dem. Ministry a Education a put back Civics inna school so di pikni dem wi learn how fi grow up an turn nice an deestant citizen. Mi no waan di manager dem a Devon House ha fi go pitch wi back offa di front lawn. If Devon House a fi di whole a wi fi true, di whole a wi supposen fi able fi a profile out a front.


It luk laik se som a wi no andastan se Devon House a fi di uol a wi. Optoun, dountoun an aal bout toun. An di uol a wi a fi luk aafta it. Pan tap a dat, som a di piipl dem we go a Devon House no nuo ou fi biyiev demself wen dem lef dem yaad go out a ruod. Dem no av no braatopsi. Dem jrag op. Dem naa chriit di plies rait. A it mek di gud a fi sofa fi di bad.

Mi did ier se a ongl if yu pie fi go pan Devon House tuor, yu kuda go pan di front laan. Wan priti-priti gyaadn out de! Mi no biliiv in a ier-se tu dat. Mi don nuo se wi lov fi se, ‘If it no go so, it nierli go so.’ Mi did waahn nuo ou it go fi chruu. Mi did rait wan kalam bout di sitiyieshan wid disya edlain, “Devon House management on the defensive.” It did kom out pan Sonde Maach 5. Siek a teknikal prablem, di kalam jrap aafa di websait pan di Monde. Gaan laik Sammy mout! A no til di Fraide it go bak op. So nof smadi neva get fi riid it.

Eniou, mi did iimiel di marketing and events manager pan Febieri 1 fi fain out wa a gwaan. Shi sen bak wan iimiel pan Febieri 10. Shi se, wan taim, eni an evribadi kuda go pan di front laan an dem neva a fi pie notn. Di manija dem did a fi stap dat. Som a di piipl dem dash we dem robish aal bout. Gyaabij pan di de, bot dem naa yuuz it. Biliiv it ar nat, som a dem fain aal kain a daak kaana pan di prapati fi av seks. An dem lef dem kandom siem plies. Dem no iivn put it ina gyaabij pan. Wa mek dem so wotlis? Dem naa no shiem?


Disemba laas ier, tingz chienj fi di beta. Eni an evribadi kyan go bak pan Devon House front laan sortn taim a die. Fram 3 p.m. tu 7 p.m. evri die! Dat a gud nyuuz. Somtaim, di gyaadn maita rent out fi wedn, bortdie paati an soch di laik. Dem de taim, di jenaral poblik kyaahn go in a di gyaadn chruu di event praivit. Devon House a fi mek moni fi elp kip op di plies.

Mi ongl uop se di outa aada smadi dem, we a mek it bad fi di res a wi, a go chrai biyiev demself a Devon House. Mi nuo se wi a fi staat wid di pikni dem. Minischri a Edikieshan a put bak Siviks ina skuul so di pikni dem wi lorn ou fi gruo op an ton nais an diistant sitizn. Mi no waahn di manija dem a Devon House a fi go pich wi bak aafa di front laan. If Devon House a fi di uol a wi fi chruu, di uol a wi sopuozn fi iebl fi a pruofail out a front.


Devon House is for all of us

It seems as if some of us don’t understand that Devon House is for all of us.  Uptown, downtown and all around town!  And we all have to look after it. On top of that, some people who go to Devon House don’t know how to behave themselves in public. They have no home training. They weren’t brought up.  They were dragged up. They are not treating the property right.  That’s why the good have to suffer for the bad. 

I’d heard that it was only if you paid to tour Devon House that you could go on the front lawn.  A very pretty garden is out there!  I don’t believe in hearsay all that much.  I know we love to say, ‘If it’s not true, it’s nearly true.’  I wanted to know the truth.  I actually wrote a column about the situation with this headline, “Devon House management on the defensive.” It was published on Sunday, March 5.  Because of technical difficulties, the column dropped off the website on the Monday.  Disappeared into thin air!  It didn’t go back up until the Friday.  So hardly anybody got the chance to read it.

Anyhow, I did email the marketing and events manager on February 1 to find out what was going on.  She replied on February 10 to say that, previously, any and everybody could freely go on the front lawn.  And there was no charge.  Management had to change that policy. Rubbish was left all over the lawn instead of being placed in garbage bins. Believe it or not, some people found all kinds of secret spots on the property to have sex. And they would leave their used condoms right there.  They wouldn’t even put them in the garbage bin.  Why are they so worthless?  Don’t they have any shame?


Last December, things changed for the better.  Any and everybody can go back on the front lawn of Devon House at specific times.  From 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day!  That’s good news.  Sometimes, the garden might be rented for weddings, birthday parties and similar events.  At those times, the general public can’t go in the garden because the event is private.  Devon House has to make money to contribute to the upkeep of the property.

I only hope that the unruly people who are making things bad for the rest of us are going to try to behave themselves at Devon House. I know we have to start with the children. The Ministry of Education is putting Civics back on the curriculum so children will learn how to become responsible citizens. I don’t want the management of Devon House to have to throw us off the front lawn again. If Devon House is really for all us, we should all be able to step out in style up front.

Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams (centre); Chief Education Officer (Acting) in the Ministry, Dr. Kasan Troupe (right) and President-elect, Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Leighton Johnson, look at the Civics Curriculum for various grades, which has been reintroduced in the National Standards Curriculum. The launch of the programme was held at the ministry in Kingston on December 13, 2022. (Source – The Gleaner)

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