Sunday, March 3, 2024

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Jamaican disses Bajans


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Some things never cease to amaze. Take the case of fellow journalist Ishena Robinson of Jamaica, who wrote a piece in the July 25 edition of the Gleaner newspaper headlined Rihanna And Cultural Hypocrisy.

While she is full of praise for superstar Rihanna, who has reportedly been working with a range of Jamaican producers to create an album made up entirely of reggae and dancehall music, she certainly does not have anything nice to say about the star’s fellow countrymen.

She writes: “My excitement at her irresistible artistry being stamped on these genres is tempered by an understanding that this will also be a turning point for Jamaican music on the international stage – and it will be spearheaded by the daughter of a country that has held enmity towards Jamaicans.

“Though Caribbean countries can be said to be connected tightly through proximity, as well as culture, the truth on the ground is a little more complicated. Outside of Trinidad and Tobago, there is no disdain for Jamaican citizens greater than that of Barbadians.”

To prove her point she uses the Shanique Myrie incident and the subsequent Caribbean Court of Justice ruling.

But in a country in which Jamaican performers can look forward to doing healthy business every single year – Movado, Beres Hammond, Sizzla, Morgan Heritage, Leroy Gibbons, Johnny Osbourne, Freddie McGregor, Everton Blender, Queen Ifrica, Spraggabenz, Bugle, Cocoa Tea, Capleton, Popcaan and others – who are these Bajans who are cold-hearted towards their brothers and sisters from the north?

It would be interesting to see how many Barbadian artistes got a break to perform in Jamaica over the past two years.

Perhaps the Gleaner should send Ms Robinson on assignment to Barbados to get a first-hand view of Bajans and their attitudes towards Jamaicans and to understand the many and varied jobs her countrymen and women do in Barbados without anything remotely approaching enmity from Barbadians. (ES)


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