The issue of domestic violence has reached an all-new high across Jamaica, as more reports of women being murdered by their husbands and boyfriends following domestic disputes have reached the media. To combat this social ill, a number of political figures, as well as, entertainers on the island have spoken up about violence against women.
Among the reports is the New Year’s Eve murder of 24-year-old Shantel Whyte, who lost her life at the hands of her partner. Then, it was the stabbing death of 27-year-old Nevia Sinclair, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend. The incident is said to have taken place at her residence in Brinkley, St Elizabeth, on Sunday, January 12. Hours before, it was revealed that a 35-year-old Jamaica Defence Force Corporal by the name of Doran McKenzie had murdered his common-law wife, 34-year-old Suianne Easy, in Portmore, St Catherine.
Onlookers have identified the trend and were moved when some of their favorite entertainers on the island expressed their strong disapproval of the recent events.
Dancehall artiste, Chris Martin, has been very vocal about the issue and recently took to social media to bring further awareness to the issue of women being beaten and killed by their significant others. Martin, who has a song titled Stop The Violence Against Women posted a snippet of the song’s audio on Instagram and said, “ISLAND OF WOMEN KILLERS???? Jamaican men have been described as a lot of things but I never thought this woulda been one a dem”
Fellow dancehall star, Govana, is also speaking out against the horrific reality that has seemingly become a trend in the Jamaican society. The One and Move deejay teased one of his newest tracks off his album Humans And Monsters Are Not The Same, titled, Convo, on his Instagram page. He captioned the post with the hashtag, #stoptheviolenceagainstwomen.
Despite being behind bars, Vybz Kartel has also found himself in the conversation as well. His new album, To Tanesha, which he released on January 10, is being hailed as a compilation of songs that can heal the broken-hearted male, to steer him away from potentially harming his present or previous lover. To Tanesha is dedicated to Vybz Kartel’s long-time lover, Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson, with whom he has three children.
The album has been described as a timely project that has been helping many overcome the emotional trauma experienced after a breakup. Under the official audio for Fell Apart – one of the tracks on the album – on YouTube, one fan wrote, “Mi can always find a Vybz Kartel chune fi express how mi feel bout any situation… #Addiking #Gaza ” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />
Mr. Vegas has also shared his perspective, stating that songs with positive messages about love and healthy ways to deal with emotional hurt should be highlighted. He said, “Music influence a lot of things and if the selector dem and radio man dem did a allow certain message to come through the radio and the airwaves, we would have more man a think before dem even go da way deh.”
Newcomer on the dancehall scene, Tactikal, is also condemning domestic abuse. Tactikal believes that songs which rebuke the act of domestic violence should receive more airplay. He brought attention to one of his own tracks, which denounces the act – Naw Beat Nuh Woman.
In the same breath, Pastor Stephen Blake, known popularly as the Dancehall Pastor is rallying for the protection of women on the island, recently sharing his song titled, Stand Up For Our Women And Children, to his social media followers. In his post, he calls on the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture and Gender Affairs, to unite and fight against this societal monster.
The overall consensus is that music has the power to heal the hearts and cure the minds of those who deem it necessary to resort to abusive actions to express their anger. There are a number of songs that promote level-headed thinking when dealing with these situations. It’s time these tracks receive the circulation they need to have a positive impact.
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