WE ARE …….STRONGER

Produced By Ainsley “Notnice” Morris Featuring: Romain Virgo, Jah Cure, Tarrus Riley, Tessanne Chin, Richie Stephens, Nordia Mothersille, Julian Marley, Sanchez, Jah Vinci, Etana, Jesse Royal, Richie Spice, Maxi Priest, Wayne Marshall, Khalia

So this morning I woke up and was blessed with this song on my Whats App. I listened and the lyrics were uplifting, inspirational, powerful and a reminder that WE are stronger and braver than what we have been told for decades .

The song features a treasure cove of JAMAICAN artistes…Romain Virgo, Jah Cure, Tarrus Riley, Tessanne Chin, Richie Stephens, Nordia Mothersille, Julian Marley, Sanchez, Jah Vinci, Etana, Jesse Royal, Richie Spice, Maxi Priest, Wayne Marshall, Khalia and produced by @notnicerecords – go check their Instagram page.

The producer said on his page he made the song to inspire and uplift in these tragic and remarkable times. Well I think he accomplished that. I was having a discussion with a friend recently and out of the discussion was the role of artiste in times of crisis. Well this is what tall artiste are called to do Through their work and talent of poetic clarity , artiste are here not to just entertain us but to:

1. Inspire

2. Motivate

3. Push us further

4. Ignite the flames within us

5. Remind us of the importance of the world and unity and finally

6. Give us HOPE in the face of darkness

Salute go every Jack Man and Woman that gave immeasurable time to accomplishing this effort. A true artist is always out of his time. They are never made to shut up. On the contrary. They have to be true to who they are…. and then write that way. đŸ’ȘđŸ’Ș

Go stream and purchase the song on all platforms. Proceeds go to #RiseFoundation to purchase mask, PPE and life supplies for people in the Inner Cities.👍 It is music like this, in times like these, that give us hope and continued love for our blessed, beautiful and often conflicted country.

© Kwesi. All Rights Reserved. May 2020.

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I KNOW NOTHING EXCEPT TO KNOW I AM IGNORANT

Yesterday I had reason to leave my home and venture into the #QuantumZone. That’s the new name I give to anywhere outside my home. Getting dressed for the Zone is different these days, it used to be a choice between shoes or slippers, now its which #FaceMask do I wear. As I was driving watching the cars sped by fewer cars were evident. Yes, this is always good but today was a Friday and nothing ever is good on a Friday.

I arrived at my destination, the supermarket, and stopped for a minute to take in what has become a #NewNormal; people everywhere in face masks, including the soldiers, armed and ready for an impromptu disturbance. People , as different as they are, so too were their mask; some medical, some designer made, some sterile and others, well lets just say they tied a cloth around their nose, mouth exposed nonetheless. Protection? what protection?

Everywhere life had changed. I felt I was living in the movie “Contagion”. Everyone, including myself, looked liked aliens. You know people are talking as you hear vocal sounds but their voices were muffled. Bumping elbows became the greeting mode. Its unusual you go to the supermarket and not acknowledged by someone but the mask had its benefits as you could hide in plain sight, walking past your friend or creditor conspicuously hidden. It was about 2pm on the clock , curfew begins at 6pm and I couldn’t help thinking that everyone there was probably wondering my thoughts, why didn’t I come earlier to avoid the lines?

Look at what we were reduced to! Humans wearing mask, forced to be silent, told to stand 6 feet apart, accepting squirts of whatever it is they say it is on your hands, get in your car, hit the gas and go home. Its like living on a Hollywood movie set, this time its real. I know nothing except to know I am ignorant proclaimed Socrates and today I can quote those words. What do we know except to know nothing. The more information is circulated, the more we know very little. What we can do is THINK as we go and as we understand a question thrown in the melee of this #CovidCrisis, that is half the answer.

Kwesi © April 25, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

MISS UNIVERSE LOOKS LIKE ME

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Zozibini Tunzi Miss Universe 2019/ Miss South Africa 2019

I don’t know about you but I am suffering from an overdose of beauty contest. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a killjoy. I totally understand the benefits of these contest, blah blah blah, but it is the easiest thing I find promoters or organizations turn to when they want to ‘motivate’ or positively influence’ young ladies so after a show of hands they usually turn to beauty contest as the only option.

I wonder who had the first ‘beauty contest? Whose grand idea was that? Legend has it, and I really mean Google, says that the first international beauty contest  was done way back in 1888 in Belgium. Modern contest are said to be traceable to the Miss America Beauty Pageant, which was first held in Atlantic City in 1921, so these contests have a bit of history. But like everything else it has evolved to every thing  imaginable so you have contests for humans, cars, men, even dogs have their contest. You see why I’ve been  beautified out of these contest.

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Miss Iceland Universe 2019 Birta Abiba

But a funny thing happened last Sunday at Tyler Perry’s studio . For some strange reason I was compelled to watch the latest version of the Miss Universe contest and I think it was because across my IG timeline, I saw a bit of black girls in the contestant mix. For that reason alone I wanted to watch to see what surprises would be in store after all Miss USA was black, of course Jamaica, the Caribbean and the African countries with Miss Ivory Coast serving you a dose of dark chocolate with luscious thick lips, the kind they pay for in Hollywood  but get this Miss Iceland was black, yes BLACK. What happened ? Oh the controversy! So this contest was inadvertently set up to be a squeaker.

 

The contest had its usual pitches to dark skin people as Steve Harvey was there as the host, looking like a dressed up house – , well let me not go there. Lets just say Steve was Steve. At least he read the teleprompter correctly. When the top 20 was called and I saw Miss South Africa with her boy’s faded cut, her so called ‘nappy’ hair, all black and beautiful, refusing to wear purchased wigs from China or Brazil in order to look like the ‘standard’ of beauty this contest upholds, I said to myself sis, I wish you luck but these people ain’t ready for your look. And then she opened her mouth and I was sold. This girl was going to be heard tonight.

Well heard she was as the ‘selection committee’ , not judges mark you, selected Zozibini Tunzi, Miss South Africa 2019, the slim, slightly bow legged, dark skinned, wearing a boy’s fade, nappy hair beauty as the top woman of the night.  I had already made my choices but I was waiting to see, as they usually do, if they would elevate the whiter contestants over the dark skinned girls, but this time they couldn’t. It was too obvious, she was way ahead of the field in her response and her mission was directly in collusion with the organization’s standard of beauty and she took it head on.

” I grew up in a world where women that look like me with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful and I think that is is time that it stops today. i want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine, thank you” – Zozibini Tunzi. MissUniverse2019

That response awakened every  dark skinned person and every white skinned person who has a heart,  to stand up and pay attention. What is beauty? Who defines beauty? Zozibini just redefined it in front of millions watching. It was no longer what the MU organization defined it, rather it was standing in front of you, confident, radiant, unapologetic and reminding the diaspora to stop drinking the koolaid served by organizations like MU about beauty.

Zozibini placed the standard of beauty at the feet of all those melanated people that are still seeking affirmation from the Vogues, Victoria Secrets and all the organizations that sell beauty as their product. Our people, and thankfully not all, still want their natural hair to look like Beyonce with her straight, long wigs and perm. Some are still bleaching, some are scraping their eyebrows to smithereens, some even thinning their lips all under the cover of fashion and the tacit acceptance of European and American  standard of beauty.

You see this every day on social media or  just walking around town, girls with green hair, orange hair, grey hair, hair that falls to the ground, nails that look like weapons of mass destruction, cherry red Eva Gabor’s lips, brows like Medusa. The masks are everywhere. The girls, and some men too, are changing and  shaping their looks  to be  accepted in the fairyland world of social media, governed these days by the Kardashians of the world. Zozibini said it should stop. I agree with her but sadly it wont. Some of our people are too drunk drinking that koolaid.

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Miss Jamaica in her National Costume

Which brings me to Miss Jamaica and her ‘national costume’.  Her handlers choose to represent Jamaica with the Annie Palmer costume, all white , sparkling and glittery announcing to the world that Jamaica’s wicked ‘witch’ is something we are proud to be associated with and is what moves us as a people. Really now? Annie Palmer?

The story is at best an excellent marketing ploy  for Rose hall developments and at worst a horrible reminder of the atrocities dark skinned people had to endure during that horrible colonial  past , but somehow no one seemed to have seen the big picture of choosing that costume. That’s what happens when corporate greed becomes a virtue to organizers strapped for cash as the only thing that affects reasoning in this case is cash and cash won. Greed suffocates all reasoning and historical sensitivities for cheap promotion of a product that is laying dead as Annie Palmer herself.

Taking on corporate greed is a mammoth task and I choose my battles well. I choose to kiss it and leave it and let the people devour the rich guy in the room. But thanks to Zozibini every little girl with their unprocessed hair can say I. AM. BEAUTIFUL. Already the hashtag #MissUniverseLooksLikeMe is trending , a sign that her message is being heard. But it is one thing to hear a message and another to act on the message.

Black beauty is not a horse. It was a horse when Hollywood said so and the horse was owned by a white girl. That message has to stop. BLACK has always been the foundation of beauty , the first people on the planet were nubians, there is nothing to be ashamed of. When you go to an art museum, the thing you’re least likely to encounter is a picture of a black person. When it comes to ideas about art and about beauty, the black figure is absent. Zozibini said that has to stop. And I am with her.

Beauty has always come from black people. Make your beauty space in  this world. Zozibini has shown you how to make space. Take her lead. Stop being a compliant negro. Natural hair? Wear it well. Big lips? Moisturize it well. Lashes and brows to heavy? Groom them well. Define what it is to be Black. Don’t ever let Babylon’s definition defines you. Her win and her natural looks only reinforces what we have already known  and that is Black. Is. Eternally. Beautiful.
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Kwesi. 2019.  All Rights Reserved.

WOMEN’S VIRGINITY AND HYMEN

T.I, a popular rapper of US fame, recently said he goes with his 18 year old daughter’s to her medical exam with her doctor, to check to see if her ‘hymen’ is still in tact. According to him he said and I quote .. ‘I’m willing to go above and beyond to protect mine’.

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His comments sparked a forest like burn all over social media causing his daughter to delete her social media page. The heat got so intense he went on Jada Smith’s Red Table Talk show to try and cover the burn with his wife on hand and to clear up any misconception.

So the Negro goes on a celebrity friendly show, whose host is living on the other side of freak and who raises her kids on the other side of extreme, and goes on to tell the listeners that he was joking, that he was not literally in the examination room, blah blah blah blah blah. Of course the interviewers were so shallow, friendly and so inept on the ramifications of his careless comments, a lot of important issues deriving from the topic slid through the discussion net. Cannot say I am too surprised. This is what you have when entitled ‘celebrities’ decide to do a Talk Show out of boredom with very little content and important learning lessons, filled with celebrity gossip and nothing but an insight of their boring and baseless lives.

T.I a word of advice…STFU…JUST STOP.

The horse has already left the barn yard galloping wildly and you cant stop it. T.I has already fed the gross psychopaths in this world to either go abuse and rape other young females or they are just waiting to ambush his daughter somewhere to be the first to break that coveted, cherished hymen.

What the fuck’s wrong with these ‘celebrities’ ? Does it pay that much to talk fuckery all the time? Is it the way to keep them current on the lips of nothing to do, Goo Goo Ga Ga, easily impressed, low self esteemed teenagers?

Oh the ills of capitalism. Everything becomes a commodity, including in this case T.I’s daughter.

The go to mea culpa these days it seems to be to declare I didn’t Mean what I said,

Well maybe its my age but if you said something, you actually meant to say it unless your brain does not have a close relationship with your mouth, in which case people like that are classified as idiots or even worse, insane.

T.I. what you said, whether its jest or otherwise, is what people in other cultures do as the norm and women in those cultures are nothing but commodities. They have to pass virginity test, In Afghanistan , Indonesia, Tanzania, Sweden yes Sweden, Egypt , Malawi , India, South Africa, Turkey, the masters of virginity tests where failure can lead to death, Jamaica and even the USA, these ‘test’ occur and as unscientific as they are, many lives are dependent on passing these two finger wiggle in the female genitalia. How ironic and hypocritical it is that female purity is sacrosanct whilst for men its a problem to be a virgin. I wonder if these ‘test’ happen in the animal world? I doubt it very much as certainly many dogs would fail that test. But then maybe that’s why men are compared to dogs. Dogs see another dog and just hump.

Look , the world as we know it is burdened with localized customs all under the cover of religious beliefs that make us as different as the language we speak. We don’t need to look far to see the true problem that plagues us as a society and that is our women are seen as commodities and treated differently in every culture and country. T.I was just doing what most men would like to believe of their daughters, that they are pure , virginal, oh so clean paragon of virtues that shows how ‘good’ they are in raising their daughters. Meanwhile the sons are let loose to find T.H.O.T to break their ‘virginity’ as part of their growing up to be a man.

What a tangled mess of double standards we weave. It is women who have traditionally and historically been given non-human roles, perceived as simply the daughters of Eve or as either Madonna or whore. Female emancipation is a far way off albeit impossible to equate to the men’s sexual revolution. I almost want to equate it to the Civil Rights Movement; it is something that is desired but far from desirable.

The sexual revolution is still being defined. Sexuality surrounds us like a dangerous aura. The same reverence that is given to the spirit is not given to the flesh. We have had a sexual revolution, but the sexual revolution only has made sex more pervasive. It has segregated and classify women, unhinge the men and created in many ways sexual dictatorship that breaks down, a system devised to preserve compulsive moralistic values in the individual in the interest of authoritarian marriage and family.

What a mirage we have and why even talk about it when calling a mirage a mirage is a good way to end a career, loose a job or even see you dead.

What are your thoughts? Please share and comment.

All Rights Reserved. 2019 ©, Kwesi

THE POWER OF MONEY IS BRUTE FORCE

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SIGH…..sometimes you should just sit back and watch the bulldog try and catch its own tail.

Recently the #NBA is in the news with  super power #China over a tweet from the General manager of  the #HoustonRockets. The tweet touched a Chinese nerve as he dared to take sides with #HongKong in the ongoing spate with big bully, sorry I meant BROTHER, China. In a series of dramatic soap opera misgivings, the NBA has made statements trying to deflect and contort themselves into pretzels not to offend their Chinese host.

Yes the NBA has 2 pre-season games in China at the very same time as #twitter-gate. China, the wealthy bully with millions of dollars invested in the NBA instructed the NBA not to speak to any reporters and also to tell their players to just Shut Up and Dribble. The NBA, with their tail behind their legs did just that and made another statement that this was ‘unprecedented’ and felt their players should not be pulled into this Geo-political brouhaha so NO STATEMENTS to anyone , total blackout to the media.

Capitalism was defeated by Socialism. What a striking turn of events. It was #FidelCastro who once asked where is the success of Capitalism when all the talk was about the failure of Socialism.  I now put the same question to the NBA , where is the success of Capitalism? Where is your much hyped #FreedomOfSpeech for all Americans?

Capitalism knows only one color: that color is green and everything  else is  subservient to it, hence, race, gender and ethnicity cannot be considered within it.

China ,whose political belief by definition is the opposite of Capitalism knows this and has stuffed it in the face of the NBA. China knows The NBA loves money , it WANTS money and only sees green, hence they use them like pawns, controlling their narrative AND telling the salivating, hungry NBA puppy dog they cannot speak. What the Chinese have done is they took the  much ballyhooed American First Amendment Rights and stuffed it up their derriere..and that’s putting it nicely!

The power of money is brute force. It is the power of the bludgeon and the bayonet. The NBA is by no means the compass of which you measure the overall system of Capitalism but in truth this is what politics looks like. Politics always looks the other way when those that are affected are not the ones paying the bill.

It is enough that the NBA knows that China is a market with immense opportunities so to avoid losing they turn around and bend over.

The people who has the product  decide nothing.

The people who is paying for the product decide everything.

 

Kwesi: October 2019. Copyright .All Rights Reserved

 

RAT IN A HOLE

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There is an African proverb that says….He that beats the drum for the Madman to dance is no better than the Madman himself.

These images are viral coming out of the verdict of #AmberGuyer the policewoman that shot #JeanBotham , a young Lucian in his home as she said she thought he was in HER apartment when in fact Jean was at home in HIS apartment.

The case sparked racial tensions in an already racial hotbed in the United States. White police officer kills black man, no surprises there, and the guilty verdict was in itself a surprise, no , not a surprise, more like a cultural shock as it is rare police officers , especially white police officers, are  convicted of any thing when clothed in their hallowed Police Blue.

The image of Jean Botham’s brother embracing Ms.Guyer rubbed many people the wrong way. At first it disturbed me as well but I remembered something that Dr King said about forgiveness.

He said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

RIP Dr. King. We haven’t seen anyone like you since they took you away from this World.

Lets face it.
Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound suffered to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. Let me stress this again.

There is no peace without forgiveness.

Jean Botham’s brother act of embrace is another powerful reminder of how you forgive in order to find your peace. It is difficult but in this case forgiveness is not really for her as is it more for him. I hope he finds peace. His mother, on the other hand, said she has not reached that place as yet. No kumbaya for her.

What is confusing however are the actions of the judge, who is colored and a police officer in court, who also happens to be colored. Why are they displaying such empathy to the Ms.Guyer? When these two officers of the law openly display empathy it makes you question the System they have sworn to uphold.

The keystone to justice is the belief that the legal system treats all fairly but we know Justice is broken and weighed heavily against people of color in the US #JusticeSystem so it boggles the mind when we see this outward embrace of emotional support. Is this support outreach designed for the institution she represents or for her personally?

In either case this was inappropriate and frankly demoralizing as the optics glaring in the face of witnesses is that #WhiteSupremacy reigns despite the guilty verdict. White supremacy is not just a social arrangement, it is a race-based faith.

Any self-respecting institution should seek to have its officers display impartiality especially in the execution of The Law. That embrace of the judge and the gentle touch of the officer will have consequences that will continue to support and prop up an already broken System. In the execution of this judgement the System seems to breed a Rat. No self respecting black person can ever embrace a Rat after catching it in its filthy hole.

Kwesi. © 2019. All Rights Reserved.

JAMAICANS LOVE NOISE

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Firstly let me just say I have been away from my blog for too long.

Long story short- I was distracted doing other things and I totally disregarded my blog  which is  my outlet to vent, share, educate and just entertain my followers. For this I apologize and you will see regular topics on this blog henceforth.

I wanted to start with this topic that is scurrying to get into the headlines  and that is the  #NoiseAbatementAct that is being amended in Jamaica. On my #Instagram account @or_ren_da (go follow for some inspiring topics which is a shameless plug)  I came across a post and I had to put my two cents in. Trust me, this is not the end of this discussion. More will come I am sure from this blog and others on this topic.

So this entertainer , I think his name is @WalshyFire ( that’s his Instagram handle)  was being interviewed on an overseas  talk show, @seanibremix ( that’s his Instagram handle) and the question was presented to him as a stakeholder in the matter of #noise. As an entertainer one would think he should have some interesting comments but frankly I was disappointed.

Every country in the world evolves and so too its people. Life is all about evolution. We do. We learn. We change. We evolve. We are human. Evolution is all about looking forward. Since our so called Independence we have made some strides in moving our people forward and one such instance is the formulation of the Noise Abatement Act which in summary attempts to control environmental noise caused by the producers and enablers of sound in a private or public setting. It controls decibel levels in urban vicinity and areas that are populated.

Part of our Jamaican culture is the popular gratification of self, ingratiating ourselves with decibel levels that literally hit you in the chest. Indeed some stand in front of sound speakers just to feel the full effect. Whilst the intended audience is committing this suicide, other people cannot rest nor even hear themselves. Why must we all drink this koolaid? This is where #walshyfire and I respectfully disagree. His argument in short is in the name of #Culture and in the name of #tourism, let noise be free.

The careless export of our culture with very little or no control of residual and copyright wealth is in itself a problem of its own, but I digress,  but to liken our people as an island of noise loving people in total abandonment of any civility is frankly slapping Jamaica in the face of any progress made in its 57 years of so called Independence. And when has “tourism”and in particular #EntertainmentTourism benefited from the coins of visiting tourist?

He mentioned the amount of people benefiting from the music industry. Yes I agree but they are benefiting from their creativity, not loud music. Loud music has never put wealth in anyone’s pockets so again I was disappointed in his arguments and frankly the  interviewer was there doing his usual big Ups and nodding his head like a head bobbing cattle, Moo Moo Moo!, no push back, no follow up questions, no through discussion.

If someone wants to play their music loud, be my guest. I love my music loud as well but LOUD is subjective. The Act is just simply stating what is acceptable. Turning up the music louder and louder does not make an event successful. Persons in #WhiteRiver does not need to be reminded that there is an event in #OchoRios from noise pollution some 2 miles away. Its called moderation. Its called control. Its called #civility.

57 years and counting,  Jamaica is evolving. We are more than an island of people basking under a coconut tree with headphones strapped to our heads sipping on rum and coconut water. We are an emerging nation with immense talent. We just need to work together, visionary leaders and decide who we are as Jamaicans and make Jamaica Great, borrowing a term current in today’s politics,  for generations to generations.

As I said this is not the end of this discussion but only a start. Let me hear your comments. What are your views on this matter? Do you agree with what I had to say? Thanks again  and yes you will hear more from me starting today September 29, 2019.

Kwesi © 2019. All Rights Reserved.