Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Hold ‘Champion Bwoy’ to promises

Published:Sunday | February 28, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Patrick Gaynor (Curly Lox)

The people have spoken and there's a new sheriff in town. Congratulations to the prime minister-designate Andrew Holness, his wife, Juliet, and the Jamaica Labour Party.

I respect the fact that he respectfully acknowledged that this victory

is not the winning of a prize and that he realises

he must do things differently. Voter apathy, as reflected in the 47.7 per cent turnout - regardless of the

fact that many of them were allegedly paid to vote - should be an indication to the new government that the restoration of the people's trust in their ability to lead should be the first priority. Things cannot continue as they are.

Fellow Jamaicans, you must not sit idly by as you did in the past, allowing our leaders to abuse their authority with impunity. You deserve better and, therefore, must start demanding better by actually knowing what you want. Mass ignorance makes our leaders' work difficult. People must put aside the stupid pride that sees them pretending to understand when they don't.

We must all be found in possession of the knowledge of our country's inner workings - down to the last detail. You cannot insist upon your rights if you don't know them.

Our national heroes must not be relegated to being mere faces on legal tender or for our kids to play dress-up on Heroes Day and Jamaica Day, without any real knowledge. We must know their stories and learn from the struggles they faced, and understand the bravery that afforded us some of the civil liberties we have today. If our history is rich, we are going to be poor if we don't treasure any of it.

 

Waiting on our leaders

 

In the same way an abused woman thinks she needs a man to define her, too many Jamaicans are waiting on our leaders to define or fix us when it is we who hold the key to their power. You must resist the urge to substitute performance for entertainment.

There are a few people, I'm sure, who went to shops today wondering why the price of rice was still the same and not reduced. Andrew dis, Andrew dat! And so on and so forth.

The problems Jamaica faces happened gradually. Therefore, they will, too, have to be fixed gradually.

The country is like a wrecked car that needs a dedicated mechanic (leader), good assistants (the Opposition) and a team of focused auto-body workers (the people) who will each play their part in the attainment of the objective. This car needs some hard-to-get parts like justice and equality for all, regardless of geography or demography.

Also up there on the list are equal opportunities and initiatives geared towards the restoration of the morale of our civil servants who play such a vital role in the holding together of this country.

 

No time to argue

 

There's no time to argue about who's going to be the better driver and who needs driving lessons. Change won't happen overnight because of a change of government. Change should not be a mere concept or theory of that which we say we want but it must be manifested through practical sacrifice on the part of every Jamaican.

For ages, we've seen situations where one party unseated the other, followed immediately by the losing one politicising the winner's every move, even when they know better. They start telling the ignorant public that change should come in 24 hours. This has been part of the problem perpetuated by Jamaica's tribal politics for years. I implore both parties to work together for the greater good of the country and live up to the big speeches made on their campaigns on both sides. For quite some time, elections in this country haven't been about choosing the best party but rather a dilemma of epidemic proportions where the people have to choose between the lesser of two evils.

We must now go forward as a united people willing to accept responsibility for our part in the problem. Too many people confuse growing and ageing. Jamaica must truly grow and change for the better, as there's no place in the world for 54-year-old children. Our leaders need to finally put the country first, and we need to hold them to the promises they make.

- Patrick Gaynor, better known as Curly Lox of Twin of Twins fame, is a singer, songwriter, and social activist. He is author of 'The Road to Zion' and the upcoming book, 'Twice a Slave'. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com, IG @twinoftwinscurlylox, or FB twinoftwinscurlylox.