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'Shabba Madda Pot' more than just a song

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 12:00 AMRene Deleon
Mama Christie, surrounded by her sons and grandsons.
Mama Christie
Constance Christie, the mother of dancehall star Shabba Ranks, better known as ‘Mama Christie’, alongside Dexta Daps at her home in Seaview Gardens on Friday May 6, 2016.
Constance Christie, the mother of dancehall star Shabba Ranks, better known as ‘Mama Christie’, alongside Dexta Daps at her home in Seaview Gardens on Friday May 6, 2016.
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With a hearty laugh, gleaming eyes and welcoming arms, this 77-year-old does not look a day over 60.

She is the mother of iconic dancehall artiste Shabba Ranks and the woman behind Dexta Daps' hit song Shabba Madda Pot.

Meet Constance Christie, the heartbeat of her Seaview Gardens community.

"I am the mom for each and every child here. I look after them just the way I would look after my own child. I am a godly mother. I am a saved mother," she said.

Mama Christie, as she is affectionately known, was a name given to her by Shabba, but it serves as a monument in the community, especially because her hands have served many, and her pot is no less pervasive.

"When we have treats here, Shabba gives me the money, but I am the organiser and I am responsible for the cooking. The last treat we had out by the roadside, we cooked fish, we jerked chicken, rice and peas, tossed salad, potato salad, everything you can think of. It was Christmas, and I don't believe anybody put on a pot that day," she recalled.

"I have a friend and every time she sees me, she says, 'Mama Christie, I will never forget what you did and how you feed almost the entire Seaview Gardens'," she added.

Dexta Daps, who was also present on the day The Sunday Gleaner visited, testified about the significance of Shabba's mother's pot. For him, the fact that her kitchen is located close to the road side, made her pot even more sentimental.

"The pot ever hot. Who nuh know bout her pot nuh come from bout yah. All when me nuh get no food, the pot still smell good and still hot, right round a di side, round dere so," he said, pointing to the kitchen area.

 

COMMUNITY STALWART

 

"My mother was a teacher, so people would go to her for lessons and me woulda come roun' a Shabba madda fi food. The whole scheme benefits from a lot of big women, but in my experience, Mama Christie is one of the main mothers in the world, not just in Seaview. Me nuh see too much women a do wah she do or ever do," he explained.

Mama Christie's biological children hail her as "A1".

"The whole community eats from her hands. Dexta Daps knows exactly what he is saying because her pot ever hot. That song is a tribute. Mama Christie is a legend because she gave birth to a legend. I just want God to continue blessing my mother," her last child, Leopold Hartley, told The Sunday Gleaner.

And although she is far from feeble, Mama Christie says it is her time to relax in life.

"Now, I just sit back and relax because my children take care of me. I don't cook anymore. I don't have to wash. My house, I don't have to look after it. My children and grand children, they take care of me," she said.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com