Mon | Jan 27, 2020

Is obeah a priority?

Published:Saturday | June 8, 2019 | 12:22 AM


As expected, there has been a lot of uproar since the surfacing of news about the possibility of obeah becoming legal. Some are arguing that obeah is evil and will lead to nothing more than harm, while others are saying it is an African cultural practice which should not be shunned. I really don’t have much to say about the practice of obeah, and it is nothing more than a myth which has been sensationalised, in my opinion.

My concern, however, is the priorities of our government. With crime out of control, poverty still high, unemployment still high, corruption at an all-time high and so many other problems facing Jamaica at this time, how did obeah reach to the top of the agenda?


I am at a loss. when considering all the difficulties we face as a nation, how is it that legalising obeah is even a conversation? Why not put more thought into addressing the corruption which is eating away billions of our revenue and is embarrassing us internationally? Why not focus on reducing or eliminating poverty and the resocialisation of inner-city residents? How will legalising obeah be of any significant benefit to the masses?

This is a prime example of leaders uttering rubbish for attention and hoping it may win them some favour with a segment of the electorate. We must not be distracted by sensational headlines; the leaders must be reminded repeatedly what is affecting the citizens the most. The issues which affect the majority of Jamaicans should be the issue that takes precedence. At this point in time, I don’t think obeah being legal or illegal is what is affecting the majority of Jamaicans the most.

When our economy is booming, crime is at a more controllable lever, and citizens’ confidence in the government is high, then we can focus on more trivial matters like obeah.