Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Coley is a ‘Hard Gal Fi Dead’

Published:Monday | March 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM


What seemed an ordinary Sunday afternoon two weekends ago at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre at The University of the West Indies, Mona campus, became a moment of pride and a significant life-turning point for the newly minted author Tameka Coley. She debuted her book, Hard Gal Fi Dead, an anthology of poetry, self-notes, and musings which takes a sometimes raw, but always honest take on her personal struggles with navigating mental health. It’s a book of refreshing candour and insight, and it was a pleasure to attend her launch, which was a revelatory, moving experience.

The question-and-answer session that followed elicited exceptional feedback, with many praises being heaped at the writer’s feet, and one attendee remarking that it was a ‘water-shed moment’ for Coley to publish this particular work of self-reflections centred around the subject of mental health, in light of the unfortunate stigma attached.

I am grateful to have known Ms. Coley in our previous stints, years earlier working side by side as journalists of a media house, and always knew her to be an admirable wordsmith. But her debut book, coupled with the stellar work she has recently undertaken as a mental health advocate, has given me occasions to pause and marvel at how she has developed into a woman of fierce tenacity and selflessness. Here’s to you, Tameka, for your bravery and living your truth! I encourage persons to secure a copy of Hard Gal Fi Dead.

Definitely worth a read!