Dancehall artiste Spice has come out in support of Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness even as she remains one among thousands of Jamaicans stranded outside of the country due to the government’s closing of the borders in response to the global pandemic, COVID-19.
The Artiste who lives between Atlanta, Georgia and Jamaica due to her filming of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta was caught outside of the country when the Prime Minister announced that from March 21, the island is closed to visitors including Jamaicans who have travelled or are in the diaspora and planned to return.
But Spice is not mad at all! She like a number of other dancehall heavyweights have come out in support of the measures as the country grapples to keep its infection numbers down. Up to press time there were 69 cases and three (3) deaths.
In a post on Instagram on Friday, Spice noted “I ended up being over here in Atlanta when the Jamaican airport was closed. Most people would think I would be upset, but I want to publicly say I applaud our Prime Minister @ andrewholnessjm in what he’s doing to move swiftly to protect our country. I’d like to encourage everyone to work with the precautions so we all can be safe BRO GOD YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB #TeamJamaica #Togetherwestand . No make no body confuse you sir, If the borders to stay close to keep our country safe, then a same so, I will be home in due time.”
Spice has been a noted favourite among the current crop of politicians including that of former Youth and Culture Minister, Lisa Hanna. Her comments at this time though mark a shift in healing the rift that once existed between Dancehall and the government of Jamaica. Many dancehall acts in recent times accused the government of not being supportive of dancehall while the opposite view is that dancehall “fuels crime” in Jamaica with the prolific acceptance of gun tunes and violent lyrics, and even the glorification of lottery scamming, marring Jamaica’s reputation abroad in countries like the United States.
Spice is of the view though that the government has taken a positive stance and ought to be supported “When Government nah do ntn we complain, so when wi see things a gwan lets respect it #respectthecurfew #Borderfistayclose”
Meanwhile, the dancehall community’s reaction have been completely positive with many performing in a live concert to raise funds to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) for frontline healthcare workers who are exposed to infected persons. ‘Telethon Jamaica: Together We Stand,” a virtual reggae concert featuring Grammy Artist Koffee, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Maxi Preist and Richie Spice will take place on Easter Sunday . The funds will purchase items such as gloves, masks and other gears which has been in short support in the island.