A social media post by raunchy female Jamaican dancehall DJ, Ishawna, has drawn the ire of a wide cross-section of Jamaicans and the country’s diaspora. Reason for this is Ishawna’s disrespectful reference to one of the country’s leading cultural icons, the Honorable Louise Bennett-Coverley.
Ishawna posted a photograph of herself wearing a two-piece bathing suit, with the caption “Mi nuh dress inna tablecloth like Miss Lou” while using the hashtag #RipMissLou.
The tablecloth Ishawna naively referred was the bandana plaid material. This material is a part of Jamaica’s official national dress. The material is often worn as the national costume by Jamaican contestants in international beauty pageants.
Postured Jamaican culture globally
Affectionately called ‘Miss Lou’, Bennett-Coverley is revered for her role in posturing Jamaica’s culture worldwide. She’s widely regarded as the pioneer of the dancehall genre due to her emphasis on using Jamaican patios in her many poems. Her poetry collection represents some of the country’s greatest works of literary art. Some of these poems, including Colonization Reverse, Dutty Tough, No Lickle Twang, and A’merika are still taught in Jamaican schools.
Ishawna, whose real name is Tayasha Corniffe, was recently in the dancehall spotlight after she released a controversial single entitled Equal Rights and Justice. In the single she called on men to perform oral sex on women. While receiving criticism from sectors of Jamaican society, the single was a hit with some women.
Social Media backlash
One post on social media criticizing Ishawna stated, “You don’t even realize that Miss Lou was the one who paved the way so you could become popular. But you will never be remembered as a part of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage like Miss Lou. You shall soon fade away.”
Another read, “There was a time when people used to be respectful of the pioneers. But I guess that is why dancehall music is being taken over by foreigners. You local artistes think everything began with you. Ishawna. You just turned your five minutes of fame into two and a half.”
Copyright 2017 – Caribbean National Weekly News