Queen delivers 'throne' speech

By Aaliyah
Cunningham
Observer writer
aaliyahc@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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Queen Ifrica is not one to mince words and last Saturday was no different. She used her performance on closing night of Rebel Salute to speak directly to Jamaica's Government about issues plaguing the country.

“We need a government where the mass can say: 'Wow, we can see a government dat understands the needs of little girls, the true needs of little boys, the true needs of real poor people'... Not just to give them a house through (Housing) Trust programme but to give them something deeper inside themselves,” Ifrica said, before sharing a hug with Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

“The I dem (government) have the power to make and break legislations,” she continued.

The audience inside Grizzlys Plantation Cove in St Ann also included Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips; Education Minister Ruel Reid; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia “Babsy” Grange; as well as Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley.

Ifrica's words captivated the audience.

She also explained that the lyrics to her song, A Nuh We Dis, means no disrespect to Holness, but hopes he listens to it and makes the necessary adjustments, as she wants the best for Jamaica.

“I just want to say that I love my country an' I love my people,” Ifrica said. “When I come on stage, I don't just come to sing fi 'forwards' an' 'big ups'. The I dem know mi from long time an' know seh mi do this from someweh deep inside of my soul. So when mi write a song like dis I know that this year is going to be big changes in Jamaica. I'm just asking please let it benefit the mass in the true sense,” she added.

This is not the first time Queen Ifrica has used the stage to share her views.

In 2013, the entertainer expressed her disapproval of homosexuality during Jamaica's Independence Grand Gala at the National Stadium. Her microphone was turned off and then Culture Minister Lisa Hanna expressed regret at her statements.

The backlash was immediate. That year, she was pulled from the line-up of Rastafest in Montreal, Canada, following protests by gay activists there. The following year, Ifrica was dropped as a headliner at Amazura Concert Hall in Queens after a 200-strong protest by members of the gay community to have her removed.

After her spirited performance last Saturday Queen Ifrica collected an International Reggae and World Music Award (IRAWMA) for Best Female Vocalist that she won in 2018, from event founder Ephraim Martin.

Queen Ifrica (born Ventrice Morgan) is known for songs including Below the Waist, Lioness on The Rise, Times Like These and Daddy.


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