'Bro Gad' 2.0

Letters to the Editor

'Bro Gad' 2.0

Monday, December 09, 2019

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Dear Editor,

One of the most striking things about Andrew Holness is his astonishing ability to connect with the masses. Another is his ability to, despite what I can only imagine is an extremely busy agenda, remain abreast of popular culture.

It was rather interesting to me that young people began ascribing to him the title “Bro Gad”, which I have come to understand means the closest of friends, a “genuine brethren”, if you will. Someone who is reliable, dependable, loyal, and has your back. It was even more interesting that the prime minister was able to see it as an opportunity to further connect with the young people and, at the same time, show his admiration for the dancehall culture by embracing fully this title.

Having observed this I couldn't help but feel myself swell with even more respect for the man; his “cool” factor went up quite a few more notches after that.

But I have since heard a few comments from people, and even read an article or two bashing the name, because somehow it supposedly glorifies the negative aspects of dancehall, diminishes the seriousness of the Office of the Prime Minister, and overall offends some people.

I find this laughable and disingenuous. It is one thing when a person ascribes such a moniker to themselves; it would seem quite presumptuous and egotistic, to say the very least, but when a group of people ascribes such a name to you then it is nothing short of an honour, a mark of their respect and admiration, and it certainly signals that such a person is doing something right.

A recent article, in no uncertain terms, insists the prime minister is not a Bro Gad and proceeds to enumerate why. I will not list them here, as I found them rather preposterous, but I will address one thing from that article. The writer began by saying, “People in the Jamaica Labour Party and in certain media circles have continuously promoted the prime minister as 'Bro Gad',” which was “in a desperate attempt to get him to reconnect with the people of the time…” The first challenge I have with this is the obvious inaccuracy. It is not “people in the Jamaica Labour Party and in certain media circles” who determined that the prime minister should be called Bro Gad, it was the young people in the streets and the 'intellectual minority' on social media, as well as ordinary Jamaicans who heard the lyrics of the song, knew who for them was a Bro Gad, and started calling the prime minister by that title. I would venture to say that Holness and his handlers had to probably do a bit of research to learn what this Bro Gad was about.

The young people of Jamaica have found in this prime minister a person who is down-to-earth, relatable, and likeable. More importantly, he is doing a fine job and people clearly recognise this. The economy is in the best shape it has been in for many years, the unemployment rate is the lowest in the history, investor and consumer confidence are up, tourists are flocking in, more houses, more infrastructural development is taking place, people who've never had running water are receiving it for the first time, people who've crossed waterways all their lives are now using bridges, Jamaica's international profile has been elevated, and everyone is being given equal opportunity to invest in government assets. How is Andrew not a Bro Gad?

Mash down that lie! The man is Bro Gad 2.0.

I can think of a few more names for Prime Minister Holness; such as builder, cool boss, Bro-bro.

Shalom Grey


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