Queen Ifrica's performance prompts ministry review

Queen Ifrica's performance prompts ministry review

Saturday, August 10, 2013

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THE Ministry of Youth and Culture says it will be reviewing the system of contractual engagement of artistes for national events to ensure there is no recurrence of an incident in which one artiste was accused of using anti-homosexual lyrics at Tuesday's Grand Gala — the main Independence event.

"The ministry expresses our regret that the Grand Gala stage was used by one artiste, Queen Ifrica, as a platform to express her personal opinions and views on matters that may be considered controversial, rather than to perform in the agreed scripted and rehearsed manner consistent with the thematic production," a ministry statement said yesterday, without saying what section of the lyrics were considered offensive.

It added: "Furthermore, the comments by the artiste were inappropriate in the setting of a national, state-funded event with more than 20,000 persons, including children, who were in the National Stadium and thousands more watching on television and online."

It said Queen Ifrica was selected to be a part of the production because of her usually conscious lyrics as a reggae artiste, adding that there were prior discussions with all artistes about the expectation required of them during the show.

The Grand Gala, according to the ministry, was an opportunity for celebration through the artistic display of the performing arts as a vehicle to help the nation reflect not just on the many hurdles overcome as a nation, but also to reinforce the value of coexistence, unity and respect for one another as part of a cultural revolution in the nation.

Artistes, it added, were selected based on their ability to authentically recount and portray the various phases and periods of the "Emancipendence" journey of Jamaica.

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