Ity's baptism is a big move

January 13, 2016
Errol Crosby Photo Ity (left) and Fancy Cat

I've been having a busy time these past days deftly deflecting invitations to argue and diplomatically declining requests for commentary on the whole Chris Gayle saga.

Frankly, that story has now become cloying and annoying for me. Mi tiyad a it! How about you? In one week I have read more than eleven different articles in Jamaican papers alone about the one topic.

As far as I am concerned, every single point that can be made in defending or condemning the cricketer's action in that incident and critiquing the resulting sanctions has already been made.

Every comparison that can be drawn has been drawn, deleted and re-drawn. And from cultural norms and political correctness to sexism, misogyny, racism and double standard and more, every theme, topic, issue or teaching point that can be imagined has been extracted, explored, extrapolated, and debated. People, unnu need fi done now.

Yeah, folks, Mel McLaughlin - the journalist who was the victim of Gayle's boyish move - wants to move on, and I'm with her.

Unlike recent discussions on the issue of reparation for slavery, where the British Prime Minister, who is reportedly a descendant of slave owners and a beneficiary of the travesty, was calling on the victims of slavery to move on [wid him outa order self], this is a case where the actual victim has accepted an apology and called on us to move on.

So, peeps, to quote from a lyrically repetitive but infectious tune by the great Burning Spear, 'mek wi dweet!'

And look here, nuh, it's as if I'm back in grade three at Trench Town Primary School and playing a game of stuck-in-di-mud or dandy shandy, because I'm also now shifting and shuffling around unnecessary discussions and ducking or dodging from a bag of questions about the fact that my brother, business partner and fellow comedian Ian 'Ity' Ellis, got baptised on New Year's Day.

The conversation that is occurring a little too often since news of Ity's big step became public typically involves some random non-Christian person saying something to me like, "Blakka, mi hear say Ity give him life to the Lord, and that is a good move. What you a wait for? You nah baptise to?"

My response is usually to throw back the question at the person. You wrong me? After all, since they think it is such a good move, why dem nuh dweet to and stop badda mi?

I also use the opportunity to advise them that while Ity is now qualified to ask me such question, they are sinners like myself, so dem nuh qualify. Reverend Lynval Lewis, the minister who baptised Ity, has been his friend since childhood.

Reverend Lewis made the step himself 28 years ago, and even though they have remained in contact as friends, he never preached to or pressured Ity. He simply prayed for him.

That's a key part of Ity's story that many of these folks who want to pressure me [and Fancy Cat] seem to miss.

So give thanks for my brother's big move. And support him and hold him to account as he embarks on this new journey. But unnu 'low mi!

I wonder if unnu know that, like Ity, I also have a lifelong friend and colleague who is a minister of the gospel.

He is Bishop Winston Bell, aka Bello. We've been friends from way back in the '70s. Bello has been a Christian since 1980, and him pray fi mi nuff nuff and give advice when necessary, but him never preach at me or pressure mi.

Argument done.

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