I-Octane slams Diana King ...Takes positive message to students in school tour
Reggae artiste I-Octane has come out against recent comments made by fellow entertainer Diana King, who said that Jamaica is tolerant of sexual abuse against children.
King, in a post on social media, said: "Jamaica is tolerant of rape and sexual abuse of children, even incest, but not of sex between consenting adults".
Several leading dancehall artistes, when contacted by THE STAR for a response to King's tweet, refused to speak on the matter. Some said that they risk losing their United States visa if they were to openly show their discontent with the statement.
But I-Octane, who is undertaking a cross-country school tour under the theme 'Bringing Di Right Vibes To Di Yutes', said King was off the mark.
"She a bash the country. It's like she's stereotyping everybody. There are over 2.5 million persons in Jamaica, and I'm sure the majority of Jamaicans are not in support of any act of violence, especially against children," I-Octane told THE STAR yesterday.
Violence among school students is considered a major impediment to learning, and I-Octane believes that his tour can have a positive impact on pupils.
"The reason for this tour is to level the playing field in terms of how children prepare for their future," he told THE STAR in an interview at its North Street offices yesterday.
I-Octane said that a key part of his school tour is to tell students to be themselves. He said that apart from sharing his musical talents, a critical part of his mission is career advice.
"The aim is to highlight traditional, as well as non-traditional jobs. When you ask a student what they want to become, many say lawyer, doctor, teacher. Only the best of the best will make it into these jobs. The rest will have to learn a skill. Many students are pressured into doing certain subjects to fit in. Many lose their true purpose because of this," he said.
"Nobody nuh want do farming cause it nuh glamorous. Dem nuh want do mechanic work because it a go make them dirty. But at the same time, some farmers are making way more than some entertainers and doctors."
I-Octane's tour has so far taken him to Guy's Hill High School in St Catherine. He is also scheduled to make stops at Montego Bay High School in St James, Brown's Town High in St Ann and Garvey Maceo High in Clarendon.
With music being blamed for a huge chunk of the violence in the society, I-Octane told THE STAR that he tries to invite other artistes on the tour, preferably the ones who can appeal to and encourage the students. Entertainers Tifa, Demarco, Tanto Blacks, Denyque, Esco Da Shocker, Jahmiel and Vershon are just some of the entertainers who will accompany I-Octane on his mission this year.