‘Staying inside not easy’ - Laalee says inner-city realities make it hard to observe COVID rules
Numerous videos showing residents of inner-city communities across the Corporate Area blatantly violating the curfew order imposed by the Government have gone viral over the past few weeks.
People in these communities have been subjected to harsh criticisms from the public. But at least one dancehall artiste believes the public should try to understand the realities these residents face before lashing out and casting judgement.
A product of the inner city, dancehall artiste Laalee says while he is not making any excuses for some of the crass behaviour displayed in the viral videos, he knows that the last thing people want to do is be disobedient.
"Me did feel a way when me see some a di videos, especially the one with the man disrespecting the prime minister. That was just uncalled for, and me know people a guh judge everybody from the ghetto and say a so all a we behave, which is not true, because yuh have people weh really take this thing serious," he said.
"But with that said, these people are living in some conditions that are not ideal and so staying inside, all day, every day, has become tormenting for most. Imagine sharing living space with 10 other people with, sometimes, no light, and, most times, no water? That hard, enuh. Most people inna di ghetto nuh have work, a hustle dem hustle on the streets, so when dem can't do that, dem hungry; and dem affi go lock down for most of the day on top of that?"
"I want the prime minister or any other official come in a one a dem ghetto yah and spend if a even two full days a live under these conditions, me guarantee him will understand why people nuh wah stay in," Laalee said.
Several inner-city areas
Prime Minister Andrew Holness represents the constituency of West Central St Andrew, which is made up of several inner-city areas, and Laalee hails from the community of Jones Town, one of Kington's toughest neighbourhoods.
The entertainer said that "It is not that they don't want to" abide by curfew orders in particular, but many inner-city residents are "just not comfortable".
"What make things even worse is dat dem people yah nuh used to this kind of dominance. Dem used to living by dem own rules, but as much as yuh see the videos, me can tell yuh say people start hear now."
Laalee said that most persons in the inner city have been observing the curfew and social-distancing rules that have been imposed to keep them safe from the deadly coronavirus.
"More and more people start realise say the prime minister and the police a do dem best fi make sure dem safe, so it a get better. I just wish that before the lockdown some things did put in place fi make sure the people comfortable, so dem nuh affi deh outside. Things like running water inna yuh yard make a big difference between you staying inside and going out," he said.