STAR of the Month : I have changed - Bounty Killer calls out advocacy groups
Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer ruffled some feathers during his performance at Emancipation Park in New Kingston on Wednesday night when he called out groups advocating against gender-based violence on their hypocrisy.
Following calls for him to be axed from the free concert hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, the entertainer put arguments of him being the wrong voice to advocate against issues of gender-based violence to rest.
"I had a bad past, but that already passed. Whatever allegation and involvement, I am not proud of it. It should have never happened, but I'm here trying to make a step in the right direction," he said to a fired-up audience.
"This initiative is for a change, and I had a past that needed to be changed, and I made a bold step to change. There are some other people saying they want a change, but fighting my change. Wonder if dem a look for a pocket change or dem really want Jamaica to change?"
Bounty added that there are many youth in Jamaica who look up to him and his decision to change was also based on his ability to influence others.
"Not everything about me is perfect. I know I have flaws, but the greatest thing is I learnt from them and I managed to be at a place where I'm comfortable. If I'm better, I can make my surroundings better and my country better
Cultural analyst and senior lecturer at the Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit, Dr Donna Hope, said she believes that the deejay has what it takes to be a standout voice in the fight against gender-based violence.
"He (Bounty) has a well-respected voice in the dancehall and the inner cities. Someone like him can be a potentially strong advocate if his voice issued in the right way," she explained. "I really believe that he is sincere and can be a voice for change. We are all broken in some way. The constant negotiation of the contribution of others who may have been in the wrong does not contribute to the healing that we seek."
She encouraged groups advocating against gender-based violence to focus on real change and give people who are making the effort to correct their mistakes the chance to bring about the revolution.