STAR of the Month: See dancehall as community tourism - Ding Dong
STAR of the Month Ding Dong recommends that the public shift the focus of the ongoing debate about revisiting the Noise Abatement Act, as the hosting of dancehall parties in inner-city communities promotes community tourism.
The dancehall dancer-turned-artiste said if music is not playing in a community, the alternative noise will be the explosion of guns.
"Music is a ting in inner city where it equates to stability and calm, in terms of people from that side and people from this side can come to the event, and inna one community," Ding Dong told THE STAR.
He said he believes corporate sponsorship is more likely available for reggae-themed events as against dancehall-themed events. He recommended that the public view dancehall events as community investment.
"It's not like you're giving leniency to gunmen. Dancehall party in a community bring peace and stability, dancehall is a business now. The main problem is that we invest more in reggae music. Dancehall events don't get much sponsorship, just through products. But Tourist Board won't do it," he said.
Ding Dong explained that if an event is supported by the relevant governing authorities, patrons are more likely to be kept in line.
"We are a society ... sometimes when yuh ready fi guh party, yuh wake up 2 o'clock fi guh party. That's our tradition, from dancehall queen days and before then. It's a very difficult task fi change that. We try it, where nuttin cyaa keep pon the road 'til 2 [a.m.], and everything haffi guh inna di club. Dem try it and it never work," Ding Dong said.
He noted that some people still call the police and complain about loud music, saying they are unable to sleep.
"(But) If war ah gwan inna di community and dem people likkle pickney cyaa come outside fi play or have a good likkle time after school, or yuh haffi be careful how yuh come een, or whatever the case ... yuh know dem nuh call police fi seh Tom, Harry, Jones outside a fiyah shot out deh so?" he said.
The leader of the Ravers Clavers hosts his own weekly event, Yeng Yeng Fridays, which he describes as being crafted for the entertainment of people within the Nannyville community and surrounding areas.
Ding Dong said area councillors, MPs and all other relevant authorities are aware of his event.
"Certain events are designed for community, or for poor people. Everybody is a part of my event. I get until certain amount of time, and I don't pass that time. I make sure police, everybody knows about the event, that we get work permit to play the music every week," he explained. "When I do that, nuff people will come because they see it's secure. It's a community thing. People come with $1,000 to buy a drink, a two Craven A, and go back in their houses."