As I anticipate Buju’s return to Jamaica, my mind ran on a song done by the then 20 year old Buju Banton entitled ‘Deportees’, in 1993. Buju, the expectant Messiah must have been a prophet, I am convinced. I went to youtube to hear the song again and I swear, ‘back together again’ has me cracking up! .
“No abiding city, waan preshah fimmi ranch”, the song Deportees, although done 25 years ago, is still unbelievably, almost prophetically relevant. The United States’ new approach toward immigrants is alarming at most, the world and even the people who voted for Donald Trump are shocked at the severity of the measures. With up to 100 Jamaicans being sent back ‘home’ on a monthly basis from USA, UK and Canada, our ‘ranch’, already under pressure will need to become even more creative as we make space for the first world rejects. Truth is life in a ‘developed’ country is very very different from life in Jamaica, many will no longer be used to life in Jamaica, the flip side is, in order to survive there…these deportees had to adjust to the way their former home did things.
The test now is do they re-adjust to Jamaica, or will they do the ‘ranch’ a favour by importing some of the hard-work and sacrifices they became acclimatized to, for example:
a) Impeccable Work Ethic: In Jamaica, the weather determines your work hours and days…so if the rain falls, Jamaican’s typically stay home. Productivity is precarious. In the developed worlds, not even earthquakes or throat-high snow can stop a Jamaican from going to work. In fact, Jamaicans are known as the hardest working group of people, once they are not in their own country. Not sure if this phenomenon bears any relation to the Middle Passage and Slavery,but Jamaican’s in Jamaica are lazy and unproductive for the most part, certainly not lacking multiple excuses in defending poor work ethics and productivity in all sectors.
b) Sleeping on floors or in less than dignified situations: Believe it or not, many cockity Jamaicans are living in less than representative situations, they leave Jamaica and can be easily found kotching on floors for an ‘opportunity’. Opportunity without dignity, with the dream that one day things will get better. Sacrifices shouldn’t be confined to any geographic location. Its almost as if sacrificing or enduring a little suffering in Jamaica as you work toward a goal is a cardinal sin that is frowned upon. If many Jamaicans saw how some people are living in foreign countries, you would never beg them a dollar!
c)Less partying and entertainment: Jamaican’s party and drink 7 days a week 24 hours a day. We need help in addressing that culture. Full stop.
Jokes aside: It must be awfully hard to be uprooted from your dreams, especially when you got caught up in working harder than you have ever dreamed of working to save face, and still not be able to maintain the dreams and expectations of family and friends. Our Ranch is ailing, brain-drain has significantly affected us, families have been broken as members leave to ‘find better’. I pray they understand that you (deportee) did not abandon them, but you didn’t expect that chasing your dream would literally mean you could never stop running.
Jamaica is still beautiful my love, inspite of the situations and the crime etc, see what you can positively add to our development…all isn’t lost, brush yourself off and lets get it right!