Guyanese groups upset at Mavado’s ban removal

Here is the letter to the Stabroek News outlining their stance.

Dear Editor,
The news that singer David Brooks aka Mavado will be performing in Guyana comes as a shock after the ban imposed last year by the Minister of Home Affairs in Guyana, and following the trend in other Caribbean countries to reject the violence which is being perpetuated in popular music in the name of Caribbean culture.

It is reported that the lifting of the ban was done because Jamaican cultural officers lobbied President Jagdeo recently. What is not clear, is whether the Jamaican cultural officials have assured President Jagdeo and Presidential Adviser Odinga Lumumba as to whether or not Mavado will be mixing his violent lyrics in his music here in a country which continues to grapple with brutality in all sectors. There has been no release to the public from the promoters of any contractual agreement or financial disincentive for Mavado not to perform any of the pro-violent, sexually-degrading, anti-gay lyrics which resulted in the cancellation of a number of his performances around the Caribbean and the ban in Guyana.

It is neither right nor fitting for the government to enable and facilitate the public promotion of lewd and degrading lyrics linked to violence that characterise this performer’s regrettable repertoire.

Now is the time to walk the talk of the Stamp It Out! Campaign and lead by example in refusing to condone culture and behaviour that encourage and glorify acts of violence and discrimination. We therefore appeal to the better judgement of the President, to maintain the ban on this performer in the public interest, since there has been no indication of any change whatsoever in his tone or style.

We call on all civil minded Guyanese to reject the violence perpetuated by Mavado and his promoters and we call on the sponsors Digicel and Courtney Benn Contracting Services to responsibly allocate their advertising revenue and to examine their own motives and corporate standards for sponsoring the culture of violence.

Mr David Brooks aka Mavado should change his tune! His lyrics are off-key, off limits and they kill Caribbean peoples’ self-respect and dignity. We call on him to reflect and to consider using the stage and the power of entertainment for the greater good of society and for becoming an agent of positive change for our youth instead of a messenger of death and degradation. He should give this a thought, please.
Yours faithfully,
Roxanne Myers
Member of The Caribbean
Coalition for Development and
Reduction in Armed Violence

Vanda Radzik
Commissioner, Women and Gender
Equality Commission

Joel Simpson
Co-Chairperson, Society Against
Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Vidyaratha Kissoon
Commissioner, Rights of the Child
Commission

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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