“Dem a guh tired fi see mi face”- learning about men and masculinity in Jamaica from Vbyz Kartel

I have been thinking seriously about Vbyz Kartel for about a year now. My initial discovery of him was in the song “Yuh a mi baby”. This song started a reflection about the “erotic Vybz kartel”, our relationship to male sexuality and sexual expression, love and sex, the importance of kete pa (the good marriage bed and the erotic as African.

Since my discovery, Vbyz Kartel has been convicted of murder and has been sentenced to life in prison. I have continued to be interested in Vbyz Kartel, primarily trying to understand him through his relationship with women, that is the expression of his sexual self and how he shares that and is powerful through that.

My interest in Vbyz Kartel has given me insight into art and the artist and dancehall music as a legitimate space for creating complex identities which present us with critical ways that we need to question and understand ourselves.

My interest has led me to discover Adidja Palmer. Carolyn Cooper has also tried to show the two Adidja Palmer the creator and Vbyz Kartel the character. I recognize Vbyz Kartel as the creation of an identity, a character.

What is it about Vbyz Kartel that makes him resonate so deeply with several youth, men and women and even older men and women? My discover of him and his resonance within society makes be believe this is an important exploration.

On Monday September 7 at 6pm at the Di Institute for Social Leadership Marescaux Plaza, Marescaux Road we will have a reasoning about Vbyz Kartel, masculinity, male sexuality and fatherhood. Dr. Ana Perkins will be the main presenter and will speak on Vbyz Kartel masculinity and fatherhood.

I hope you will join us for this first in a series of conversations. If you can’t make the event tune in to ZANJRADIO ( zanjradio.org) for the live stream. Bless and love Afifa.

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About afifa

dj. artist. creative director and co-founder of the SO((U))L HQ and DI Institute for Social Leadership. I make ritual spaces.

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