Mutabaruka urges visa waiver, marijuana legalisation


Speaking Saturday at a musical jamboree held at the Independence Stadium as part of the ongoing Roots festival, he observed in his English and Jamaican patois brogue: “I don’t understand why we, people of African descent, trying to reconnect and come back to our roots have to go through the terrible ordeal of being required to have visas to enter this country, yet Europeans and Americans, them are just thieves that stole from us through slavery and colonialism [do not require visas]. I don’t understand this at all. We are children of slaves taken in ships to the Americas and the Caribbean who survived the belly of the ship and the white man’s whip in the plantations to come back in triumph to our motherland.

“I would like to meet President Jammeh and tell him about this. He is a great leader who has done great things for Africa and this country and the world but that we people of African descent should be required to have visas to be here is terrible! Me don’t understand this visa thing; it is a white man thing to keep us away from Babylon. We should be able to show a Jamaican passport or passport from any country in the Caribbean and then be allowed to pass through but that’s not the case. This is the white man’s plan to keep Africa and the Diaspora apart which we must fight and stop. We are all one from the same mother and fathers but separated by slavery that came and took away Africa’s best and strongest but we survived”.

Meanwhile, the Jamaican singer has also called for legalisation of Cannabis sativa citing the recent trend of legal reforms on the use of the drug. “By the end of this year the Jamaican government wants to decriminalise the use and sale of marijuana. Many American states are legalising marijuana and making money from it. No youth should be in trouble for taking marijuana. Dem the Americans know the benefit of marijuana, so it should be free for the youth. Gambian youths me say marijuana should not get you in jail because many countries are making it free without trouble for the youths,” he said to a thunderous roar from the crowd with visible clouds of marijuana smoke billowing overhead.



By Sainey Darboe