Photo Caption: Queen Ifrica
International Reggae artiste, Queen Ifrica, has weighed in on the debate in some quarters, for Jamaicans living overseas to remain in the countries in which they are domiciled, and never return to the island to live.
According to the Rastafarian artiste, who is known for songs such as “Yad to the East”, “Montego Bay” and “Let’s get silly” the discussions, much of which have been taking place on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, for the most part, have not been totally fair to Jamaica.
“The debate is not very friendly especially on social media where everybody goes to these days. There is a lot of loud noise being made there and it is not necessarily coming from the residents who want to return. They are on the sidelines waiting for an answer as to why they are being told not to come back,” she said.
“So, it would be good to have the Minister in a very serious way come to the public and say to returning residents wherever they find themselves in the world that the rumors somewhat are true because we have crime here; we have violence happening here, but it is not on the scale to say ‘don’t come back’,” Queen Ifrica added.
The artiste, whose given name is Ventrice Morgan, said Jamaican expatriates must in no way be impelled to forsake the land of their birth, but said at the same time the state must accept that the country has a violence problem and implement measures to deal with it.
“One life is one life too many and we are totally in agreement with that. With that said, we can’t throw in the towel; we can’t give up on our island; we can’t give up on our country and we definitely would not want to encourage returning residents not to come back. They have a rightful place here; it is where they come from. If anything would happen in the world this is where they will be sent, whether they want to or not, so if they want to come willingly, they should be allowed to come without any hassle,” she said.
“Over the years we have noticed that tourism, rightfully so, has gotten a lot of attention. But while we want visitors to come to our country and enjoy what we have, we first of all want for the people who were born and raised here, gone to other countries, forced to leave to make better lives for themselves they should be first in line to want to come back. You know, they should be first and celebrating them and making them feel welcome,” she said.