I had no previous knowledge of the artiste Potential Kidd or his hit song “Yahso Nice”, until I was asked to sign a petition protesting, Lime’s, use of his jingle in their most recent promotion. I have since listened to the song and to say I am revolted would be an understatement. The singer explicitly describes a sexual encounter with a female and goes further to assert his heterosexuality with the line, “before me turn a batty man, me prefer turn a raper” and all this is punctuated with “a yahso nice”.
Lime for a mighty long time has been relegated to the back of the line with respect to telecommunications in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Therefore, it is no surprise that their desperate marketing department would jump on a catchy slang to attract a younger clientele, not realizing the damning effect this will inevitable have on the society. However, Lime’s ill-advised move allowed the power of advocacy to be revealed once more.
Socially conscious Jamaicans took to social media to campaign against the message of this song and even more so, Lime for legitimizing this message by buying into it. This endeavor quickly spread across the world, with people as far as the Netherlands, Brazil, Peru, Canada, the USA and our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Caribbean chiming in on the imprudent step on the part of the struggling telecommunications network. It is also notable that several organization such as Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), which advocates for minority and disenfranchised groups in Jamaica, also stood in solidarity with the cause and asked for Lime to do the noble thing. Within a week, Lime had reneged on their contract and Potential Kidd made a public apology, all of this due entirely to a small group of advocates.
In sixth form I had a teacher who struggled to impart worldly wisdom to my year group. One of her many little mantras was “Changing the world is as easy as speaking up”. This is basically advocacy, a refusal to remain silent even when the odds are stacked against you. The willingness to speak out against immorality even when it has become the social norm. To stand up for the rights of those who are unable to stand for themselves. Fighting for a cause, even when you will not be an immediate beneficiary. This latest testament of advocacy has renewed my faith in the act and will find me being more aggressive in speaking out, for and against….you should too, the world can only benefit from this…it r the truth.