Members of Jamaica’s entertainment industry continue to pay tribute to Donna-Lee Donaldson and Aneka ‘Slickiana’ Townsend, and by so doing have joined a large community of social media influencers, their families and friends in mourning their deaths.
Recording artistes such as Jahshii and Christopher Martin made resounding statements at Reggae Sumfest against violence against women and even highlighted their names onscreen. Meanwhile, songs have been released by several artistes, including Baby Cham, Bounty Killer and Potent Colours as a message urging persons to protect women, and a reminder of the many women whose lives have been taken in 2022 and before.
Kiprich is the most recent to join in, by penning his thoughts on the rising rates of femicide, in an effort to mobilise the public, and men in particular, for positive change.
“I’m tired of the headlines repeating themselves; always about another female gone missing or murdered at the hands of a lover … or men in general. Is like it a become a trend and coming from an island that trends for other reason, we nuh need a high femicide rate to be one of those,” Kiprich said in his interview with The Gleaner.
“The man dem need to fi realise say dem nuh own no woman life … allow the woman dem fi live dem life because is because of them, we have life. There is never no ‘explainable’ reason for a man to use his force or a weapon to take a woman’s life and think him can justify it. That is a weak man,” he continued.
The Call Me singjay said he was aware that critics will be motivated to say the upcoming single was written for some sort of personal gain, but emphasised that this is not so. Kiprich also urged the reggae/dancehall community to use the recent ban on ‘choppa’ and ‘Molly’ lyrics as an opportunity to exercise their creativity and write “purposeful, positive and powerful” songs that can have the same impact.
“There is always room for more music as the messages do get out into the atmosphere. I’ve personally been an artiste who champions positivity in between all the fun and high-energy productions,” Kiprich said.
Among his hits are Telephone Ting; Head No Good, featuring Predator; The Letter; and Dancehall Gyallist. Earlier this year, Kiprich collaborated with fast-rising artiste D’Yani on the single titled Gyalis Astrology which has garnered over one million views on YouTube.
Five years ago, Jamaica was listed as the country with the second-highest rate of femicide, with 11 per 100,000 women murdered in the same year, but the rate lowered during the pandemic. “The Jamaican people should come together, use our strengths and talents to see how we can keep the rate low and avoid going back there,” Kiprich urged. “Jamaica is a blessed island; so much is happening globally that has bypassed us and while we do have our struggles economically there must be a way to make things better for us as a people to escape being part of the global tragedy of femicide. Of late, all me can question is what is going on in the people dem minds, why have we become so aggressive in a way that makes us violent beings? Is time fi we cancel out this mentality.”
The song, which is titled Women Protest, will be released by Chase Mills Records this month. The artiste’s team is currently adding the final touches to the video which should highlight the women and girls who were victims of gender-based violence or have gone missing in recent years.
“Cancel violence against women, cancel weakness, stop preying on the women, the world is tired of hearing this news and I personally am trying the best way I know to unite, reach the man dem with this message, that’s my contribution to activism,” Kiprich concluded.