Singing the peace

Local artiste wants to lend his voice to anti-crime thrust

One local entertainer wants to lend his voice to the campaign against crime, hoping it will “calm down a lot of the agitation” that leads to gun violence.

Internationally acclaimed reggae artiste Buggy Nhakente is of the view that some of the music being produced encourage violence, therefore artistes must play a greater role in helping to put a stop to it.

The island has been rocked by a number of shootings in recent months, some deadly. The number of murders for the year so far is 22, matching that of all of last year.

Nhakente, whose real name is Ryan Chase, told Barbados TODAY he strongly believed the music being produced by some artistes was influencing the behaviour of some of those involved in crime.

Describing the crime situation here as “really bad”, Nhakente said he was prepared to play a greater role in helping to tackle the problem through his music, and he encouraged other artistes to do the same.

“I for one really am going to lend my voice as much as I can to calm down a lot of the agitation that is going on in Barbados. They say that music influences people and can help to influence change. I feel that if we can make music that could help to calm the mindset of a lot of people and a lot of the things going on – sing about some different things man. If we keep singing about a lot of hyped things and a lot of guns the youths in the society and everything will just keep going haywire,” he said.

“It is bad. I know they have crime all over the world, but we never really see it like this [in Barbados] in terms of the kind of ammunitions and so on. Me for one, I am going to lend my voice to it. There is a campaign we are also working on to help try and calm a lot of the agitation. Some people say things this bad and the economy and politics and all these kinds of things but I think the musicians and the artistes have a big part to play in how we keep the society calm as well. If we neglect it, it will keep getting worse and worse all the time.”

Also commenting on the current economic situation facing the country, Nhakente told Barbados TODAY Government should not try to tax its way out of the fiscal problems.

Admitting that he did not have the answers to the country’s economic woes, the reggae artiste said the situation called for greater investment in strategic areas that could help produce economic activity.

“I think we have other avenues that people have presented. There is music that we can invest in. There is music tourism, as well as sports tourism and the arts especially that we can invest in and put a lot of effort in that would generate a lot of income for the economy as well.

“There is solar energy to use more to reduce the oil bill. So I think as bad as the economic situation is there are ways and solutions that we could find to fix these problems. I just don’t understand why certain things have not been implemented yet,” Nhakente said.

He also reiterated his call for Government to explore the possibility of decriminalizing marijuana, adding that it was another option through which Government could raise revenue by taxing it.

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