Sep 20, 2012


KINGSTON - Star    Since the release of Vybz Kartel's book 'The Voice Of The Jamaican Ghetto', many Jamaicans have greeted the book with objection. However, merchandising manager at Whirlwind Entertainment group limited, Aisha Stewart, says persons should read the book before being judgmental.

Stewart, who holds the responsibility of dispersing the books to stores globally, says many local stores have rejected the book without knowledge of its content.

However, the orders have been coming in from overseas.

"The progress is good, we are getting a good feedback in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Bulgaria, Chile and Amsterdam. A lot of orders are coming from the European side. I have friends who have also expressed that the books should be in the schools," Stewart said.

"People say negative things about Vybz Kartel because of the bleaching; however, bleaching existed before Vybz Kartel so he should not be held accountable for that. A few local stores have said they don't want the book in their stores because it's Vybz Kartel and he is a bad person," Stewart said.

According to Stewart, the action of some store owners reflect a narrow way of thinking.

"I think that it is just being small-minded. Just because you don't like the person and the situation, you are fighting the book. Some of them haven't read the book and are making a judgement based on ignorance. You have to be open-minded, pick up the book and read it because we are not gods, and only God should judge us," Stewart said.

Co-author for the book, Michael Dawson, believes there exists a huge misconception about the book.

"They think it's about lewd lyrics, violence and pro-devil messages, however, the book rejects those things. He speaks of putting in place mandatory age restriction for dances and music censoring. He apologised for singing a particular song, he calls for more research to be done about Tacky and the Rodney riot and other things, so it's mostly Jamaican history," Dawson said.

The co-author also encourages locals to look past the negativity and read the book objectively.

"I wish people would try to look past the negative aspects and just read. That would correct the misconceptions because the book is contrary to the preconceptions," he said.

Dawson also expressed disappointment in the local schools.

"The book sold more in Europe than in Jamaica and it's more successful in the US, than Jamaica. I thought the schools would have taken on to this being that it's the place where these developments would be interrogated," he continued.

"There has always been criticism that Kartel has not used his notoriety for positivity and now when he has done that it is being greeted with reject," he concluded.

In capitalising on the international success of the book, Dawson disclosed that there are ongoing plans to distribute translations in languages such as French, Dutch, Spanish, German and Portuguese

Local stores currently hosting copies of Adidja Palmer and Michael Dawson's book include Kingston Bookshop, Sangster's Book stores, El Passo in Montego Bay, Bookophilia and the national airports.

Stewart disclosed that the airports are the main sellers locally, noting that every month there are requests for restock.

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