‘One night I get a vision from Jah that I am supposed to sell fruits and feed the nation’

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First in a new feature giving a snapshot of the lives and thoughts of people you see on the streets daily. Sunday Observer staff reporter Sharlene Hendricks speaks to Marcel Kelly aka Jah Worthy, 34, a fruit vendor in Papine, St Andrew.

 

Question: How did you get into fruit vending?

“I used to live in Bamboo, St Ann. That’s where I did a little farming when I was much younger. I used to plant a lot of pumpkin and corn, and boil soup with them. I didn’t do any selling, I just plant them to strengthen (feed) I-self.

But one night I went to bed and get a vision from Jah that I am supposed to sell fruits and feed the nation. So right now I am in the city supporting what is being farmed in the bush.

We know that health is wealth, but the poorer class of people can hardly afford fruits, because fruits is a thing that is expensive. Most poor people don’t even own land to have fruit trees. They take away the land from us. So we need some intervention so we can have fruits and vegetable because the sweet soda and sodium in the food is what is messing up the youth.

Even the restriction that they have in school now is a good thing, but a long time that should have been done. Them wait until things get out of hand, when the people them love sweets more than anything. Marcus Garvey say we 10 years behind time around here, and it is truth he was talking.

The fast food that the youth them eating is what bring that fast lane mentality. Them eating too much fowl that are premature and take six weeks to grow. That is the spirit that let loose in a lot of the youth them. That is why them fly up pon yuh when them ready. But because we a Rastafari we know how to calm them down, give them some bitters and get them back to them natural state.”

 

Question: What are your thoughts on the Clarendon robbery last week and the spate of crimes in Jamaica?

“That was just society getting some of them own medicine. It is the same institution build the youth them, and train them. What we are seeing is nothing new because there is no job for them and as Rastafari we have to pray for the youth them and show them certain things. The youth them who come around me I try to show them the business, show them that we don’t have to shoot gun around here. Teach them that self-reliance is the highest science, and we teach how to pray. So, nothing is wrong with the youth them. It is just the system and the food that them give them to eat. It is the same environmental problem and that is why…

Many have gone astray

Cannot come back across the way.

What’s the price they have to pay

Just to find the way?”

 

Question: What are your thoughts on the decriminalisation of ganja?

“I appreciate the freedom that come up now with using the plant, but to show you how the system stay, some people had to lose them life for that freedom. Look at the youth who get beaten in jail and lose his life over a spliff. Lucky for me I only paid $100 towards a spliff one time when I go to court. The judge, Sister Pusey, ask me if mi guilty and I said ‘Guilty, Your Honour’, and she said ‘$100 Mr Kelly’.

But towards the business aspect of it now, the system bring it to a settings where you have to have money to involve in the business. So the same plant that them used to say not good, rich people take it over now and running it how them want to run it.

That is not a problem to me as Rastafari because we have our own congress, which is the EABIC (Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress). In 1958, the priest King Emmanuel formed the congress from Back-O-Wall, 54 Spanish Town Road. Now it is headquartered in 10 Miles, Bull Bay. We have the King Man League and the Empress League to show the people them the light, because a lot of them people are in the darkness. We show them where the black race is coming from and where we are going. We have to show the people about the congress because black people have them own government.”

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