Shenseea, health ministry catch flak for “hypocritical” COVID-19 message

Dancehall artiste Shenseea

Following the recent surge in Jamaica’s coronavirus cases, the Ministry of Health and Wellness released tapped dancehall artiste Shenseea to craft a message to encourage compliance with virus protocols.

However, the move was met with some disdain online as many noted that Shenseea is known for performing at events across the United States, many in contravention of COVID-19 protocols and best practices.

The promotional video, set to the artiste’s hit song Trending Gyal, was posted by Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton on his Instagram page yesterday, and reshared by several popular blog pages.

With timely lyrics including , “Everyone fi wear a mask, mek the numbers drop, I doa waan COVID lay yu dung flat, Nose and mouth, yu fi cover up that”, the message was clear for many but the messenger was less than ideal.

One person commented on a blog page, “But she’s always flying out to the US and doing shows” while another another noted, “She contradict herself in this PSA when she perform overseas at superspreader events. The ministry should’ve done some research before they get an artiste for these PSAs.”

A third asked, “So when she ago stop perform without mask in crowded venues of maskless people?”

Despite the pushback, some noted that the move was a good one, and that using a personality to push precautionary measures could be what’s needed for greater compliance. One person shared, “We need to see more artistes using their influence to get the message across to the people” while another encouraged Tufton to get more artiste to do similar songs.

Jamaica recorded 328 coronavirus cases yesterday, its highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. The number topped the previous high of 263 cases which was set just the day before.