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Carolyn Cooper | South Africa big up Peter Tosh – Jamaica Gleaner

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Pon May 1 dis ya year, di govament a South Africa gi Peter Tosh one national honour: di ‘Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo.’ From 1967 to 1991, Tambo was di president a di African National Congress. Im did plan di freedom fighter dem attack gainst di white oppressor dem an di system a apartheid.
One white South African, Alan Paton, did write one powerful book gainst apartheid, Cry, the Beloved Country. Inna one 1960 New York Times report, Paton seh, “‘Segregation’ is such an active word that it suggests someone is trying to segregate someone else. So the word ‘apartheid’ was introduced.” A di said same ting. Black people fi stay one side an nuh equal up wid white people.
Di South African govament gi di Tambo award to foreigner weh defend di country. Peter Tosh well deserving fi get it. Im refuse fi perform inna South Africa under apartheid. An im write Apartheid, one big tune gainst di wicked system. It deh pon im 1977 album, Equal Rights:

“Yu inna mi land an yu build up yu parliament
Yu inna mi land, yu build up yu regime
Yu inna mi land, only talk bout justice
You inna mi land, handin down injustice

We gonna fight, fight, fight
Fight gainst apartheid”
Good ting fi wi govament did gi Peter Tosh national honour way back inna 2012. It would a look bad, bad, bad if foreigner a honour Tosh an fi im owna people nuh dweet. Tosh did get fi wi ‘Order of Merit’ (OM). Dat a one a di top four honour. Thursday gone, October 19, a did Tosh birthday. Same day, di Peter Tosh Museum open up back. It did lock down sake a Covid. Di museum a one next way fi celebrate Peter Tosh an im legacy.
What a birthday party! Nuff smaddy come out fi big up Tosh. Im daughter Niambe McIntosh did go a South Africa fi accept di honour. Shi bring back di official paper weh announce di honour; one neck badge; one lickle medal fi wear like brooch or pon breast pocket; one next lickle pin; an one walking stick. Di whole a dem inna di museum.
Tosh son Andrew sing two a im song. An fi im son Che sing one next song wid im. It did sweet. Inna fi her speech, Niambe remind wi seh her father belong to di whole a wi. Wi ha fi mek sure seh every pikni inna Jamaica know bout Peter Tosh an wa im do fi defend equal rights an justice all over di world.
Pan Mie 1 dis ya ier, di govament a Sout Afrika gi Peter Tosh wan nashinal ana: di ‘Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo.’ Fram 1967 tu 1991, Tambo woz di prezident a di African National Congress. Im did plan di friidom faita dem atak gens di wait opresa dem an di sistim a apaataid.
Wan wait Sout Afrikan, Alan Paton, did rait wan powaful buk gens apaataid, Cry, the Beloved Country. Ina wan 1960 New York Times ripuot, Paton se: “‘Segregation’ is such an active word that it suggests someone is trying to segregate someone else. So the word ‘apartheid’ was introduced.” A di sed saim ting. Blak piipl fi stie wan said an no iikwal op wid wait piipl.
Di Sout Afrikan govament gi di Tambo awaad dem tu farina we difen di konchri. Peter Tosh wel dizorvn fi get it. Im rifyuuz fi pafaam ina Sout Afrika aanda apaataid. An im rait Apartheid, wan big tyuun gens di wikid sistim. It de pon im 1977 albom, Equal Rights:
“Yu inna mi land an yu build up yu parliament
Yu inna mi land, yu build up yu regime
Yu inna mi land, only talk bout justice
You inna mi land, handin down injustice

We gonna fight, fight, fight
Fight gainst apartheid
Gud ting fi wi govament did gi Peter Tosh nashinal ana wie bak ina 2012. It wuda luk bad, bad, bad if farina a ana Tosh an fi im uona piipl no dwiit. Tosh did get fi wi ‘Order of Merit’ (OM). Dat a wan a di tap fuor ana. Torzde gaan, Aktuoba 19, a did Tosh bortdie. Siem die, di Peter Tosh Museum uopn op bak. It did lak dong siek a kuovid. Di myuuziyom a wan neks wie fi selibriet Peter Tosh an im legisi.
Wat a bortdie paati! Nof smadi kom out fi big op Tosh. Im daata Niambe McIntosh did go a Sout Afrika fi aksep di ana. Shi bring bak di ofishal piepa we anouns di ana; wan nek baj; wan likl medal fi wier laik bruoch ar pan bres pakit; wan neks likl pin; an wan waakin stik. Di uol a dem ina di myuuziyom.
Tosh son Andrew sing tuu a im sang. An fi im son Che sing wan neks sang wid im. It did swiit. In a fi ar spiich, Niambe rimain wi se ar faada bilong tu di uol a wi. Wi ha fi mek shuor se evri pikni ina Jamieka nuo bout Peter Tosh an wa im du fi difen iikwal raits an jostis aal uova di worl.

For an English translation, visit carolynjoycooper.wordpress.com

Carolyn Cooper, PhD, is a teacher of English language and literature and a specialist on culture and development. Send feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and karokupa@gmail.com
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