Jamaican reggae artist Sizzla has defended fellow singer Queen Ifrica from criticism over her recent use of homophobic language.
Queen Ifrica, whose real name is Ventrice Morgan, made statements denouncing homosexuality at a concert for Independence Day in Jamaica earlier this month.
Lyrics in her songs include “no faggotism” and one of her tracks is titled “Keep It To Yourself.”
The song also contains the word “fish” – a derogatory term for gay men.
The Canada-based gay rights advocacy group, Jamaica Association of Gays and Lesbians Abroad, successfully lobbied to get Queen Ifrica axed from last week’s Rastafest International Reggae Concert in Downsview Park, Toronto.
Reggae artist Sizzla told Jamaica’s Gleaner newspaper that banning Queen Ifrica from the event was a bad decision.
“Right now dem fi just go one side and leave di girl alone,” Sizzla said. “The women (of Jamaica) must speak out against it. They should get their kids and go in the streets and protest against it, because we doing Jah works, and buggerism, we nah strengthen it.”
“There is a time and a place for everything. You know you have to deal with people respectfully and you know code of conduct and choice of words. But then again we say bun fire straight fi dat lifestyle,” Sizzla added.
Sizzla, whose real name is Miguel Orlando Collins, is no stranger to anti-gay comments.
Shunning an opportunity to meet with LGBT rights campaigners in Jamaica, late last year Sizzla said: “I, personally, as Sizzla and president of the Nyabinghi theocracy, I don’t want no sponsor from no homosexual,” he declared.
“We are a people of the Almighty God. We are a biblical people. Jamaica is a Bible island. We live by the principle of the Almighty and in our Bible that we read, in the Hebrew Bible, we totally abandon homosexuals. We are against it. So we don’t need no support from them. Fire bun!”
Meanwhile, a vigil will take place outside the Jamaican Embassy in London in memory of transgender teenager Dwayne Jones on Wednesday afternoon.