×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 8856

Feature

rape victimOne newspaper calls her Nirbhaya. A television channel calls her Amanat. Or Damini. The 23-year-old rape victim is undergoing a rebirth of sorts in the media.

The reasons are perfectly high minded. The names are carefully chosen, laden with the values of Sister Courage and trust.

“She has come to symbolise rare courage, an inspiration for a movement demanding respect for women and much more. Such a symbol deserves a name. We will henceforth call her NIRBHAYA (the Fearless One)” writes TOI.

But the 23-year-old in that hospital bed already has a name. Does she want another name foisted on her? At a time when every day she is trying to retake control over her life and her vital functions, inch by painful inch, what must it feel like to know that a newspaper or a television channel has on its own re-christened her?

Rebecca Kadaga has vowed to resuscitate the “kill the gays” bill, that was put into cold storage in 2009 after it spurred international outrage.

At a time when the US Supreme Court is mulling same-sex marriage and the court in India has just heard arguments about decriminalising consensual gay sex, Uganda wants to get on an express train back to the dark ages. The bill in question threatens to make homosexuality, already a criminal offence in the country, punishable by death if someone is convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” which could include repeat offenders, HIV-positive persons, or someone who has sex with a minor. And that’s not all. The bill has a range of jail sentences, including life terms, for lesser “gay crimes”.

Former Miss Jamaica US Diane Johnson is getting ready to embark on a hot new video project that will shine the spotlight on outstanding Caribbean women living in the Diaspora. Her video interviews will air on The Beaute' Book TV (TBBTV).

Johnson said, "For this project I am looking for outstanding women of Caribbean descent who have moved to the US or were born here, who have risen to the top of their field or industry. Successful Caribbean women who are doing well, whose stories have never been told. My aim is to create a platform by which their stories will be able to be shared" she said.

These are the Jamaicans you don’t hear enough about — a high-achieving, prosperous community too often eclipsed by Toronto’s preoccupation with gang violence and street punks. Chances are they’re your boss, doctor, banker, caregiver, teacher, lawyer, plumber, university chancellor or the judge you’ll face in court tomorrow. But you could easily forget they, too, are Jamaican, so low is their profile.

“Incognegroes, I call them,” says one enterprising Jamaican who himself is a high-stakes Toronto real estate developer, making millions but flying under the radar, out of the spotlight.

Over 24 hours on Sept. 19, seven Star journalists tracked 50 GTA residents of Jamaican descent to record their impact on the Toronto region. Designed to mark Jamaica’s 50th year as an independent island nation, the project uncovered a vibrant, productive collective that’s virtually indispensable to the GTA. Taken together, Jamaicans are not a problem for Toronto; they are a boon.

Top