The state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) in its usual haphazard way sought to make a bold statement by banning Passa Passa music from its programming.
Good for them, but the management must now be asked; what is Passa Passa music?
NCN with its fuzzy (no pun intended) policies seems confused as the rest of Guyana about this new Jamaican thing.
I say thing because most Guyanese seem not to know that Passa Passa started out as a dance in Jamaica on Ash Wednesday, 2003 and has now progressed as a culture.
Passa Passa incorporates, dance, music, fashion and colloquialism, making it the most successful fad to date in the history of dancehall.
Its spread has touched the shores of Japan and Europe and Guyana being the sponge of cultural identities has adopted everything that comes with Passa Passa.
Unlike some Caribbean countries, our Government has turned a blind eye to the staging of events that resembles the lewd Jamaican version of Passa Passa street jams.
NCN is trying to do what the Government has failed to do and that is to address the issue, especially since photographs published sometime ago by Kaieteur News show school-age children turning up at some of these events.
Those Afro-Guyanese based groups have also turned a blind eye to these developments although mostly Afro-Guyanese are seen in the environment where you have young girls and boys, provocatively dressed, partying late at nights in an arena that rewards lawless, licentious and lascivious behavior.
But, NCN needs to firstly understand that Passa Passa incorporates dancehall and reggae music. Are these genres banned from local radio?
Will NCN refuse to air, “Out and Bad” by Elephant man or “Ghetto Story” by Baby Cham in preference for R. Kelly’s “Slow Wine”?
There are other songs coming from the North that are just as bad as some of those dancehall lyrics and they are played repeatedly on NCN.
I am not advocating that all dancehall songs are for public consumption, but if NCN must conduct their censorship, it must be based on merit and not because a few people hop on a band wagon to express concern.
Some of these very people have their own misguided reasons.
NCN should focus more on important issues, like balancing its broadcast to incorporate African movies and more exposure of Afro-Guyanese celebrations to mirror those of Indo-Guyanese as was done during the recent festival of lights.NCN appears to be stepping to the “left and dipping” in its policies.