Oku Onuora: born Orlando Wong is known as the father of Jamaican Dub Poetry. He has led a colourful life in that he demonstrated against police violence and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for his involvement in the robbery of a post office. It is said that the proceeds were supposed to help fund a community project.
He started writing poetry in 1971, and while in prison, had his poems confiscated as they were deemed subversive. He won several awards in a local literary competition on 1976 and has since been published. A campaign was launched by university students and local literary personalities for Onuora’s release. He received a pardon and was released in 1977.
Since then, he has toured extensively in Europe. He has written several plays and recorded dub instrumental albums. His last release was in 2010.
|Scene from Old Harbour Bay|
Old Harbour: After slavery was abolished, the slaves were not keen to work the plantations and therefore another source of labour had to be found. Like the Chinese, East Indians came to help fill the labour gap and were paid even less than the ex-slaves. Between 1845 and 1921 more than 36,000 Indians arrived in Jamaica.
The first group disembarked at Old Harbour Bay and were followed by five times the amount in the following year. The Indians continued to arrive until World War 1, at which time they were sent to various plantations where they were subjected to substandard conditions and often could not buy passage back home to India.
|Ortaniques on the tree.|
Today, Old Harbour Bay has the largest fishing village in Jamaica. The harbor is home to one of the best deep-water piers in the island. The main generating power plant owned by the Jamaica Public Service is located in Old Harbour Bay.
I learned several interesting factoids: The Indians introduced ganja smoking and the chillum pipe to Jamaica. They have also contributed their jewellery designs and food to the Jamaican culture. They also were the first to grow rice in Jamaica.
The ortanique was discovered in Jamaica in the 1900s. It’s a hybrid – a combination of the sweet orange and the tangerine – and classified as a tangor. It’s name comes from the ‘or’ in orange, the ‘tan’ in tangerine and the ‘ique’ is for unique. The ortanique is extremely sweet and the variety grown in Jamaica has no seeds. It’s wider than the ordinary orange. I’d describe it as squat in comparison. The skin is thin and it is hard to peel without creating many ‘windows’ in the rind. The juiciness is worth it though.