Dancehall / News

I-Octane Pleads With PM Andrew Holness To Help Feed People Lockdown

I-Octane goes to bat for the marginalized during lockdown in Jamaica.

I-Octane kick-started a rallying cry on Instagram on August 6th to have the government and other entertainers band together. This initiative provides food to persons who are struggling and unable to afford food for themselves and their families. This touching movement came to fruition after a person noted on an old post of Octane’s on Instagram that they had run out of cooking gas and was not in the position to purchase a new one.

“My gas done from last night no money and two kids God kw how we a mak it out today,” the individual shared.

The “Lose a Friend” singer swiftly responded in an attempt to locate and assist the individual. “GOD KNOW STAR…WHERE YUH LIVE HOW CAN I REACH YUH MEK MI KNOW @andrewholnessjm BRO GAD PPL A SUFFER MY LORD.”

He then took things further, as he once again appealed to the Prime Minister for aid in a vigilant effort. Posting a screenshot of the exchange, he added this endearing caption, “LOOK AT THIS, JAH JAH @andrewholnessjm BRO GAD LISTEN WHAT I AM SAYING, JUST PUT SOME FOOD/ GOODS INNA SOME BIG TRUCKS AND MEK MI AND YOU GO GIVE IT OUT TO THE PEOPLE THEM ASAP KING… IF YOU CYAA MEK IT, JUST GIVE ME THE GOODS DEM AND ME AND MI FRIENDS WILL DRIVE AND GO GIVE OUT THE FOOD TO DI PEOPLE DEM… FROM GHETTO TO GHETTO FROM UPTOWN UPTOWN ( CAUSE YUH HAVE PEOPLE A SUFFER UPTOWN TOO) BRO GAD MEET MI HALFWAY @onbother. ANYBODY OUT THERE HOW CAN HELP TOO JUST REACH OUT AND MAKE WE HELP SOME PEOPLE CAUSE TRUST ME PEOPLE A FEEL IT INNA JAMAICA.”

It is no secret that COVID-19 and the ensuing curfews, lockdowns, and no movement days have deeply affected Jamaicans. Many comments on the post showed that this individual’s plight was not unique. Another user took the opportunity to share their difficulty during the lockdown, stating, “B—claat same ting reach me last night.. An mi woman 5 months pregnant, lucky ting me did have little coal. This morning now rain a fall a in a mi house me affi catch coal so she could get something warm to eat an drink.”

The country is presently under a 3-day no-movement order that started on Sunday, August 22nd, until Tuesday, August 25th, and in less than a week, Jamaicans will be under another three-day lockdown order. This one will run from August 29th to August 31st. These measures were implemented following recent spikes in the daily COVID-19 infection rates. It is being speculated that the recent spikes are a direct result of the Dream Weekend Party Series held August 5-9. The annual party was held even with tightening of curfew hours, boasting that it would follow all protocols and keep partygoers safe and COVID-19 free. However, following the event, it was reported that negative COVID-19 results were available for patrons to purchase for a mere $6000. A negative test or being fully vaccinated were requirements for entrance to the event.

In response to I-Octane’s plea for help, D’Angel chimed in with one word, “Ready.” The “I’m Blessed” singer is no stranger to charity work, and since the beginning of the pandemic, she has handed out over 500 care packages and raised almost $250,000.

Recently, she leveled her criticism against the government in a song inspired by the large crowds found in common use areas following lockdown announcements. In the track titled “Every wey Crowded, she sings, “supermarket, crowded, gas station crowded, all dung a market crowded, bus park, crowded, taxi stands crowded.” She also called attention to the lack of government aid and the difficulty people face in having to stay home hungry.

While the government had provided aid to communities under lockdown in the initial stages of the pandemic, this aid is woefully absent during the nationwide lockdown periods that are now taking place.

Answering the call to arms as well is Razor B, who pledged a whopping 100 thousand JMD if the Prime Minister can double it. He commented, “I am willing to put up a $100k if @andrewholnessjm would double it right now, food for the people I’m all in.”