Reggae icon Buju Banton has come in for public backlash after he made calls for people to stop wearing masks in videos circulated on social media today.
Banton, who also has an international following, shared the videos to Instagram this morning.
“Wi waa done with this mask wearing b#$*@%t in Jamaica. Who fi dead a go dead and who nah dead haffi just live. Wi tired of you intellectual fools trying to tell us how to live our lives. You are so smart why you haven’t found the cure for cancer?” Banton said in the first video.
He continued to accuse policymakers of causing the Jamaican people to be in abject fear and of driving people into poverty.
“What have you done for all those who you have laid off and mek dem business close early? Jamaican people need to wake up….Mi nah wear nuh mask…Mask nuh mek fi man,” Banton added.
The artiste was last month photographed in studio with American rapper Kanye West who flew into the country for one day. Neither Banton nor West were seen wearing masks.
The artiste reportedly has branded COVID-19 masks for sale on his website.
His daughter, Abihail Myrie, has since tweeted, “So anyway y’all wear your masks!!!
But several members of the public are expressing disappointment with his comments.
“I cease to be a fan until further notice,” one Twitter user said.
Another wrote: “Guys, please do not listen to this beautiful man. COVID is no joke. For about 4 weeks now it’s been kicking my ass. When a nuh chest pain, a belly pain, or joint pain, or weakness. Body burning up as soon as mi lay down fi sleep, cyan breathe… listen. Wear yuh damn mask please!”
Another user tweeted, “This is so ignorant. I hope no one listen to this man. Buju is a musician, he’s not a doctor, he’s not a scientist, he doesn’t know how viruses work. Wear your mask, listen to experts, actual doctors and scientists working on the virus not famous people.”
Some users disregarded his comments saying, “Rich people always a talk bout “who fi dead ago dead” because dem know seh dem and dem family and friends nah go inna di set a people weh a dead.”