Sunday, November 13, 2005


THE MONTEGONIAN {My Weekly Column}
(published in The Western Mirror: 12/11/05)

We're the middle children of history.... no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives.
~From the movie Fight Club, about Generation X

The world is filled with strange paradoxes and lots of ironic situations. General perception of Montego Bay is that it is a resort town, devoid of any of the other cultural facets of life, and is shunned by Montegonians particularly the younger generation as dead end zone for growth in all spheres of life. Montegonians are not the only ones that think so, Kingstonians and those in the “Sunshine City” Portmore, tend to hold this view as well. Here is where it gets paradoxical and a tad ironic. If Montego Bay is so dead end why are our businesses and spheres of life in the city slowly being infested with, non-Montegonians, especially those of a paler or lighter hue? Let us see… maybe because Montego Bay isn’t such a dead end after all.

MoBay is facing an invasion, an invasion with little or no resistance. Residents of the city have, through lack of vision, creativity and will to persevere have handed business opportunities and fiscal development over to an influx of opportunity seeking set of neo-Montegonians. They come from all walks of life really, but the largest chunk of them seems to be Caucasian. It dawned on me in the early summer when my friends and I went to the movies out by Fairview. I had gone to the six o’ clock movie and was surprised to see a huge crowd of white people that seemed Jamaican. To be honest I never knew so many of the fair set of our “many one people” lived here. This idea came back to me after reading Gleaner writer Melville Cooke’s Thursday column on September 29, titled “In search of the great white(you can read it at: In it he discusses the mysterious nature of what he calls the great white; he claims they are some what elusive, he does not know where they live, where they come from, or which hospital they go to. I find this to be the same with the so called Montegonian great whites, but that is just me, I haven’t done any research. Maybe I’ll hand out questionnaires soon.

Somewhere something went wrong when the founding fathers of the city were assembling the beginnings of this city. It would seem no one foresaw the education boom and the information age. So we are stuck it seems in age where there are a lot of under-educated and disenfranchised Montegonian youth, who have opted to leave the city in the hands of anyone who is half interested enough to take it. And by God they are! Montego Bay’s vanguard is not of Montego Bay, a serious paradox and irony that needs to be addressed.

Strange enough these days, I am beginning to see a lot of Kingstonian faces in Montego Bay. They are popping in what was once considered non-profitable jobs for an undiversified market such as the second city. These things range from, very high end professional graphic design, multimedia and studio producing to more traditional realms of artistic pursuit, such as painting, writing and photography. I would really like to know what is it that prompts so many to come to Montego Bay and not only broaden the job scope but also steal those already here for Montegonians. I also would like to know why is that Montegonians lack the vision to take what is ours. There are jobs here, yet one of Montegonians’ major complaints is the small job market or lack of career opportunity. A wise man once said only the fool is thirsty in the abundance of water.

By Yannick Nesta Pessoa
B.A. in Philosophy
Webpage: http//
E-mail: or


Anonymous said...

Dammit, there goes my hopes of second city domination. haha

Jus a pass through and a hail up the works still.

Anonymous said...

But isn't that the truth throughout the West Indies? In Barbados, it's less easy for white people to hide out, but hide out they still do. And to be honest, whenever I enter one of these white bastions where they tend to gravitate towards (away?) like Harbour Lights, I am astounded... "Wait, Barbados got so much white people fuh real?"?

Ecky-beckies like sand...

Not quite sure why they do it- was debating this on a Bajan message board the other day. I think that in a country as small as B'dos or even as JA, you have to make a damn hard effort not to mingle with the majority- why we don't see them in the gas station, in the supermarket, at cricket or football at de regular nightclubs? And then on the other hand, when you see one, you see ten?

Someone was arguing that it's the tendency of a minority to stick with whom they identify with...which I tend to understand more, now being up here.

When I see a black face (and trus me, dem can be SCARCE!), we kinda silently bond, give each other the "wha gine on?" nod. It's just relief to see another black face. I was at a dinner party recently where it was mostly black people-admittedly a motley crew- two Bajans (one who is a motley crew in herself), a Mali-American, two Brit-Nigerians and a blackish Indian Kenyan.

And it felt right. It felt comfortable.

But I still mix with white people. I have to. They're all around me, I am the minority and I would have to go way out of my way to avoid contact with them as much as West Indian whites do with us...