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St Thomas Obeah man Jah Yute says police and attorneys are among his clientele. (Photo: Naphtali Junior) 

ONE o beah man in Yallahs, St Thomas, is chiding civil society for what he says is its double standard in dealing with the issue of o beah — a system of spiritual and healing practices developed among enslaved West Africans in the West Indies.

The 59-year-old man, who asked to be identified as Jah Yute, said he has been practising obeah for close to 40 years.

He is also insisting that there is a misunderstanding when it comes to the practice.

Jah Yute, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer North & East last Wednesday, said the Government has failed to punish advertisers of astrology and palm-reading on local television.

“Them have some man who come from foreign deh pon TV [and] inna public a advertise fi them craft and them something deh and them a go through. Wah mek we have fi wi cultural heritage and a go a prison fi it?” he asked.

“Science is like a technology — yuh can use it fi bad and yuh can use it fi good. Right now yuh have [people] inna di church a do bad, a seh them want to change prayer and all them something deh… the world bow down to them, don’t it? Well, this a fi mi heritage,” Jah Yute said.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck earlier this month announced that the practice could be legalised.

He said the law reform department of the Ministry of Justice has been tasked with putting together a submission for him to take to Cabinet which would outline the reasons the 1898 Obeah Act should be repealed.

Chuck’s announcement has since met resistance from church leaders across the island, with several threatening to fight any legislation legalising obeah.

Jah Yute said those opposed to the repealing of the Act are confused about the significance of the practice.

“Them nuh know the origin of obeah because a Benin (West Africa) it come from. Mi come with one old man; he was a spiritualist. Him heal whole heap a people, mek all blind people see. Him make people weh turn out of hospital by doctor come back, feel back well again, and him do whole heap more things. The only thing inna him dealings them, mi never see him kill nobody,” the man said.

He also shared that he began practising obeah when he turned 25 years old, and has since been able to heal people and clear obstacles which hinder their success.

“Sometime mi have the knowledge fi know seh sometime certain things can be impossible to you and tough inna your way, and mi can make it easier for you. Over the years, being with the old man is how mi gather the knowledge. Him did have me as him right hand so mi study everything weh him do,” said Jah Yute.

“Mi see people come ya sick weh doctor turn out of hospital — the whole of her full of fassy (scabies). Now, inna that case, if is a curse put up on her you haffi know how fi can counteract it. Yeah, you haffi can counteract the spell placed upon them. You haffe get rid of the poison substance inna the body,” the man added.

He said he has also performed rituals, which have allowed him to cast spirits from homes in conflict.

Jah Yute told Observer North & East that since building up his clientele, he has not had to advertise for work.

He said some of his best clients include police officers seeking promotions at work, and attorneys.

“Some of my clients them a poor people, but me deal with a lot of learned people who inna high places inna life. Fighting deh everywhere enuh, all weh yuh deh fighting in deh to. Everywhere you go, fighting deh. When a nuh small a fight, a big a fight. A man come to you fi promotion, police get promotion, teacher want promotion. A man will want favour when him get him chance fi go embassy and them something deh,” he disclosed.

“Evil inna the world fi true, but when you nuh know, you nuh know. Some people deny it, some Christians deny it, but a suh it go fi true.

He said he has been invited overseas, as well, to assist with certain cases, although he is yet to come to a decision on that.

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9 comments to this article

  1. Anonymous

    on June 24, 2019 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    The belief in obeah is what keeping a lot of black people down. Pray to God and he will see you through.what man plan God will unplanned.

  2. Anonymous

    on June 24, 2019 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Does obeah really work?can you actually stay in another country an obeah someone I am always as to how it works, someone explain

  3. Official Latty

    on June 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Di blood a Jesus! Yuh cyaah serve 2, di holy spirit is di one and only. Ppl will spend money a obeah man fi hurt a next person dan put tithe. What a day when obeah man come out come talk dis. A real life dis mi inna??? God just stop fi a second yasso deh mek dem know deh please.
    I pray for my country.

  4. Official Latty

    on June 24, 2019 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    God will always be with you… Just like how yuh believe that when yuh go to di obeah man it ago work.. its the same way if yuh talk to the holy spirit and believe, it ago work but without consequences and without money.. God won’t charge you because he loves you and wants you to call on him with all ur troubles. Let us pray.

  5. Styx

    on June 24, 2019 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    So even with the total lack of empirical evidence,much less any viable proof of any God existence, we still a run with weh di colonialists brought to Africa. Obeah is an alternative system of spiritual, and healing developed by enslaved Africans. Granted it can also be misused by the one who practiced it just like any other Religion. BTW I’ve never heard Obeah the reason for mass suicide, such as Christianity, where over 900 people drank poison in 1978 to be with their Lord.

  6. Anonymous

    on June 24, 2019 at 11:21 pm - Reply


  7. Anonymous

    on June 25, 2019 at 2:55 am - Reply

    WOW @ Styx

  8. Anonymous

    on June 25, 2019 at 8:20 am - Reply


  9. Anonymous

    on June 26, 2019 at 2:27 am - Reply

    So why don’t all obeah workers come together and make peace reign in the world? And to the politicians, this law is not necessary to be debated in parliament, all you have to do is to repeal it as being outdated. Therefore, who want to continue practicing it can do so freely without worrying about being arrested. By the way, when was the last time someone was brought to court and tried for practicing obeah?
    Unno need to go and debate on the epidemic prevalence of corruption and how to stem it, starting with criminals charges being levied against those suspected of being involved, example, politicians, Judges, attorneys, business people, those in the forces including police and soldiers and those who hold senior positions. Until then , crime will never reduce.
    Jamaica is one country where non of the above has never been arrested and charge and convicted with corruption while in office. Don’t you think this is suspect to the outside world? What do you think that shows? Nothing but widespread corruption.!!!

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