USA. JM | Feb 23, 2023

Jamaican centenarian, Sybil Leslie publishes new book ‘Uncle Zekie Seh: Tales of Old Jamaica’

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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Jamaican centenarian and author Sybil Leslie.

Driven by her love of Jamaica’s culture and desire to preserve certain practices, Jamaican centenarian Sybil Leslie has launched her latest book, Uncle Zekie Seh: Tales of Old Jamaica.

Culture is defined as the way of life of a people inclusive of their food, dress, language and music. In Jamaica, it is often said that the country has become Americanised, with children or even adults having little to no knowledge of their roots.

At the age of 100, Leslie, a Jamaican cultural ambassador and author, has seen it fit to retell some of the fond memories she experienced growing up on the island. The book is centred around Uncle Zekie, a character who tells stories about his upbringing in Jamaica to little children, immersing them in old cultural practices.

The story is divided into sections that showcase many aspects of Jamaican culture. These include food and dining traditions, household chores, self-care, church, having fun, celebrations, and folklore, ending with the Anansi. 

Leslie is a historian, story teller and published author whose work has earned her national honours from the Government of Jamaica. She was born on February 9, 1923 in Bethel Town, Westmoreland and taught at different levels of the Jamaican education system, including Shortwood Teachers’ College, where she was head of the Social Studies Department, and at UWI Cave Hill. 

After migrating to Atlanta in 1993, she sought to spread her love and knowledge of Jamaica’s rich culture with younger members of the diaspora and wider Americas.

Uncle Zekie Seh: Tales of Old Jamaica is available on Amazon, Goodreads, eBay, Barnes and Nobles and Google books for purchase.

The book will also be featured in a series that will discuss books about Jamaican culture, written by women. The series will begin in March 2023 and will be moderated by Claudette Lindsay, host of the Caribbean Exchange on WEAA Morgan State radio in Baltimore, Maryland.


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