Ms Dynamite: In Search of Nanny Maroon

March 22, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

BBC 2 Sun 25 Mar @ 7pm

Since she was a child Niomi Daley (aka Ms Dynamite) has been fascinated by stories of Nanny of the Maroons – an extraordinary Jamaican woman who successfully led a revolt by slaves against the British Army. It is claimed that her army of rebel slaves was never defeated by the British.

Niomi sets out to discover why, 250 years on, Nanny remains such an inspirational figure in Jamaica and its only national heroine. Nanny was leader of the Maroons, a daring group of slaves who ran away from enslavement in the British sugar plantations in Jamaica and set up secret communities in the mountains.

Did Nanny use special spirit powers to defeat the British? There are tales that Nanny could catch the British bullets in her buttocks – Niomi investigates these extraordinary claims. Ms Dynamite also discovers the way the Maroons used to camouflage themselves, dressing up as trees in a remarkable early use of guerilla tactics. To discover what Nanny may have looked like Niomi meets Renee Cox, an artist who has created her own provocative images of Nanny. Visiting an historic sugar plantation Niomi challenges a modern white descendant of the slave traders about his views on slavery.

Taking the pulse of modern day Jamaica Ms Dynamite begins to appreciate just how much Nanny Maroon and the legacy of slavery continues to influence daily life in present day Jamaica. The female warrior remains an important cultural icon more than 200 years after her original exploits against the British.