If you’ve ever dreamt of starring in a ghetto-based, action-packed film, set in the heart of downtown Kingston where you can expect traffic at every hour of the day, a gun salute at any time, and a random woman shouting, “Give your life to Jesus”, then you just need to spend a day inside a wholesale establishment there.
That’s an almost accurate picture of the experience of the wholesale owner, Ghetto Kirk, the latest Jamaican personality making waves on the social networking site, TikTok.
Ghetto Kirk, whose given name is Jia Zhang, is a Chinese Jamaican (by naturalization). He spends the little free time he has in his wholesale, posting hilarious social commentary videos on his online accounts. While Ghetto Kirk was not born in Jamaica, he defends his Jamaican nationality because he has been living on the island since he was three years old.
Now let’s meet Ghetto Kirk.
1. Without telling me your home address, does Ghetto Kirk leave in the ghetto?
(Laughs) I like how we starting this. Started off with a bang…no Ghetto Kirk does not live in the ghetto but he has worked in, what most would consider, the ghetto for most of his adult life in downtown [Kingston] and now in Spanish Town.
2. Thanks for the clarification. There’s a belief that all Asian men cook well. Do you consider yourself a chef?
I’m a pro at making noodles if that counts for anything.
3. Okay, I’ll leave the cooking to Chef Rameish. Let’s move on! While you’re largely famous on social media, do people respond positively to your Jamaican accent all the time?
For the majority of it, yeah! But you know there are some negative people so we don’t really pay them any mind. We just press on and forget about them because their negativity is just a reflection of their insecurities.
4. Amen! I have to ask, what other languages do you speak fluently?
I speak Chinese, specifically Cantonese and Hakka fluently. My Mandarin is not fluent but I can understand it somewhat and I speak a little bit of Spanish.
5. Multi-lingual I see! Are your parents full-blood Chinese?
Yes, both my parents are fully Chinese.
6. Speaking of family, when you’re not online, what activities do you enjoy doing with family?
I don’t really spend much time with them, to be honest. The only activity that we do is dinner at home or if we’re going out for dinner at a restaurant or so.
7. Speaking of fun…finish this line. The best place to go in Jamaica to have fun is…..
Oh! That one is a tricky one because my definition of fun might be very different than a lot of people. I’m more of an introvert….the best place to go in Jamaica to have fun is the martial arts gym which is not many people’s definition of fun, so yeah!
8. The martial arts gym…mhm! I will try. Finish this line. With 50 Jamaican dollars, you can buy…
A Oreo..(laughs) with only four cookies inside.
9. Finish this line. My favourite Jamaican songs right now are…..
Ahh! That’s a difficult one… I think Valiant makes some really catchy songs so I’d say probably ‘Speed Off’ right now is my favourite Jamaican song. But for my music taste, I’m more into international music, so yeah, Billboard, that kinda stuff.
10. Finally, other than your videos, which Jamaican digital influencers do you enjoy following on social media?
Negus-Imara is a pretty entertaining fellow and we share the same thought processes on a lot of the same topics.
He has great content indeed!
Thanks Ghetto Kirk for sharing a piece of you that we don’t see online.
Did you enjoy that sneak preview into the life of Ghetto Kirk? Which Jamaican digital influencer should we feature next?
Although you are, spending more time, ‘outside’, you can’t deny that the great Panasonic has influenced your growing interest in online entertainment. And you’d be surprised to learn how many Jamaicans play prominent roles in the TV shows, movies, and music you stream online. As we continue this feature series, we’ll give you a sneak preview of the lives of our prominent Jamaican digital influencers in your favourite TV shows, movies, and songs.