Jamaican-inspired Yawd Cards are the brainchild of Charmaine Radway, a native of Manchester, Jamaica who works as a medical technologist in Miami. She also hosts Kulcha Shock Abroad, a podcast focusing on issues facing Jamaicans throughout the diaspora.
Charmaine originally created Yawd Cards in October 2020 out of a desire to connect her family members spread across Jamaica, the US, Canada, and the UK. The game allowed them to remain united in a fun way while unable to travel throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wanted to create something to help us connect and expand it to the listeners of my podcast,” Charmaine told Travel Noire. “While working on the concepts I thought it would be important to start creating products to help my first generation cousins and nieces learn about and reconnect with Jamaica. Based on that family game additional concepts were created.”
Charmaine says it was crucial for her to represent her culture and homeland through the game. Although she lives in the US, Jamaica is integral to her identity and a huge part of who she is.
“The vibe, the culture, the music, the history, and the resilience. All these aspects of Jamaica, which I consider the world’s little heartbeat, guide me daily. In addition, meeting Jamaicans from all over the world, I noticed that there is a great deal of our history, untold stories, and current affairs that gets lost in gossip blogs. I feel my own experiences growing up in rural Jamaica could help provide a fun way to connect people to my culture.”
With many of her single friends dating and married friends going crazy with working from home and their kids’ virtual schooling, Charmaine saw a need to develop something that would help spice things up for date nights.
Yawd Cards New Squeeze is an exciting deck of 54 cards meant to spark conversations on the awkward first few dates. Whether in person or online, individuals looking to choose a good partner have a solid deck of questions to use to help determine if they are compatible and if a person they have met might be the one.
“It’s so much fun, and you really fast track getting to know someone. No time wasted! The cards have a few questions that are specific to Jamaica, but I created the decks to also include people who are not from Jamaica but love the culture. Cards include questions like What is your dream destination? And, What were you like in high school?“
Long Time Squeeze, also 54 cards, is ideal for the busy couple who has been together for a while and wants to reconnect by asking each other questions they probably never thought to ask. This deck can help individuals learn something new and funny about their partner, for example, What reggae or dancehall song makes you want to leave a party with me?
Yawd Style Story Time is for the family and friends who are linking up to connect in person or virtually. Each card has a pair of words that players will use to ignite the nostalgia of growing up Jamaican, for example, peppermint and blue soap or coal pot and rafting.
“The story time is really a spin on how extra and funny Jamaicans are at telling stories. The words alone will have you laughing but the stories will be even better!”
Yawd Cards extension packs are currently in the works and coming soon. There will be three new decks for Yawd Style Story Time, two revamped Couples Date Night decks, and a children’s game launching in mid-October, just in time for Jamaica’s Heroes’ weekend.
“Like the original Yawd Cards, all extension packs will be centered around Jamaica, forming deeper romantic relationships, and helping first generation Jamaicans learn and understand the culture.”