Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson Says It Wasn’t Hard Raising Kids Without Vybz Kartel: “Me Can Do It Again”

When Dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel was arrested in 2011, his three children with Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson were minors. With the entertainer denied bail and later convicted of murder in 2014, Johnson was left to raise their offspring without a father in the home. 

Looking back, the ‘Boss Lady’ said she’d do it all over again, when a follower asked if raising her sons was difficult without Kartel’s physical presence.  

“No, it never difficult,” Johnson said on TikTok on Sunday. “As a real mother, as a strong mother, it never difficult. Me can do it again. Me can raise them again and again and again.”

Their children are now adult deejays Likkle Vybz (Jaheim) and Likkle Addi (Akheel), and youngster World Boss Jr. (Aiko).

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is currently appealing his conviction before the Privy Council. He reportedly opened up to Gaza affiliate Tommy Lee Sparta about being away from his children while the latter was locked up for two years

Vybz-Kartel-wife-Shorty
Vybz Kartel and Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson

“Wah day me and Kartel, cause we have a thing called recreation where we go down and play football more while…” the Sparta deejay told this year’s Reggae Sumfest crowd. “We a reason bout we youth dem and him a seh, ‘Tommy Lee, when my youth a baby, mi deh a prison, and now dem have baby’, and mi a seh, ‘God know dawg’. It rough in deh.”

Kartel and Johnson’s love story started in the early 2000s at the now-defunct Cactus Nightclub in Portmore, St Catherine. Between name-dropping her in autobiographical songs like Love Dem and having an on-and-off relationship, they are undoubtedly one of dancehall’s most fascinating couples.

Kartel chronicled the highs and lows of their tumultuous union on the 2020 To Tanesha album, ironically co-produced by her label Short Boss Muzik. Despite his 2022 engagement announcement to Turkish social worker Sidem Ozturk, Johnson has not addressed their relationship status. 

During the TikTok Live, one user asked if she was still romantically involved with Kartel, to which she declined to comment. She did, however, answer other questions related to him, like revealing her favorite song from his catalog: Hustle the Money

‘The Teacha’ aside, Johnson gave an update on her YouTube journey. The businesswoman launched her cooking channel in June, but is yet to post content.

“Mi a start come Live next week pon the cooking thing,” she said. “Nuh worry unno self. Mek sure unno go follow.”

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