Dec 31, 2010

Black Eye Peas for Good Luck on "Ole Year's Night"

Trini Saying: “Eat peas on New Year’s day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year.”

Every Trinidadian knows that on "Ole Year's Night" better known as "New Year's Eve" everywhere else must be ushered in with a plate of black eye peas peleau.

In order to ensure that good luck follows the individual for the rest of the year the first food has to be black eye peas and this is not a tradition for Trinidad and Tobago but one that has been around for a very long time around the World. However, in Trinidad and Tobago it is done in traditional peleau style. Having said that my personal delight for this pea is to enjoy it fried. Yes boil it until soft then fry it... "Dat is the dam ting self!".

The following was taken from an article in Newsday dated December 31, 2008:

"Tonight, thousands throughout the country will be getting ready to ring in the new year . In the traditional way. If you are planning on visiting friends and family, it is likely you will be offered black-eyed peas in some form, either just after midnight or on New Year’s Day.

Here is how to prepare it:

Trinidadian Black-Eyed Peas

1 1/2 cups black eyed peas

four cups parboiled rice

meat of choice

chopped chive

chopped pimentos

chopped onions

chopped spanish thyme

chopped celery

two tablespoons sugar

chopped parsley

chopped bhandhanya (chadon beni)

1 carrot, diced

1 cup diced pumpkin

three cloves of garlic

whole pepper

3 1/2 cups water

1 cup coconut milk

1 tsp salt (optional)

two tablespoons cooking margarine

pinch of black pepper

If using dried peas, soak the peas overnight in three cups of water. Drain. Bring three fresh cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the peas. Cook until tender and drain and set aside. If using canned beans, drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy, deep pot. Add the sugar and swirl in the pot; allow it to caramelize to a dark brown colour. Add scalded pig tail, ham bone or your choice of meat and stir well to coat. Lower the heat to medium and add seasonings. Cook for one to two minutes, stirring constantly.

Add rice and water and stir pot to integrate all contents until pot starts to boil again.

Maintain moderate to low heat so that the pot continues cooking. Add coconut milk and stir periodically to ensure even mix and cooking of rice.

Add 1/4 cups of hot water as necessary until rice is cooked and grainy (Basically as the rice slowly swells the water level will drop). On low heat allow pot to continue to simmer until moisture disappears.,92650.html

Dec 27, 2010

"Dance and Dingolay" | Denise Belfon

Hear dis nah... Dis chune will mash up de place! Smarty say so... Chut man dis Shango rythym is seriously infectious. I say kudos to Denise for a fantastic delivery. This copy on Youtube lacks the high end and may sound a little flat but after listening to the track on WACK Radio ( I am sold and believe that this is the "mash up pick" for the upcoming Carnival (to date)!

Now if you believe that Trinis are the only ones with the wicked riddims (rhythms) then you are dead wrong. This beat comes from the Isle of Spice. It is called the Swahili Riddim and was produced by Andrew 'Hitz' Phillip. Andrew is a born and bred Grenadian producer/songwriter who had first major single sung by Blaxx of "Roy Cape Allstars" entitled Zombie.  The hook that follows 'Hitz' is simply put: "My Life, Your Entertainment"

Information sourced from Youtube and REVERBNATION

Dec 16, 2010

Pan Fraternity Mad as hell it Culture Minister Winston "Gypsy" Peters!

Can you envisage Carnival without Panorama? Yuh mad or what? Well this is exactly what Pan Men are considering after reviewing stinging statements made by Culture Minister Winston "Gypsy" Peters. Is it on or is it off and will the Minister apologize to the Pan fraternity? The Minister is talking tough and at the same time pointing fingers at Pan Trinbago as it relates to its management of the Panorama festival and cash flow issues. 

The pan men are upset! The minister is upset and when the public becomes upset then the entire show will turn 'ole mas'. What will carnival be without Panorama? The greatest show on Earth for Pan takes place every year in Trinidad. The talent and creativity is beyond words. Hours spent at nights rehearsing and running drills to get the song right for competition for the right to be called the best in the land may not happen in 2011 if the pan men and Minister can't come to an agreement. The Minister has the funds to make the competition work. The Pan men want the funding but the Minister wants the Pan Trinbago to become autonomous. This is good but someone who can plan and forge ahead in a different direction needs to step up to the plate to make this happen. This statement by the Minister seems to have caught the Pan Fraternity off guard. They expected nothing but cooperation from someone who they believed understood the plight of the pan man and someone who comes from a group that creates the music for the pan. Is the Minister wrong to want Pan Trinbago to become less dependent on Government funding?

The answer is no, he is not wrong but to do it 'cold turkey' will not work even in poor financial times (even if the government is stressed for funds). Minister Gypsy is spending money to rebuild stands (temporary?) in the Savannah for the Parade of the bands and calypso finals but is brandishing his sword with the Pan Fraternity. This strategy, at this time, will back fire on the minister since the Pan Competition is the heart and soul of the Pan Fraternity. People come from all over the world to see and to be a part of this competition. Players come to Trinidad to participate, to learn and to take back to their countries the experiences of the Panorama festival. Panorama is not killing the pan movement... It is the mismanagement by the people in charge that has created the problem that the pan movement faces today. Accountability is essential and no one seems to be able to account for the monies that the government has poured into this organization year after year. "Whey de money gorne", has been and will continue to whispered but not spoken in public. 

Change is good but not all change is good. There needs to be some form of compromise and proper organization that involves the Pan Fraternity, the Government (Culture Ministry) and the Private Sector. Carnival fuels the economy and the Pan Movement is part of this engine that drives the carnival festival. Pan men should benefit but not only from government funding. The competitions are always packed... What happens to the monies collected at these events? The Government allocates prize money and yet still we have money issues. The minister has reason to be concerned and so too should the management of Pan Trinbago. 

Pan Trinbago needs a new business model to progress. How should this be done? Well all interests concerned should come together and brainstorm for the betterment of steel pan. Maybe the government should have a say in the daily operations of Pan Trinbago, maybe a private entity should be employed to come up with a sustainable business model for the steel pan. Pan Trinbago, thus far, has not been able to create this business model. Help is needed before the Minister cuts funding and carnival will not hear the beat of an iron or the tuning of a pan or notes of music when night falls. This may just end up in the hands of the Prime Minister!

Dec 15, 2010

Asa Wright Nature Center | Arima, Trinidad

Trinidad boasts of an ecological diversity unmatched in the Caribbean and the east coast is a prime example. Featuring protected wetlands and miles of fine brown sand, this five and a half hour tour allows you to travel to the fascinating Asa Wright Nature Center. Here, you will experience rich bird life such as the Ruby-topaz humming-bird and the tufted coquette.

Half day trip to the Asa Wright Nature Center
Ecological diversity
Rich animal life
Exotic flora and fauna
Hotel pickup and dropoff

Visit the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre, a 200-acre (800,000 sq.meter) bird sanctuary and conservation center located deep in the hills of the Northern Range. Following the 1.5 hours drive to the nature center, you will be met by your knowledgeable guide for an informative nature walk through the lush tropical forest with its exotic trees and colourful flowers.

While actual sightings are not guaranteed, you'll want to keep a watchful eye out for exotic birds such as toucans, manikins and hummingbirds as well as graceful butterflies that live in this unique environment. Following your 1.5 hour nature walk, allow us to return you to your Port of Spain hotel.

Dec 11, 2010

Soca Releases 2011!

This playlist is from IslandMix and was done by Julian!

Nov 7, 2010

Bamboo bursting ends in death | Trinidad Guardian

Dead is Gary Guevarro, 23, of Papourie Road, Diamond Village, San Fernando. Guevarro, who was employed as a safety officer, was bursting bamboo around 7.30 pm on Wednesday, when it exploded and ignited his clothes. Link to article here: Trinidad Guardian

In all my years of bursting bamboo I cannot recall any fatality with this fun activity. Yes bursting bamboo can be so much fun. I am sure the men bursting bamboo that evening when this tragedy occurred were competing with others in nearby districts. The booms would come fast and furious and one way to enhance the boom was to add carbide to the bamboo (in the pitch oil). The bamboo when heated and ignited from the lower end blasts out at the other end.

Now with the right length and density of the bamboo and the ideal heat the boom can become bombastic and create a frenzy of excitement that fuels a rhythmic response from nearby blasters. A split bamboo would bring to an end the efforts of the competitor but this usually happens with defective or over heated bamboos. I do hope that these young men were not experimenting with the carbide because this could have cause the bamboo to 'burst open' instead of simply splitting and bringing an end to their blasting. In this case we don't know why or how the situation occurred. Those young men are in shock... it is a very sad day indeed.

The sport of bursting bamboo now has to contend with the laws of the land regarding the 'noise nuisance' created by the bursting of the bamboo. A death in the bamboo bursting fraternity could be a game changing event with those in authority stopping the event from taking place.

However kids will continue with this traditional event and it is hoped that this does not happen again. It is advisable that the bursting is done in the traditional manner. Please don't use carbide to enhance the sound. Also please don't put condense milk cans or bottles at the end of the bamboo to blast away or enhance the sound since these situations can lead to an exploding bamboo. In the face of a disastrous situation with fire on clothing it is important that help is administered quickly. Those who burst the bamboo should keep in mind that without water available roll on the ground to stop the fire from spreading on your clothing.

My deepest condolences are extended to the family and friend and village of Mr. Gary Guevarro who lost his life while bursting bamboo.

Oct 26, 2010

Kaiso, Kaiso | Oh Chune Boi!

Every year hundreds of Calypso and Soca songs/music tracks are released for sale to the general public. Some of these songs are instant hits while others, for some reason have such an impact on us that we find ourselves singing the lyrics long after the season is gone.

The songs that remain with us are the ones that would last a lifetime. However have you ever given thought to the songs, singers and music released yearly to the extent that if you wanted to know the songs released for a certain period that it could be easily sourced and documented regarding the singer, composer, musicians and even where it was recorded? I have and came up dry and disappointed in my online search for such a database.

Recently, I noticed the following on the Wack radio ( "The National Action Cultural Committee is pleased to announce the calypsos which were selected to be among the Top 20 Calypsos for 2010. These calypsos will be awarded at a gala ceremony which will be held on Saturday 8th January, 2011, at the Cascadia Hotel, St. Ann’s." This was followed by a listing of the songs and the singers. I thought to myself well if they listed 20 songs then form what database did they prune this list?

I went to the TUCO website ( to see if they had a list of songs released for 2010 and as a matter of fact since this is the World governing body for calypso take a look at a listing of calypso releases as a historical guide to the art form. Nothing...just songs for sale! On the same web page there is an article entitle, "Our Calypso jewels not treasured"... oh yeah? Talk about promoting the craft and there is no listing of the songs sang by Lord Kitchener, or the Mighty Sparrow or Lord Shorty, or the Roaring Lion etc etc.

We really need a National archive for the art form and it is a shame that millions of dollars are spent yearly by TUCO (government funded) and to this date we don't have an archive of the singers, songwriters, musicians, recording studios and the works done for and by each category. This is a shame and a National embarrassment... Something needs to be done, this wrong needs to be corrected for the sake of the art form and the people who help create it year after year. It is bad enough that we fail to honour those who created the music, even after they die. At least we should chronologically record the historical data as a courtesy to their genius and for the future generations to come.

Sep 30, 2010

Seventeen Colours and a Sitar|Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

In the midst of performances, planning and conceptualising its 2011 artistic ventures, rapso super group 3Canal made an appearance in the new Trinbago film, Seventeen Colours and a Sitar. The renowned trio of Wendell Manwarren, Roger Roberts, and Stanton Kewley expressed joy at being a part of this new film endeavour, which also features visual arts phenomenon Rex Dixon and Trinidad’s celebrated sitarist Mungal Patasar.

At the recent opening of Dixon’s art gallery exhibition the three “rapsonians” praised the work of their directors, co-stars and all involved for their unique film experience. Roberts, who admitted to not having much exposure to painting outside of using paint for J’ouvert festivities, was glad to have been given an opportunity to tap into another side of his creativity and to experiment with the paint.

Sep 21, 2010

New CoP takes charge!


CANADIANS Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski will assume office today at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.
Gibbs, a former chief superintendent of police in Alberta, Canada, was yesterday appointed as this country's newest Commissioner of Police, while Ewatski appointed a Deputy Commissioner by the Police Service Commission.
The appointments of both men took place yesterday at the Service Commission's Department at Cipriani Boulevard, Port of Spain.
Both Gibbs and Ewatski received their letters of appointment by chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Nizam Mohammed, days after they arrived in the country.

Sep 19, 2010

Trinidad Rum Festival|Machel brings curtain down with sweet Soca music


Soca Superstar, Machel Montano HD brought the curtain down on the first-ever Trinidad Rum Festival last Sunday night, as he performed for an assembly of specially-invited guests at Angostura's official "RUM (Real Unidentified Mystery) Event. The Queen's Park Oval car park was transformed into an exotic showcase of the full range of products in the Angostura family, even as the audience, which was described as rather reserved or "stush" early on was transformed into a rather "swanky" one revelling in full "Carnival fete mode" by the night's end.

Sep 15, 2010

Rip Calypsonian Arrow!

Breaking News! AM New York City

It has been reported in chat rooms that calypsonian Alphonsus Cassell better known as calypsonian Arrow has died. The Montserratan recently returned from the United States where he received treatment for the cancer that has plagued his health for the past two years. However, while in Montserrat it was reported that he fell ill with pneumonia and was taken to a hospital in neighboring Antigua where he died early this morning. Arrow of Hot Hot Hot fame was one of the most famous calypsonian because of this mega hit that is known world wide... He will be missed.

Here is the news out of Montserrat....
The Mighty Arrow – Alphonsus Celestine Edmund Cassell died early this morning in Montserrat. Arrow, who is renowned for his globally acclaimed soca hit Hot Hot Hot, reportedly died from cancer. He was 55-years-old. Information regarding the details of his dead have still not been attained.

The Groove Master is now mixing it up and liming in heaven... His music will live on and we must always remember what the Groove Master wanted us to do... "Keep on grooving!"
"Arrow has over 33 music albums under his belt. Hot Hot Hot has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, and millions of copies recorded in twelve different languages, and different versions. Arrow made history when he became the first calypso soca artist to be awarded the prestigious MBE by the Queen for his service to music. His music will live on. Rest in peace Arrow we will all miss you."

Sep 14, 2010

Cocoa on the rise?|Government promises to revitalize the cocoa industry!

As the Government moves towards the revitalisation of the cocoa industry, farmers in north and east Trinidad believe if automated cocoa dryers and incentives for labour are not granted, the industry will soon die. The industry which contributed to T&T’s development for more than 200 years, began during the Spanish colonisation, but declined rapidly in the 1920’s because of falling prices.

Since the 1950s, repeated attempts have been unsuccessfully made to revitalise the local cocoa business. In the 1990s, farmers said they were promised leases and incentives to work their cocoa fields but none was provided. Although T&T’s cocoa has been ranked as the best in the world, local cocoa farmers continue to abandon their lands. Cocoa houses, once the hub of activity, now lie dormant.

The newly elected Peoples Partnership government has made many promises to the people of the twin island republic. However, I am pleased that there will be a drive to improve the agricultural environment in the country. We can grow a lot of the food that we need with good management and assistance to the farmers who dearly need financial assistance and access roads. 

Many years ago our cocoa was regarded as the best in the world and was used to flavor bulk cocoa supplies from Africa in the chocolate houses of England and Europe. Today our cocoa industry  is almost non existent. Most of the estates are abandoned or simply overgrown because the owners did not get the value for the product and effort to bring the produce to market. The government has promised change and with the assistance from foreign companies the cocoa industry might get the boot needed to rise and dominate again. 

We need to diversify away from oil to help develop the nation. Cocoa is one product that will provide some revenue year after year. We must get involved in these endeavors again. There is a labor problem that needs to be addressed. Labor is needed to work the estates and to keep the areas clean so that the cocoa trees can flourish and produce. New plants are needed and the Ministry of Agriculture  can assist in this area. If this is approached sensibly then in a few decades we can once again boast about having a cocoa industry that flavors the chocolates of the world once again! However, talking about it one thing... We need to act now!

Sep 11, 2010

Calypsonian Arrow has a brain tumor!

Calypsonian Arrow has a brain tumor and the condition has worsened as reported in Caribbean New Now a web portal that provides Caribbean News. 

Musicmanderek:  "I am asking the shout-box family to say a pray for Calypsoian Arrow. He has a severe brain tumor... He is in hospital; let's pray for a successful surgery and his recovery."

This statement was made in the WACK Radio Shout Box this morning by a Musicmanderek who follows the Caribbean music scene with keen interest.  Montserratian calypsonian Alphonsus Cassell who uses the sobriquet Arrow rose to prominence with his mega hit "Hot! Hot! Hot!"(arranged by Leston Paul) in the 80's. 

There is no denying the significance of this man and the impact that Hot! Hot! Hot! had on the music scene for that period. Leston Paul commented that the arrangement was a blend of soca and rock and roll rhythms and that he " was delighted and honoured to learn that Arrow was among the stellar cast for the summit. “I am glad we both had the opportunity to see Barack Obama create history...I enjoyed his performance on television,” said Paul (Trinidad Guardian Newspapers).

We can and will say a prayer for this brave and famous Monserratian who had and still has the World dancing to the infectious rhythms of Hot! Hot! Hot! 
Photo from Google Images : Link to images

Sep 10, 2010

PP Govt using PNM plans—Imbert|Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

The vast majority of plans and projects in the People’s Partnership Government’s 2010/2011 budget are PNM projects, PNM MP Colm Imbert said yesterday. “For example the Motor Vehicle Licensing Authority which is being done with ‘Canadian help’ which the Finance Minister announced is the same project we signed an agreement with the Nova Scotia authorities to undertake since 2008—they even kept the same name for the authority which we approved in Cabinet,” Imbert said.

On the day the budget was presented Colm Imbert was very critical of the budget.Now he is saying that the budget contains PNM projects. Should I conclude that he would have been just as critical of these "so called PNM ideas" if they were part of a PNM budget? I don't think so...

He claimed that the Licencing authority project was proposed in 2008 but did not state why they did not act on it. This new government is in office for about five months and have gone ahead with the revamping of the licencing Authority. What does that say about the PNM and the present government? I rest my case.

Sep 9, 2010

Carnival 2011 Watch|Island People Band Launch

Island People Mas is set to better its delivery of services to masqueraders come Carnival 2011 that will be “out of this world,” says its creative director Marlon Grant. A signature move towards this goal was the relocation of the band’s mas camp and showroom from Stone Street, Port-of-Spain, to O’Connor Street, Woodbrook. 

The area had increased business activity, as well as better lighting and parking for the comfort of its clients. There’s also a youth section for next year’s Parade of Bands contest called Twilight Phenom, which forms part of the band’s 13-section portrayal titled Shades of the Universe for the national festival.

According to the Guardian article, "Every Friday from now until Carnival there would be after work limes at the band house".  Now take note of this one because "after work limes" is just another excuse for Trini who simply like to party. In this case I gather that they would be using the lime to create income and drum up support for the band, the designs and generally will be focusing on sales for the design initiatives. Good luck guys!

Sep 4, 2010

Local fruits are hard to find Disappearing act|Newsd@y

When one takes a stroll in the market in search of fruits, the ones that are prominent on the stalls are apples, grapes, pears and apricots.

Citizens have expressed great concern that they no longer see their favourite local fruits on the market including mangoes, pomeracs, ceries, star apples, sapodillas, pommecythere, limes, lemons, passion fruit and avocados.

Education and Research Officer of the National Food Crop Farmers Association, (NFCFA) Norris Deonarine, said the harsh dry season experienced earlier in the year really affected the production levels of the country’s local fruits.

He also believed, the country’s fruit industry started to really decline when Caroni 1975 Limited was shut down.

“There used to be a big production in citrus both in orange and grapefruit along Todds Road, since the closure, the orchards on that estate have not been maintained and the project has not been picked up and it is unfortunate. We used to export orange and grapefruit juice, this is why we have been calling for the revitalisation of the agriculture sector,” he said.

“Over the years, since the closure of Caroni 1975 Limited, we have seen a decline in the production of our local fruits, mainly our citrus, from grapefruit to oranges, we have not been able to produce the large quantity that we did before and it is really unfortunate.

“The governments in the past never really focused on improving the agriculture sector, they did things without looking at the long term effects on the economy, imagine we import almost everything we consume now and that shouldn’t be,” he said.

Recently, Food Production Minister Vasant Bharath announced the ministry was going to take crucial steps in reviving the country’s industry. At a meeting with farmers, Bharath lamented how TT now imports grapefruit, after exporting one million crates in 1975.

Deonarine said besides grapefruit, the country was a big exporter of pineapples. He said in the past, the country exported 20,000 pineapples to Barbados but that has also been on the decline.

Every time I read a story about the loss of crops due to the closure of Caroni Limited I get so upset. Most of the people who were not involved in Caroni limited supported the measures taken by the PNM to close down Caroni limited. Now we can really see the impact this company had on the country.

Most people only saw the sugar cane and failed to see the impact that Caroni had fruit, ground vegetables and root products. Caroni also had a great impact on animals for food production and was responsible for the buffalypso.

We now also have mosquito problems and flooding in areas that were once maintained by Caroni limited that were simply neglected by the government of the day when they closed the company. What a shame and this is the legacy of the PNM... I am so upset about this situation.

We can recover but it would cost a lot of money. It has already cost us dearly with the previous government doling out arable lands for housing (what a dumb idea) and certain parcels of lands going to people who will not use the land for food production.

We need to get back into the production of some sugar cane for the local market. This will benefit the country. We don't need to produce sugar for export but for local consumption. The rum industry will also benefit as well as the agricultural industry. Caroni limited can be a financially viable company if managed properly and will create much needed employment. Revive the company and make it a success story.

Sep 3, 2010

‘I wanted to help kill my wife’|Trinidad Express Newspapers

"Abdool told the magistrate that his wife wanted to commit suicide and he decided to assist her in the act by sticking her in the throat with a knife. “Four years we have been together and last week she ran off with a man and we sat down to talk about it at home when she took a knife and said she was going to cut her throat. So I tell myself, ‘if she wants to do that, I will help her’,” Abdool said."

Choops... "But what de jail is dis?" Now I know having read the paragraph above you had to laugh as I did but when you read the entire article you had to conclude that this man is sick or simply stupid. Oh and by the way I did not make any of that up it is a true story that appeared in the Trinidad Express Newspapers.

To add to this crazy story it should be noted that this man cannot read and was not charged for murder but charged with 'malicious wounding'. The judge was baffled that the accused was not charged with attempted murder. He was sentenced to serve 730 days in prison.

Sep 2, 2010

'Hang them in The square'|Trinidad Express

Criminals who are faced with the death penalty should be hanged in Woodford Square, says Minister of Justice Herbert Volney.

Volney was speaking to the Express yesterday, after arriving in Tobago for the People's Partnership's four-day workshop.

Volney said he is back to work and "ready to kick ball" after undergoing heart bypass surgery in June.

Questioned on the death penalty and whether he supported it, Volney said, "I am not opposed in principle to hanging persons, but it has to be in respect to brutal and heinous crimes."
He said sometimes there are crimes of passion and he does not believe a person should be hanged for this. Persons who kill a child, an elderly person, a police officer or prison officer, he said, should be hanged.

Works and Transport Minister Jack warner was the first Government Minister to start lobbying for the resumption of hangings. In fact, Warner has been able to get Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to set up a committee to look into the issue of resuming hangings.
However, not all party members are in favour. Most recently, Minister of trade and Industry Stephen Cadiz said he was not in favour of returning to the hangman. Before him, social activist Verna St Rose Greaves also said she would consider leaving the party if her Government resumed the practice.

Yesterday, Volney was very vocal about hangings, saying they should be a public affair.
"Persons should be hanged in Woodford Square, 6 or 7 a.m. in the morning. The people should see the hangings take place, they need to feel the fear of God and have fear for the law," he said.

Not so fast Mr. Volney...
In as much as we need to send a message to the criminal element in order to prevent some of these heinous crimes, I wish to remind all concerned that we live in a civilized society. To resume hangings is one thing but to voice the opinion that the hangings should take place so that the public could see a person's life come to an end is something that we read about taking place in other parts of the world.

Now hold on just one minute Mr. Volney.... The majority of the population is not at war with the government. It is a very small sector of the society and we cannot allow ourselves to become as uncivilized as these people. When that happens we are just as guilty!

Sep 1, 2010

Crowds welcome parade back to Savannah|Trinidad Express

Every creed and race jostled for an equal place along the barricaded perimeter of the paved section of the Queens Park Savannah in Port of Spain yesterday, in order to see the Independence Day parade.

The celebrations marked the parade's return to the Savannah and brought out long lines of people who gathered to watch the military parade and show of arms. They applauded and cheered as contingents from various arms of the protective services marched before President George Maxwell Richards, the Commander in Chief of the parade, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Opposition Leader Keith Rowley and other ministers and dignitaries.

Most of the trepidation that so many though will follow the installment of the People's Partnership has fizzled away with the actions of the new government.

So many people are now accepting that this change has been good to date.
The return of the of the celebrations to the Queens Park Savannah was a welcomed departure from the streets of Port-of-Spain and the crowds are proof of this acceptance.
"We are really glad they moved the parade back to the Savannah. We did not even bother to come last year because the route was short and it looked like a shorter show," patriotically dressed on-looker Stephan Gomez said.

The various services paraded in their splendour to the delight of the citizens who came out to honor those who serve our country. There is the view that this show of the military and accompanying services is but a sham and that it would be better to have cultural shows across the country. This is a good idea but everyone has come to accept the fact that the parade of the services is what is expected and acceptable at this time.

Just maybe, in time, we can change our views and instead of the parade delve into the culture and have shows that would be held across the country for the benefit of all... Just food for thought.

Aug 31, 2010

Happy Independence Trinidad and Tobago|National Awards

Happy Independence Day Trinidad and Tobago!

A total of 40 recipients will tonight receive national awards for varying service to T&T. For the first time, the award ceremony will be held at Queen’s Hall, Port-of-Spain.

Four recipients—former government minister and Caricom Ambassador Kamalludin Mohammed, former attorney general Karl Hudson-Phillips QC, Pundit Krishna Maharaj former spiritual leader of the SDMS and former senate president Wahid Ali (posthumously) are to receive the Order of T&T.

Award recipients
Following is the list of the other recipients:

Chaconia Medal (Silver)

Prof Zulaika Ali: Medicine
Claudia Pegus: Fashion
Margaret Elcock: Religious education
Humming Bird Medal (Gold)
Andrew Ganteaume: Sport
Don Jacob : Sport
Dennis Pantin (Posthumous): National development
John Arnold: Culture
Bishop Clive Abdulah: Religion

Humming Bird Medal (Silver)

Dr Nasser Mustapha: Community service
St John’s Trace Ramleela Committee: Culture
Wayne Chance: Community service
Patricia Roberts (Posthumous): Community service
Harripersad Dass: Community service
Augustine Ribeiro: Sport
Ronald Greene: Sport/Powerlifting
Sheila Sawh-Gowkaran: Community service

Humming Bird Medal (Bronze)

T&T Women’s Cricket Team: Sport

Public Service Medal of Merit (Gold)

Premchand Sookoo: Public service
Dr Nicholas Bennie Tia-Okwee: Medicine
Joe Sirju:. Education
Dr Rampersad Parasram: Medicine
Esmond Farfan: Business

Public Service Medal of Merit (Silver)

Lyle Donawa: Public service
Beulah Duke: Public service
Lennox McKay: Public service
Carlo McHoney: Public service
Roopnarine Rambachan: Law
Vernon Ramesar Snr: Education

Public Service Merit (Bronze)

Zahir Akaloo: Public service
Cynthia Toney: Public service


Happy Independence day Trinidad and Tobago! I don't mean to sound like someone who simply wants to poke and cause a disturbance but it boggles my mind that year after year we celebrate independence and yet still don't truly comprehend its significance... We take so much for granted and still suffer from the same inadequaces that stifle social and economic growth... just think about it for a moment

Aug 29, 2010

The hanging debate|Trinidad Express Newspapers


The recent spate of murders in Trinidad and Tobago has reignited the death penalty debate. Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner has called for hangings to resume. And several religious leaders, including Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) president Imam Hajji Abzal-Mohammed and Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha secretary-general Satnarayan Maharaj, are also in support of the death penalty, once our laws allow it. In Thursday, Express Online was in downtown Port of Spain.

Everyone has their opinion regarding the return of the hangman to Trinidad and Tobago. In my humble opinion  the return of the hangman will not stop people from committing murders period...

Just think about it for a moment and consider one innocent person being hanged because the system failed to get to the truth. That would be a disaster and something we could not fix ever (an innocent life would be gone forever).

Execution by the State would lessen the burden to keep people behind bars for life and the system will need to grow with dwindling resources to accommodate, guard and service these inmates. There are many reasons to return to the hangman for and against. However the debate as it is today seems to be mired along the lines that a return to hanging will somehow cause criminals to stop committing murders. If someone is going to kill then they will...

Not every person murdered is premeditated murder. What happens when someone defends their family or property and a life is lost. Or in a moment of passion this horrible crime is committed.... What should we do hang these people?

It appears that the drive is to hang and I believe that they will do it sooner than later... the verdict is out and this will remain a contentious issue. God help us all!

Aug 26, 2010

Franchise holder 'shocked'|Trinidad Express

"I was quite shocked at the outcome. All indicators showed that we would have reached the top 15. All roads went to the top 15. So now we are planning a post-mortem to see what went wrong," Lee said in a telephone interview with the Express yesterday.

Choops Man!
Hello, can someone please tell Local Miss Universe franchise holder Ian Lee that his thinking was the same for every other representative at the contest. Every country that sent a representative expected to win the crown or end up in the 'top 15'. Just move on my friend.

Aug 25, 2010

Beyonce Concert came off at a lost of $2M according to TSTT

Choops Man!

Minister: TSTT made $2m loss|Trinidad Express

Public Utilities Minister Emmanuel George said yesterday that according to a statement he received from the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), the company made a loss of about $2 million on the Beyonce concert in February.

George's plain talk appears to clarify a statement released on August 13 by TSTT chief financial officer Rakesh Goswami.

In a streaming video launched on TSTT's new on-line media centre, Goswami said the company got involved in the Beyonce concert as part of a "customer appreciation" initiative. He said the company hosted the concert on a "semi-commercial" basis at a "net cost" of just over $2.2 million.

Here we go again and now we have a government minister saying that a loss is just a loss and it does not matter that lost came about. Hello, it does matter! Give us the figures, the true figures. How much was spent on the show and what revenue was obtained from ticket sales. Take away revenue earned from the expenditure to host the show and we will see the net profit or loss for the venture.

The thing is they don't want to disclose the details because it would show how much waste took place and how favoritism ensured that special interests benefited from the concert promotion.

"He said there was net cost of $2 million to the organization. When you balance expenses versus revenue, you get the net cost of negative $2.2 million. So the net impact of the concert to the company was negative $2.2 million," said Camille Salandy TSTT's head of public relations and external affairs.

Now for those who don't know just keep in mind that the concert was packed, it was sold out so the speak. So if that is the case how could you sell out and yet lose all of that money? Only in Trinidad my friends and please take note that the consumer will eventually pay for this loss with your rates for telephone service. Now that is just not right - choops man!

Aug 24, 2010

Audit of Carnival groups|Newsd@y

MINISTER of Arts and Multi Culturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters yesterday issued a no-nonsense warning to the Carnival fraternity as he called for audits of all State-funded Carnival groups, including the National Carnival Bandleaders Association (NCBA).

Peters , who is charged with cultural affairs, warned that if management of any Carnival body is found wanting, that body will face losing its Government subvention. “It is not going to be business as usual,” Peters warned.

“These people have to get their act in order. If it is that they have to be audited, then they will be audited. There are a lot of things that have to change and there will be a lot of things that will be changed,” he said.

His stark warning came in the wake of a Sunday Newsday report detailing questionable spending practices, mismanagement and issues of conflicts of interest at the NCBA, as detailed by the NCBA Secretary’s Report for October 2008 to September 2009.

The report outlined how the body paid $300,000 for a software system from a little known CL Financial Limited subsidiary and reported that it paid over $140,000 for the rent and refurbishment of an office which is virtually unused and not listed in the phonebook among other things.

This is what is needed to ensure that things don't go down the same path. We need to let these organizations know that someone is watching over them. They need to know that all activities will be monitored and that will redound to a better system for the entire carnival festival.

Let us hope that Minister Gypsy and his special advisor Sprangalang have their way and that they can change the current modus operandi. If they can achieve this goal then they would ensure that a remake of the model to benefit the system of Carnival and not just a few interested parties.

Aug 22, 2010

"Crazy Drops D'Percy D'Relief Show!"

 Say what you want do what you want but when it comes to taking something simple ad turning it around double entendre style well only a calypsonian can rise to the occasion. Tonight, at the WACK fund raiser for those affected by the flood waters calypsonian Crazy sang for the audience and it was a doozey.

"She drop the Percy on me" in song sounded like "she drop the pussy on me". Now the antics of Crazy on the stage were just as special as his lyrics. While he made the Percy by crossing his arms he was 'juking his waist' front and back and side to side leading many to believe that he was singing about the second phrase, "she drop the pussy on me!"

The shout box went crazy and could not get over the lyrics presented by calypsonian Crazy tonight. Crazy never smiled during the performance and left the crowd in stitches with his song "she drop the Percy on me".

Choops|Cops angry over CoP salary!

Choops Man!

President of the Police Social and Welfare Association Sgt Anand Ramesar was yesterday informed by the majority of his membership that they are demoralised, dissatisfied, disgruntled, and feel betrayed that they continue to receive the same salaries since 2007.

He added the officers are also questioning the decision of Government to offer a salary and compensation package amounting to $2.5 million a year for new Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs.

Do you think that anyone will be upset with the local police officers whom are upset about the salary and perks that new police commissioner and his Canadian deputy commissioner will receive? I am not and I am very concerned that there appears to be one set of salaries for locals and another for foreigners employed in the same positions that were once and currently held by locals.

How is it that the foreign deputy commissioner could be receiving pay that is several times the amount received by locals in the same position? Some have argued that the foreigners from Canada must receive a pay structure that is similar to what is received from their country of origin... I disagree!

The pay for the Commissioner and deputy commissioners should be fixed. When the jobs were advertised the salary structure should have been advertised with the positions. Of course there should be perks and lodging accommodations could have been part of the package but the salary should be the same for the local and foreign employees holding the same positions. If they did not like the salaries then they should not apply for the positions.

How would you like to work in a company where a new employee comes in and earns $100,000 per month while you earn $24,000 for doing the same job? Would that encourage you to be all that you can be? Sorry that was an ad for the US army. The bottom line is would you be encouraged to perform at your best knowing that someone else who may not be up to task receives more pay than you do?

This will be a very contentious issue for months and probably years to come.

Aug 20, 2010

Alleged serial rapist held|Newsd@y

A SERIAL rapist who had been on the run for the past three months was on Wednesday night held by police officers at a house in Valencia.

The man who had committed several rapes in the south western borough had managed to evade police officers after attacking some five women at several areas in Point Fortin between June 30- August,18.

The man’s latest victim was reported to be a 22-year-old woman who was attacked and raped at her business place on Wednesday evening. After receiving certain information, police officers of South Western District went to a house at Valencia, east Trinidad, where they held the suspect and seized a quantity of items, including cellphones, jewelry and cameras allegedly belonging to his victims.

It is unfortunate that this shame is brought to the community of Valencia. However it shows how brazen these evil doers are... He left Valerncia and operated in the deep southern regions of the country!

On facebook there is an ongoing discussion about these crimes and most people want his head. Well they want to chop of one head and it looks like if they are given the opportunity then "Willie will certainly die". In this case it would be "Willie dead" as Sparrow sang in his calypso but in this case chopped off and left to die!

Law enforcement is on the upsurge and with this new government showing some concern it is hoped that the police will be given the tools to get the job done. Rape is a heinous crime and one that should be punished to the full extent that the laws of the land permit.

Aug 19, 2010


Canadian Dwayne Gibbs will assume his official duty as Commissioner of Police on September 15 and has already given the assurance that the country can expect a reduction in crime.

Government sources also indicated yesterday that it is only a formality for Cabinet to approve the contract and remuneration package for Gibbs who has already accepted the challenge to lead the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

Cabinet is expected to approve Gibbs’ contract next Thursday when its weekly meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who returns on Sunday after a ten-day visit to New York.

Gibbs, 58, yesterday stated his intention to solicit the advice of all stakeholders before he embarks on his quest to make Trinidad and Tobago (TT) a safe society and a place where criminals will be on the run.

He also made it clear that every anti-crime initiative will be implemented in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and the public.

He has set a goal of fostering a better relationship between the police and the public. Gibbs, a father of three, yesterday resigned his position as chief executive officer of the Mustard Seed Foundation in Canada in preparation for his new job.

“I will be in Trinidad on September 15 to begin my new journey,” said Gibbs in a telephone interview from Canada.

Canadian Dwayne Gibbs will assume his official duty as Commissioner of Police on September 15 and has already given the assurance that the country can expect a reduction in crime.

Those words will be on the minds and lips of Trinidadians for the next three years as Dwayne Gibbs (new Commissioner of Police) takes the helm of a beaten police service in Trinidad and Tobago. He will be under scrutiny from day one when he arrives "in Trinidad on September 15 to begin my new journey".

There is no doubt that it will take him some time to get a feel of the Trini mentality to take just about everything for granted. That is something that he needs to deal with as the Police service cannot take anything for granted when dealing with the criminal element that has plagued the society for years now. The situation is unacceptable and needs to be be addressed with strict rules and regulations. It is obvious that the Police service needs change and it is hoped that the new team put in place by this present government will bring about the change that every Trinidadian yearns for - we can only hope that the change will have a positive effect across the system of policing.

I have hope and will be watching to see how swiftly the changes in crime detection are implemented and how the changes positively impact the system. Good luck to Mr. Gibbs and the newly installed administrative team.

Aug 18, 2010

Eco Tourism|Trinidad and Tobago


Aug 17, 2010

Tight security at Jamaat auction today|Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

Security will be tight today at the Port-of-Spain City Corporation’s auditorium, Knox Street, for the auction of 11 properties belonging to the Jamaat al Muslimeen. It will begin at 10 am.

This is going to be a very interesting read in tomorrows newspapers. The question is, "who is going to purchase these properties and sleep well at night?" I don't know if private citizens have "the belly" to go and bid on these properties taking into consideration the reputation of the the Muslimeen.

People are just afraid and it is the thinking that you have to be a madman to bid on those eleven properties up for sale by the state. I can see business enterprises and foreign national interests bidding on these properties but not locals. Do you believe that the properties will be sold or remain at the disposal of the government. This just might be the best outcome. Let the state take possession and after about 100 years from now sell them to the public (sarcasm).

Aug 14, 2010

AG Targets Corruption|Newsd@y Trinidad

ATTORNEY General Anand Ramlogan yesterday unveiled his “A-team”: a squad of auditors who will comb the books of billion-dollar State enterprises to unearth corruption in conjunction with the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB).

“We intend to pursue vigorously any wrongdoing and deliver to the people of this country the justice that they seek for what took place under the previous administration,” Ramlogan said yesterday at a press briefing at his offices on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.

Here we go with the investigations... The search/probes begin. Now if you are against corruption or a member of the Peoples Partnership you would be saying, "It is about time". Then again if you are a follower of the PNM your cry may just be, "Witch Hunt".

Look don't be alarmed this is the way things are done and you don't have to agree or disagree with what will take place. In the end if someone our some persons are guilty of a corrupt act then they should be punished. If, on the other hand, bogus charges are brought against innocent people to gain political mileage or simply because of vindictiveness then we have to take issue with such a situation.

Let's just hope that justice is served and that this is not a case of pay back for past experiences.

Aug 13, 2010

La Toya exposed|Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

Miss T&T La Toya Woods proudly shows off the body painting that has provoked much controversy. La Toya will compete in the Miss Universe Pageant on August 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Source image and article via

To be honest I am pleasantly surprised now that I have seen the photo. When I initially heard that she had posed nude I sighed and remarked, "not another Trini in trouble again!" However, I have to say this was tastefully done. She is very sexy and the artwork really looks good with the backdrop and the beautiful brown color of her body. I like it.... it is good!

Miss La Toya Woods!

Aug 11, 2010

Rains trigger landslide outside Manning’s home|Trinidad Guardian

Heavy rains have triggered a massive landslip outside the bedroom window of former prime minister Patrick Manning.Loose dirt and chunks of the broken wall were seen clogging the drains outside Manning’s home at Sumadh Gardens, Vistabella. Manning declined to comment about the problem. Sources in the area said, however, that the wall collapsed after heavy rains on Monday afternoon.

The following appeared as a comment to the article in the Trinidad Guardian Newspapers and was submitted by "The Prince":
"Poetic justice. Manning's megalomania and his penchant for squandering the people's patrimony on skyscrapers and monuments for laundering corruption instead of fixing and upgrading the country's collapsing infrastructure are largely to blame for much of the avoidable flooding, not that selfish citizens are not to share in the blame, nor that there will never be some flooding in extreme weather. Manning should suffer the fate that so many thousands of citizens have undergone so that he could be humanized and see what his years of neglect, negligence and upside-down priorities have subjected the people to."

Source for this story (and photo) came via

Choops Man!
I have to say Steups, Cheups and Choops to the Trinidad Guardian and to "The Prince". First off let's take a peek at the the Guardian article. That was not "a massive landslip" and the photo clearly shows that it was just an ordinary landslip. I have seen worse along the Blanchieusse road leaving Arima heading to the North coast. This was just a filler story that was posted because it happened close to the home of ex Prime Minister Patrick Manning. The only good thing about the story is that CEPEP workers came and got the cleanup job done quickly - way to go...

Now let's take a look at the commentary of "The Prince". Hey I supported the PP during the elections and do rib my PNM friends at time (we understand that we are just teasing... nothing comes of it) but to consider this petty landslip "poetic justice" is a bit too much. In hind sight we can say that the previous administration did not do enough in many areas that were necessary. The lack of dredging of the rivers and clearing of the streams and the construction projects that destroyed the natural filtration that could have helped ease the flooding can be noted as areas where they lacked initiative to get it right. But come on... this is nature and when the heavens opened and it poured tears of drowning sorrows no one saw this problem hitting us this hard. It is not only Trinidad experiencing this problem with flooding so take it easy on the ex Prime Minister... Please.

Aug 10, 2010


Leave a comment if you know where this mural was done.

Aug 8, 2010

Trinis storm Toronto for Caribana|Trinidad Guardian

Trinidad and Tobago entertainers Dil-e-Nadan, Ravi Bissembhar, Karma, and JMC 3Veni and over one million visitors were in Canada for Toronto’s Caribbean Caribana festival last weekend. It has grown exponentially since its start in 1967 and is currently North America’s largest cultural festival. Over a million tourists are expected in Toronto.

Pan Alive, the steelpan competition, the Junior Carnival Parade and the King and Queen Competition are some of the events. More than 10,000 masqueraders participated. The all-time most winning band Saldenah Mas-K Club added yet another Band of the Year title to its collection, making the tally 16 for the record holder.

A Category Band of the Year:
1. Saldenah Mas K (446 points)
2. Carnival Nationz (426)
3. Toronto Revellers (422)

B&C Category Band of the Year:
1. (tie) Mas Players Int'l (378 points)
1. (tie) Tru Dynasty (378)
3. Fantazia International (371)

I have many friends and family who left NYC and drove to Toronto for the Caribana Carnival festival. Some went via JFK airport to get there early for the festivities. The common thread was that of disappointment. They claim that the festival was better organized and attended in past years.

Now this does not mean that they did not have a good time at the parties that had Trinidad and Tobago bands and artists performing prior to the big parade days. However, they noted that the festival felt like it was losing touch with the people just like the carnival celebrations back home. I read some of the comments left by bloggers who also expressed disappointment.

I have friends and family who live in the Toronto area and they all had good things to say about the festival. No one had a negative comment. However, many of the people visiting saw something or felt a level of disappointment that the ex-patriot nationals living in Canada did not see or don't want to admit is taking place.

The major problem appears to be that of a disorganized parade that, for some people, does not account for the finances provide for the celebrations. One blogger, houstontrini2 noted: "In most cases it is a bunch of "smartmen" who pocket the money and not pay the artistes, bandsmen and others for their efforts. What's worst, they do not have a proper board with rules and by-laws and most of all accountability for any "government (taxpayers') funds" entrusted to them to promote Caribbean people and our culture. Many of these "carnival organizations" have not balanced their books in many years and then they are upset when these governments refuse to give them any more money until they "close out" the previous fiscal years."

Well it appears that even though for some the festival was a resounding success for others there was disappointment and more of the same "Trini attitude" that does not bode well for the future of the festival.

Aug 7, 2010

Think "We" not "I" and this too shall pass!

Stench of rotting animals|Trinidad Express Newspapers
Fourteen dogs belonging to a breeder drowned during Monday's floods that submerged much of Charles Street, Gasparillo.

The dogs were among thousands of animals that died when the river in the community overflowed.
There was a stench of death in the village of Macaulay yesterday, from the decomposing carcasses of farm animals and poultry.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Surujrattan Rambachan, who toured the area yesterday, said he contacted the drainage department to send excavators and backhoes into Macaulay because "a serious health hazard could occur".

He said one flood victim "lost 5,000 heads of chicken".
"Another who was just beginning to make a living with goats lost all, and a man lost 14 high-breed dogs."

At Garth Road, Princes Town, residents complained of an infestation of snakes and cockroaches.
At Scale Road, Williamsville, one of their the worst-affected areas, victims asked for help to rid the area of mosquitoes and cockroaches.

Akash Manickchand, councillor for the Ben Lomond/Hardbargain/Williamsville district, said officers from the Social Services and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) were assessing the area and garbage trucks would be passing as usual.

This is the new challenge that the government and people have to face in the aftermath of the flooding that destroyed property and transportation infrastructure. The danger lies with the dead animals and disease that would follow if these carcasses are not disposed of properly and quickly.

The country was already reeling from the dengue problem and now with this disaster the problems could worsen and very quickly. The state will provide assistance and the government has already been proactive with its support. However, the citizens need to form teams and comb the villages for decaying carcases and bury them.

Parents need to ensure that their children don't go and play in muddy areas or investigate and unusual 'creature' that they see. There are snakes, scorpions and other dangers out there that could kill these inquisitive children.

We have received a 'wake-up call' from nature and we need to be better prepared for more of the same. Infrastructure nationwide needs to be improved and this will take time but all citizens can lend a hand and ensure that they don't do anything that could clog or lead to problems with the drains that take the waste water to the main drainage areas.

This too shall pass and we will rise and conquer these setbacks. Keep the faith and remember to always think "We" and not "I".

Aug 5, 2010

Choops|Where do we go from here?

"Choops Man"|Culture Appreciation Dilemma!
Twice-crowned Calypso Monarch Singing Sandra gave one of her best performances to date recently at the Mas Camp Pub in Woodbrook. This was at the monthly concert organised by the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO).

Sandra performed during the second half of the show in which she did a number of popular songs. She started off with the Ras Shorty I composition "Watch Out My Children". Members of the band performed solos during this number.

Sandra also had the entire audience singing along with her and it was one of her best performances of this timeless classic. She told the audience, "Shorty I asked me to keep this song in my repertoire so the message will live on and I felt honoured."

Please read the full story at the link above to get a better understanding of the story and the special performance that Singing Sandra delivered. Now we get to the reason for this post and the reference to the article link above. The Nigerian High Commissioner Musa John Jen and his guests were so impressed that they showered Sandra with money - literally, to show their appreciation for her performance.

OK, now comes the good and the bad and the question, "where do we go from here?" There were five comments to the article posted by the Express Newspapers - Let's take a look at two of the comments:

trinitodebone said yesterday at 4:04 PM
"It is time TUCO start creating DVDs for sale on these performances, or better yet put them on You-tube. Too much of the culture is not properly marketed, isn't TUCO supposed to be promoting the culture worldwide?"

Followed by:

David E said yesterday at 8:10 PM
"trinitodebone, I totally agree with you, but don't expect the Trnis at home to buy it! It must be marketed to the Trinis in foreign. Carnival DVDs too! Is mostly Trinis in foreign that pay for the culture. That is why you will NEVER find a carnival parade DVD in any store in Trinidad. Ah lie?"

Having read these two comments and properly digesting the contents how do you feel about the comments? Do you believe that we are only consumers of the culture only during 'festival time' and by that I mean during carnival and that we only consume the music but don't buy the music and videos?
Do you believe that there isn't a market for the music and video media in Trinidad and Tobago to make it viable at home?. On the other hand do you believe that trinitodebone is correct? To be honest with you (and I might be totally wrong) I tend to agree with trinitodebone.

I believe this to be true because I listen to WACK Radio ( daily. This is the only total local radio station broadcasting in Trinidad and Tobago (with over 40 stations and counting) and they struggle for local support in the form of advertising dollars and listener-ship. Some people I have spoken to don't even know about WACK radio. Isn't that amazing? Well on the other hand WACK has listener-ship all over the World and the majority of people who really appreciate this station (and the culture) are Trinidadians living overseas. Something is really wrong with this picture.

So where do we go from here? How do we get the Trinidadians at home to think like the Trinidadians living overseas? Is it a case of feeling homesick that these overseas Trinis cling to WACK or is it a real appreciation for the culture? Well in my case it is a little of both. However, I believe that the failure of the culture to grow and take hold of the populace is a marketing problem. The local radio stations follow the money and the young people listening to the radio stations have an appetite for everything foreign. Notice that I said young people and it should be noted that the listener-ship of WACK radio is a mature audience compared to the successful and revenue generating stations in Trinidad and Tobago.

I still believe we have a marketing problem that needs to be addressed. The owners of the radio stations must meet with the producers of the local music and find a way to get the young people involved in local content. We don't want legislation to get a percentage of airtime for local culture because we could end up seeing "pay for play" taking hold of the industry. We have a long way to go and we are losing the battle. Time to fight back and spread the word that our local music is not just good but great!

Aug 4, 2010

Breaking News|Mr. Kenny Phillips elected Alerman to the San Fernando City Corporation

Triniglish|Trinididioms Spoken and Explained #42
Yuh is ah Trini|Fuh Troot'|Alderman Kenny Phillips!

For this post we are going to do something that is current and is breaking news today (08.04.2010). This has to do with the San Fernando City Corporation and the selection of the Aldermen. However, we are going to deal with the selection of an Alderman - Mr. Kenny Phillips. We will, at the same time, explain another  Triniglish phrase by using a favorite of most Trinis, "Fuh Troot,'" in the posting. 

Jus' so, it came over the news, breaking news eh and on WACK Radio 901FM that Mr. Kenny Phillips was selected as an Alderman to the San Fernando City Corporation. So what do you think was my response when I heard the announcement; yes you guessed it.... Fuh Troot'? 

Fuh Troot' is a typical Trini response but what does it mean? Well to be honest I used it as a question as in, "Is that really so?"  However, when most Trinidadians use the term Fuh Troot' it usually comes at the end of a sentence as is the case in the following statement. Today Mr. Kenny Phillips, CEO of WACK Radio accepted the invitation to serve as an Alderman in the San Fernando City Corporation... Fuh Troot'. In such a case fuh troot' is designed as a statement of fact meaning, "Yes that is true". 

Not so long ago we were going back and forth regarding the need (as I saw it) to remove the then ruling Peoples National Movement (PNM) from office. Kenny, like a lot of supporters of the PNM, had a different view on the subject and would have preferred the status quo (to remain the same) - well that did not happen and we have a new government in office. I remember having fun teasing Mr. Desmond and Kenny on that Sunday show (day before the general election) little could I imagine that the change would see Mr. Phillips finally being recognized for his achievements by the very same cornerstone that he did not support. No one saw this coming and it is interesting that the PP government is showing that they care about the people more so than looking to make those who supported the PNM pay - this is a people centric party that will do right by and for the citizenry.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all elected representatives good luck and in the case of Mr. Kenny Phillips hearty congratulations and continued success while serving the people. 





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