Sometimes, I wonder if people understand the function of Pan Trinbago. Obviously, this "leader" does not, good intentions or otherwise. Oftentimes, I wonder if we all understand what "leadership" means. What does it mean to be a leader? What (exactly) are "leadership" qualities?
Adages and clichés are often hackneyed, but the old saying is (thus) true: Those who forget the past... I'll save you all the boredom of completing this archaic phrase. Regardless, it remains a fact that Pan Trinbago has not had any credible leadership for decades. This is not arbitrary, for in the early 70s, Pan Trinbago became the "bride" of the PNM and its leader. This, the political "booty" of a previous battle between Pan Trinbago's father (NATTS), and her new husband. (And Revelation is fullfilled!!!) However, the groom (a LEADER, nonetheless), never loved his new bride, and the marriage, nothing more than a juxtaposed arrangement. (Yuh mean like getting marrid fuh meh green card? Yes.) A controlling, calculated and calculating husband, who could do his wife anything. Promise her anything for political sex, and when he done with her, she's left there by herself, politically and organizationally illiterate, confused; with no "head" on her metaphoric shoulders.
Yet another adage: The only thing constant is change. An organization is supposed to evolve; adjust to the opportunities and challenges of time. True leaders are able to mobilize a unified and collective membership into action. Today, there is no "movement". If you're not moving forward, then, in reality, you're actually moving backward, for life and time "tarries not with yesterday". (Cliché.) With forums such as WST, we are seeing all kinds of great ideas, coming from members who are genuine in their search for solutions to the issues and challenges we face as pan continues to move through this 21st century. I hope that we can take this beyond discussion and rhetoric, for, as we see, Pan In Danger!
P.S. Please don't forget to support our local pan manufacturers. BUY LOCAL!
Pant'um - The Ghost Who Talks. (Honoring the legacy of George "Sonny" Goddard.)
Any lesson is a gain, Cecil. As the Prophet says: Pain is "the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." We all know the phrase No pain, no ___. We ALL need to understand that the steeldrum or pan, is an Afro-Trinidadian invention and contribution, to our arts and culture, which came out of the slave-class rebellious desire to beat their African rhythms. So the banning of skin drums and, eventually, rustic bamboo instruments, led to the beating of steel. This was what Gordon Rohler refers to as the "jamette class", and can be evidenced in today's jab-jab and jumbolase. (Excuse the spelling.) Why are the contributions of people of African descent removed from history? "ALL AH WE IS ONE FAMILEE!! PAN IS AH TRINI TING!" Yep, only because "Black" people invented it. I'm sure 1,000 years from now, a tassa drum will still be considered an East Indian instrument, and chutney as Indian music. It's not just even pan. Carnival is now being advertised as a Caribbean festival. Don't get me wrong, I love all my Caribbean neighbors, just as much as I love my East Indian Trini family. But, day by day, Trinidad & Tobago is being written out of history's memory when it comes to Carnival. A process that has already been done to the "black man", with his invention of THE SINGING DRUM. Pan.
Learn to embrace Africa's and her Diaspora's rich history and culture. You will gain your freedom from racism, prejudice, and modern falsification. Ase.
P.S. This was painful for me too.
Exactly, Jerome. BTW - Know what I had for lunch yesterday? Roti. I support my East Indian family, who embrace all people. That is why the only roti shops I go to in South Florida are those where I really get a feel that they genuinely love people. The first time I went to the Coal Pot, over 15 years ago, the owner Jameel was very welcoming, and people from all backgrounds would lime there. He would play reggae, calypso and soca, pan music, and of course, chutney and Indian music. He was very proud of his East Indian heritage, but he shared it with love, and embraced other people's cultures and religious beliefs. One thing I have noticed here, is that the only Trinis I hear using the C-word, are East Indian; the word "Coolie" seems not to offend Jamaican East Indians, and "yardies" use it freely. I am different. My parents brought us up differently, and my three brothers and I, had (and still have) friends of every ethnic and socio-economic background. Closing this topic, I leave ALL a link to one short "poem" that describes my views on "race" and racism. We are more than panists/pannists; we are agents for positive social change. Ase.