Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
Pan Trinbago says, ‘We Africans must stick together’.
Most of us scorned a certain community when their behaviours and decisions were based on race and class. For example, when the past indo-based government allegedly thieved; mismanaged; used their office to illicit sex from women; pilfered money from the public purse; changed laws to benefit their friends’ interests etc., we were appalled when their community still voted for them. We even publicly dislike the fact that President Donal Trump’s behaviour seems to be one of a conman, bigot, fascist, sexist etc. and he was still voted in by white Americans because he appealed to white supremacist beliefs and their fear of blacks.
‘We have a billion-dollar industry and we, the African people, must own it. There is a group that wants to take it away from us. We brought the steel pan from the days where police beat us for playing it, to a place of profit. Now the other races and classes (NCC) want to take it over’ (Paraphrasing).
These are the ideas expressed by executive officers of Pan Trinbago in many forums including social media of late. It was even told to me by Pan Trinbago’s financial adviser, in a bid for me to withdraw my resignation as Education Officer in January.
I have sat amongst these men; two decades from teenager into manhood, with officers from the southern region, who are now on the executive, and for two years as Education Officer amongst the present executive. I listened and learned and was always amazed by their analysis of pan men/band leaders. Like true political scientists, they predict our behaviour and adjust to suit. It is important for any politician to know their constituents so that they can cater to their needs. However, when they are using their knowledge of our behaviour to have us as servants to them when it should be them serving us, it becomes dangerous.
The “We African must stick together” speech is just one of the tools of manipulation used to keep us in check. Frankly, as a person who was born from an African mother and a mixed race father, who kept his 45th Kwanzaa celebration this year, I am still quite disgusted and offended. Disgusted and offended simply because these ‘politicians’ know that with the less intelligent amongst us, tribal instincts surface when there is a threat to our interests.
So let us talk of our interests. This pie in the sky billion-dollar industry. We missed the bus a long time ago with the steel pan industry on the world market because of the same type of self-serving leaders. Attempts are being made to reclaim the industry but with all these allegations over the heads of our executive, and their insistence on not stepping down, it is at a stalemate.
Our biggest interest earner is Panorama. According Mark Bassant’s The Unsound Note: Part 3 of 4 - A TV6 News Investigation our profits from Panorama in 2009 was 5.2 million; 2010, 6.4 million; 2011, 3.7million; 2012, 4.7 million; 2013, 9.1 million; 2014, 7.6 million; 2015, 8.5 million; coming to a grand total of $45,200.000.00. They talk about protecting your interests. Now think. Who benefited from this profit? How much of this profit went back to your band? How many PAN IN THE COUNTRYSIDE gigs did your band perform for? How much money did your band receive for their performances?
Based on what my band has been paid, it is an average of $7,000.00 each performance, if so much. Out of that, we paid $3,000.00 in transport and $1,000.00 for refreshments. So our profit was $3,000.00. Let us assume you got two PAN IN THE COUNTRYSIDE gigs in seven years. Your actual profit would be $6,000.00. (out of 45.2 million). Now divide that 6,000.00 among twenty players. Each player earns $300.00 in seven years. Which is actually $42.86 a year. Now let us compare that $42.86 payment against the president’s alleged $80,000.00 honorarium for 2016, or his under $30,000.00 salary a month according to his faithful trustee who signs his cheque every month. So what? Is his salary $29,999.99? That is under $30,000.00. Compare the same $42.86 to the financial advisor’s alleged $150,000.00 every three months, or compare it to the alleged $15,000.00 a month the car rental company receives for executive officers who are already getting $5,000.00 travelling allowance a month and the list goes on. Is this the interest we, the African man, must PROCTECT WITH OUR LIVES?
Well, let me remind my brothers and sisters in pan of our African history. It was not the whites who went into the villages in Africa to capture us. Seeing that our executive ignores our mandates, pays themselves big bonuses; buys and rents cars with our money; pays their friends high salaries; etc., we must ask ourselves, are we being sold out by our own people? Are we still slaves and the only thing that has changed is the skin colour of our masters?
Pan Trinbago does not belong to the executive. Pan Trinbago and all its assets belongs to the membership. Join the fight and do your part to regain control of our organization. We must ensure that the profits of Pan Trinbago would benefit the membership, no matter their races, and not the executive officers and their friends. Remember that our country’s moto is TOGETHER WE ASPIRE, TOGETHER WE ACHIEVE. Let us distance ourselves from these evil acts against us and continue bridging the gap between races as we have always done through pan music.
Document of CONCERNED INDIVIDUALS FOR PAN
As true as the ship waiting in Calcutta to bring Indians to take Tobago away from Tobagonians!!!
Allyuh see this 'African ting'? Not me nuh. Ah keeping meh douglaness or douglarity intact.
Patrick Ramdoo: What yuh doing in this discussion, boy? This is ah African Sticking Together Thing!!!
Time to Kamlarise the steelband movement, just to see the outcome. "brotherhood on D boat"
"Pie in the sky billion dollar industry." Only sober statement.
Happy Emancipation day to my steel pan family