Before moving to Trinidad, I was told many things. I was told how racially segregated the country is. I was told how the race politics is a scourge on their democracy.
Quite honestly, I was told these things almost to be deterred from coming here. But then I get here and there’s a whole different vibe. Nuff vibes too. Surely the people don’t hold hands and sing Kumbayah but I’ve come to appreciate that it’s nowhere close to my home country, Guyana where state victimisation, institutional racism, and de ‘cuss out’ culture is rampant.
I sat in a class the other day and people were declaring loudly and proudly which T&T party they supported, whether it was the People’s Partnership (PP) with PM Kamla’s United National Congress (UNC) in the mix, or the People’s National Movement (PNM) founded by Dr. Eric Williams and now headed by Dr. Keith Rowley, at the end of it, people were smiling and laughing.
There was no tension among peers or nothing of the sort. It was sort of welcoming to see political affiliations discussed so openly in a classroom. Something that I have never experience in Guyana.
Anyway. As May 11 approaches for Guyanese to head to the polls, I might not be there to witness the historic moment, I’m hoping that the Fates permit me. I urge Guyanese to say NO to race voting, NO to division along party lines, NO to zero-sum competitions where one side wins and the other side loses and I urge Guyanese to say no to Politicians and Former Politicians who make reckless statements and then have no remorse whatsoever.
Yesterday, the UWI Students’ Guild had their elections. I voted. The night before, there was UWI Speak. UWI Speak is a monthly gathering of students at the Students Activity Centre (SAC) on the St Augustine Campus. It’s a setting where students come together and speak their mind whether in spoken word, poetry, song or playing instruments. And I’m surprised at how many Islanders play brass instruments, it’s truly impressive.
The theme this month had to do with Politics. So whether it was Guild, National or Regional politics, you could do your piece. Participants (It’s open to the public) were allowed to deviate from the set topic too.
But there was one performance I loved, by Makesi Peters, a candidate for Guild President who ended up winning. Peters sang David Rudder’s “Ganges and the Nile”. That song came out when I was five years old, so I don’t know it well except the line “Cus the people got the power and the glory!” But I was pleasantly surprised to see young people, my age, older and younger were gyrating, and singing along to the message of the song which preached the idea of finding Unity and respecting differences.
I hope this song could be played on May 11, before May 11, and after May 11, so that regardless of what happens, we pledge to move forward as a nation.
#VoteLikeABoss #GNYC #GuyanaComeTogether #ONEPeople #ONENation #ONEDestiny
In this piece, I’ve attached David Rudder’s famous calypso piece “Ganges and the Nile”.
In this and more, I could still blasted well be wrong.