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“No! I am not Performing at the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival”

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Nassau, 07 April 2015- Like all of the other mistruths, wordplay and outright lies told about me, I will assume that the Minister of Tourism must have been misinformed, because according to the April 2nd, 2015 Punch newspaper article quoting the Minister, it is said that I am slated to perform at the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2015 event. This is not true. I am not booked to perform on any of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2015 events.

I felt that this should have always been a one hundred (100) percent Bahamian Festival, showcasing Bahamian culture at its finest. As long as there are foreign acts at this so-called Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, I will not perform.

If you want to invite foreign artists in, why don’t we get the private sector to put on these events, like a Jazz Festival, where you could invite an Usher, or Rihanna? Or a Caribbean Festival, privately funded, where you could invite our brothers and sisters from throughout the diaspora?

The Bahamian people’s money should be spent on Bahamian events, like Homecomings, Regattas, Bahamian Festivals, etc. I supported the Bahamianization of this Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival event to move it away from the Trinidad carnival direction that it is now on. Although I still hate that the word ‘carnival’ is being used, I pray, one day, that will also change.

I call on the Prime Minister to cancel the performance contracts of all those foreign acts, that is, if it is true that they have already been booked. Someone please tell me how can a non-Grammy award-winner be paid more than a Grammy award-winner? Is foreign truly better?

We need to put Bahamian entertainers as the event headliners. We should choose not to use the Bahamian people’s money to finance foreign entertainers at an event that should be about us and our cultural expressions, in all aspects.

I would like to thank the Punch newspaper for giving me the front page, once again, and for publishing such a nice looking photo of me. 😉 But no, I am not contracted to perform at the upcoming Carnival event and I will not be performing there at all. I will take a pass on this one.

Question, if the Prime Minister of The Bahamas appoints a committee and asks that committee to Bahamianize this already Trini-looking event and they refuse too, then it makes me think that the committee seems to be in charge and not the Prime Minister.

If there are funds to be allocated for this Junkanoo Carnival event in the millions, it goes without saying that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of The Bahamas would have to approve it. So if the Bahamas Festival Committee is using the taxpayers’ money, then why are they not abiding by the request and wishes of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Tourism, nor the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture to Bahamianize the event, this year, and going forward? Starting off with making the headliner of the event a Bahamian act.

These are just some straight forward questions that I would like answered. In my opinion, it seems like the committee is a runaway train and is disregarding the Government’s wishes.

Unless this is what the Government wants? A Trini-Soca-carnival. Someone please let me know. There are audio recordings, throughout the media, of the Prime Minister, the Tourism Minister and the Youth & Sports Minister saying that going forward this will be a Bahamianized show. Bringing in artists from Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad and who knows where else is not making this event more Bahamian, people.
I guess they are trying to draw in those nationalities who reside in The Bahamas to make this event a success. But at the Bahamian taxpayers’ expense?

In closing, once again, I will not be participating in the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2015. My actions will speak louder than anyone’s words.

This Caribbean Carnival event is a waste of the people’s money, there is so much we could have done to enrich and support our own cultural performers & industry. When the Government gets serious about Bahamian entertainment and Bahamian culture, I’ll be there, front and center. Until then, I’ll sit this one out…

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Caribbean News

Educational Aids Strengthen Learning Experience for Provo Students

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: Scores of students in Providenciales will benefit from back-to-school supplies donated by Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Beaches Turks and Caicos resort, strengthening the instructional process in four schools at the start of the new school term.

More than 2,000 students from Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron, Oseta Jolly and the Thelma Lightbourne Primary Schools were presented with a generous supply of educational materials including notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, knapsacks, reading material, sports gear and musical instruments from members of the philanthropic arm of the family all-inclusive resort. While sharing the gratitude for the gifts received, the leaders at the various institutions lauded the efforts of the more than 20 volunteers on hand.

Neekimo King, Principal of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School shared, “Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation over the years have adopted our institution as their own. These reading books will go a far way in increasing our library stock and improving literacy among the students while the physical education and the guidance counseling units have received lots of materials to bolster the learning experience for our students.”

Sophia Garland, Principal of the Enid Capron Primary School was equally elated as she expressed how beneficial resources will be for the teaching and learning process.

“These supplies, including the books, will definitely aid in increasing literacy amongst the students and the many teaching aids that we have been received will create an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.”

In sharing with the schools, James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches resort noted, “Sandals Foundation and the resort remain committed to the development of the education of our children, the environment and the communities in which we operate. These four government operated primary schools were identified for these supplies to help in fostering their academic and extra-curricular growth.”

McAnally continued, “A big thank you to the Sandals Foundation Ambassadors who came out and helped with making these distributions possible.”

Vice principal of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, Diana Dean, also expressed gratitude noting, “With these tools, I am sure the students will be excited about learning and the teachers will be better equipped to deliver the lessons.”

The Sandals Foundation and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort have long been supporters of education and community development in Turks and Caicos, donating to a number of schools and youth sports programmes. Since 2011, the organisations have been assisting students at Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron Primary Schools and other schools across the islands in their holistic development by providing educational supplies and the opportunity for Sandals and Beaches resorts guests to meaningfully engage with the students through a weekly literacy enhancement programme, hosted in partnership with Island Routes Tours – Reading Road Trip.

 

Captions: 

Header: Staff and students from the Enid Capron Primary School share a moment for the cameras with members of the Sandals Foundation team as the school received educational items from the Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation.

Insert: James McAnally, General Manager, Beaches Turks and Caicos (front left) makes a presentation to members of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School recently with sporting gear and educational items looking on are members of the Sandals Foundation team, Sesame Street Character

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Crime

PRESS STATEMENT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Ministry responsible for Education confirms that a recent report of alleged sexual abuse was brought to the attention of authorities at a particular school. For the protection of the child, we will not divulge details of this matter. We do acknowledge that there were issues experienced which resulted in less than appropriate response to the incident.

 The Ministry is continuing its investigation of the incident, in its totality and has since requested a comprehensive report on the response from all involved. Several meetings, visits and discussions were held. The key is to ensure that the minor involved is afforded additional counselling and care and that other students within the institution are also afforded the relevant support needed. The Student Support Services has been active in coordinating this response which is currently in operation.

 As an immediate further action, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) entities will convene and existing protocols will be reviewed and investigations conducted to determine the consistency of the response, exactly where the established protocols were not followed and the subsequent actions to be taken.

 The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services considers its responsibility for the Safeguarding of children of utmost importance. In so doing, the Ministry of Education has instituted a number of measures over the years to ensure that allegations of abuse to children in schools are treated with urgency. The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) was created to ensure that teachers, leaders, Social Workers, and Police can respond to allegations with the child’s safety and protection as the core consideration. Child safeguarding remains the Ministry’s primary concern.

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Bahamas News

UB Statement: Portia M. Smith Building Under Assessment

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#The Bahamas, January 27, 2023 – In response to concerns expressed, University of The Bahamas released a notification on Thursday 26th January 2023 that effective immediately the Portia M. Smith Building at the Oakes Field Campus is closed until further notice as a precautionary measure.

Immediate steps have been taken to engage the Ministry of Environmental Health to conduct a thorough assessment of the building. In the interim, personnel assigned to Portia M. Smith have been instructed to work remotely to maintain the continuity of operations. A further communication will be issued once the assessment has been completed as we continue to provide timely updates.

Please be assured that the health, safety, and welfare of members of the University community and the general public are paramount and we are working with urgency to address this matter.

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