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

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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