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“The Power Of Persuasion”

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From the beginning I knew that it would be hard for fifty dollars to overcome nine million dollars, but I said let me give it a try anyway.

I knew that with nine million dollars you could purchase radio, print media, private bloggers and any amount of social media hounds to push your agenda and yes they did, but I kept on trying, just for the sake of protecting and preserving our fragile culture.

So when I saw the live stream of the so-called Carnival event in Grand Bahama, I was happy to see that they emulated the template of the successful “It’s A Bahamian Ting” show that we put on a week prior at Arawak Cay (April 11th, 2015). They had an all Bahamian cast, like we did. They had Rake-N-Scrape, like we did. They had a Junkanoo Rush Out, like we did. They had a super-sized Goombay Summer Festival, like we did.

It was awesome and I said to myself, this is what I was asking for all along, Bahamians and visitors enjoying our Bahamian Culture. What I did not want was a Trinidadian type carnival-styled event and from all indications, the Trini Road Fever thing never happened in Grand Bahama. Again great, that is not Bahamian Culture. So all in all, Grand Bahama held a complete Bahamian Festival and there was no need for the word ‘carnival’ to be added to it. No one came to Grand Bahama looking for a carnival. No one purchased Road Fever Trini costumes.

No one carried on vulgar in the streets. No fights, just like the Arawak Cay show. Bahamian music is peaceful. I was very proud of that; I was glad that they took our advice. I can see us renaming this event to Bahamas Junkanoo Festival or Bahamas Goombay Festival going forward.

In Grand Bahama we are used to crowds of Bahamians showing up at Taino Beach for special occasions, this is nothing new. This was my experience since I was a child, and up to today. Taino Beach is still that spot.
With six months to a year of internet ads, posters, billboards, radio ads, and a million or so dollars injected into the event, actually there should have been more visitors and Bahamians than what was at Taino Beach. Grand Bahama’s Tourism Office does just as well with regards to crowd numbers with a budget of thirty to forty thousand dollars, or so, for the Goombay Summer Festival. When we brought the “Best of the Best” shows to Grand Bahama there was standing room only and those were private functions. Those crowds went insane! It was like the Beatles were in concert, so let’s not get it twisted.

Grand Bahamians are always hungry for sweet Bahamian music, just like the rest of the country. Once it is presented properly, in a safe environment, given enough time and funding, we could have a successful Bahamian concert on every island in this country utilizing every Bahamian artist, musician, dancer etc. and be able to spark their economies also without the word carnival ever being used. Now on the issue of hotels, car rental and no food on the island because of this Carnival event in Grand Bahama, I leave that up to the reporters to make some calls and find out the truth and not allow the spin doctors to dictate to them.

This discussion, at least from my vantage point, was never about making money. It has always been about the Bahamian taxpayers’ monies being spent on Bahamian things, Bahamian people, Bahamian entertainers, and Bahamian Culture but the political operatives are trying to change the topic and mislead us. It amazes me how we would pull down our own and protect the foreigner just because our own would stand up to a government that said they would put Bahamians first. Go to Crab Fest, Cat Island Rake-N-Scrape Festival or any of the many festivals throughout our country; the only thing we need to do is promote these festivals internationally. Give it half of, or just as much as we are giving to this foreign festival and see what happens.

I have noticed that no one is addressing my main point of the Bahamian people’s money being spent only on Bahamian Culture. The Minister of Culture is suppose to defend and protect our culture, where is he on this matter? I am disappointed in him. We need leaders that will look out for us, to protect our heritage. I think we need a thorough forensic audit on how and where our monies were spent and are being spent.

Bahamians who defend foreign over their own, who are willing to pay the foreigner more and not bat an eye when destroying their own countryman for political mileage, should be ashamed of themselves. When a foreign government starts paying for us Bahamians out of their treasury to perform at their national festivals I would jump on board with this head first. Our leaders duck away from the subject of wasting the Bahamian people’s money. We don’t need anyone else’s culture to make a dime off, our culture is just fine. I would like to thank Mrs. Ginger Moxey and her crew for being brave and putting on an all Bahamian event in Grand Bahama with no foreign elements or entertainers. New Providence should take note and follow suit. Carnival is not our culture, and you all are wrong for trying to push it down our throats at our own expense. #BahamianCultureFirst

Kirkland H. Bodie

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) set to strengthen Africa-CARICOM linkages  

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Speakers at ACTIF will include global superstars Viola Davis, Serena Williams, Didier Drogba and African and CARICOM Heads of States

 

Nassau, Bridgetown, Georgetown, May 28, 2024 – Excitement mounts as The Bahamas prepares to host the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) and the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) from 12 – 14 June 2024 in The Bahamas. Themed “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa,” ACTIF2024 is set to forge significant pathways for economic prosperity between Africa and the Caribbean.

Other distinguished speakers will include Heads of State from seven CARICOM countries, former Prime Ministers, Ministers of Trade, Economic Development and Finance, Dr. Roger W Ferguson, Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, USA, Prof. Andreas Klasen, Professor of International Business and Director of the Institute for Trade and Innovation at Offenburg, and many more.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, said: “We are witnessing shifts in the global economic landscape and the trade strategies of major economies, making it imperative for African and Caribbean nations to unite for mutual prosperity. The Afreximbank Annual Meetings and AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum in The Bahamas will serve as a strategic platform to enhance our economic bonds. These events indicate a vibrant assertion of our shared destiny. We are poised to harness the dynamic economic growth within our regions, enhancing our collective resilience and prosperity.”

The event promises to be a pivotal platform for high-level discussions on economic development and regional integration.

Building on the successes of the inaugural AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum held in Barbados in 2022 and the gathering last year in Guyana, this year’s Forum in The Bahamas will further elevate and expand upon the discussions and initiatives previously set in motion. ACTIF2023, which focused on strengthening economic bonds and creating new investment opportunities, sets a precedent for meaningful collaboration between Africa and the CARICOM nations.

Afreximbank invites industry leaders, trade organisations and other stakeholders in the CARICOM region to participate and attend.

Registration is now open at https://2024.afreximbankevents.com.

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International Community must address conflict between Israel and Iran

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

With tensions between Israel and Iran at an all-time high, a United Nations affiliated group is urging for calm and dialogue as their violent actions can cause tragic devastation on innocent civilians.

According to Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an organisation that is dedicated to promoting peace through civilian-led initiatives, “it is a clear indication that the greatest victims of war are innocent civilians. 

How could those lost lives ever be brought back? What could compensate for the outcry of children and the anguish of the youth in devastated dwellings?,” the group noted in a media statement, adding that  the international community should  take “decisive measures” to address the conflict.

It is also advocating for the establishment of “comprehensive international laws” to safeguard peace for future generations. “HWPL remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering dialogue and reconciliation, offering hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Iran,” the group said.

HWPL is a non-profit organisation, with a mission to promoting peace through education, and advocacy. It has a global network spanning over 170 countries. The organisation works to build bridges of understanding and cooperation, striving towards a world free from conflict and violence.

According to reports in various international media outlets, Iran and its militant partners on April 13 initiated a large-scale attack against Israel through launching several hundred ballistic missiles and drones. The international society expressed concerns over the possibility of war between the two states, since Tehran’s direct attack on Israel was unprecedented.

Experts have pointed out that the attack on Israel was Iran’s response to an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria on April 1, which killed seven military advisers including three senior commanders.

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CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference Presents Dynamic Study Tours to Promote Sustainable Practices

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The Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC 2024), slated for April 22-24, 2024 in Grenada, will feature a series of exclusive study tours aligned with the conference theme, The 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership. These tours have been thoughtfully curated to offer participants an enriching and unique opportunity to delve into innovative sustainability practices and glean insights intended to catalyze transformative action for a more resilient and sustainable Caribbean.

STC 2024 is jointly hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Government of Grenada, through the Grenada Tourism Authority, and will welcome a wide range of participants, including government officials, tourism professionals, environmentalists, members of the media and researchers.

This valuable addition to the conference will allow participants to visit various sites and interact with local communities, gaining firsthand knowledge of best practices in sustainable tourism management, conservation efforts, and community engagement. 

Study Tour Options:

  • The Underwater Sculpture Park/Grand Anse Artificial Reef Tour: Led by Aquanauts Grenada, guests dive into the intricate ecosystem of the Underwater Sculpture Park and Grand Anse Artificial Reef and learn about sustainable practices aimed at protecting and preserving these vital marine habitats.
  • Grand Etang Nature Tour: Dr. Guido Marcelle, an esteemed botanist, guides participants through the lush rainforests surrounding Grand Etang Lake to explore Grenada’s rich biodiversity and gain valuable insights into rainforest conservation efforts.
  • The Rasta Roots Expedition: Immersive Journey into Rastafari Culture and Lands: Led by Ras Ginga, an elder of the Nyahbinghi Tribe, guests experience the Rastafari culture firsthand, learning about organic living practices and farming practices of Grenada’s Rastafari community, complete with a taste of local culinary delights.
  • Mt. Parnassus Plantation and Cocoa Pod Botanicals: Experts Michael Jessamy and Tricia Simon guide participants through the cocoa and spice plantation, uncovering innovative applications of these crops in cosmetics and health products.

The conference’s diverse program, comprising presentations, panel discussions, workshops, study tours and networking opportunities, aims to foster collaboration and facilitate knowledge sharing to advance sustainable tourism in the Caribbean region.

Event sponsors and partners include interCaribbean Airways; Royal Caribbean International; Silversands Grenada; Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada’s newest resort; and LINK Strategic Partners, an international strategic communications and community engagement consulting firm with offices across the U.S. and in Manchester, England.

 Visit caribbeanstc.com for further information about the conference and registration details. To learn more about the Grenada Tourism Authority, visit puregrenada.com.

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