Published on March 13th, 2017 | by Michael Scobie Joseph0
Pan Trinbago Releases A Post-Panorama 2017 Message
Panorama/Carnival 2017 came and left, in spite of all the shenanigans of different individuals who believe, that this thing through which we find an avenue for our soul expression, is about them. It is not about anyone, and cannot now be defined. All these new intellectuals (new kids on the block) with all the bright ideas of what should or should not be done within the people’s culture, must come to the reality that this is not something that is now happening, and waiting on anyone to be defined. Carnival is an expression of the spirit of a people – We culture, as some would say. When we came, it was, and when we leave, it will be. Intellectuals would swear by it, but the spirit of a people cannot be intellectualized.
The NCC has lost its moorings as facilitator, and have created a debacle within our Carnival. Why? Because, they choose to show gross disrespect to the Carnival Interest Groups. A lot of people are not seeing that it is not only Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C., but the three main interest groups in the Carnival, that are under serious attack (Afro centric groups). Those who represent the interest of those who make the Carnival, Mas, Calypso/Chutney/Soca and the Steelpan as the foundation, are facing a hostile take over. But the Steelpan fraternity are resisting, as they have done throughout their existence. We in the Steelpan fraternity, have been lobbying for years, for a Cultural Foundation, through which funding could be accessed. One that would be independent of the kind of political influence and victimization that took center stage during this 2017 Carnival celebrations. This present NCC cabal have turned our whole Carnival celebrations into a fiasco. Pan Trinbago Inc T.C, felt the full brunt of a vicious attack by the NCC, and backed by our line minister. This is unparalleled in the history of the Steelpan fraternity. The only thing that kept us afloat then, and is still keeping us now, is the resilience of our pioneers and the spirit of the Orishas. Ase! We Jamming STILL.
The World Governing Body for the Steelpan was castigated and vilified in the worst of manner before the eyes of the world, to stem the tide of progress and advancement that is being embarked upon on the road to self sufficiency. Stop them by any means necessary, even if we have to mash them up, seems to be the latest mantra. We were being starved for funding at every turn in this 2016/2017 season. Panorama, our premier event coming out of the Carnival celebrations, was high-jacked by the NCC, where they decided to take control of our gates receipts and all related revenue streams and boasting of their rights to do same. They believe that we have no rights of our own. We were promised a management fee to manage the actual Panorama show. However, in the national interest, and the Patriots that we are, we came together and managed the most financially successful events in the Carnival, rivaled only by Calypso Feasta, which was managed by TUCO, under the same humiliating and disrespectful conditions as the Steelpan fraternity. They Jamming STILL.
Pan Trinbago Inc T.C, had to SUFFER the humility of begging the leaders of the NCC cabal, for Photo ID to facilitate its executive, staff and workers entry to our own Panorama shows. We were denied the usual access to the area of land to establish one of our revenue earners, the Northern Greens. After the dance and run around by the NCC, the area was released to the Army to host their event. No discussions were entertained by the NCC on our proposals for funding for Steel bands participation on the roads of the Republic for Carnival 2017. Our offer to the cabal to stage our annual CHAMPS OF STEEL PLUS was also not entertained. A number of tourists and returning nationals, look forward to enjoying the greatest gathering of Carnival champions in a most relaxed atmosphere, and was disappointed, because of the narrow- mindedness of a few misfits. Maybe, this Pan Trinbago presentation makes the NCC Dimanche Gras look like a badly produced better village show. But, Pan Trinbago was denied the opportunity to stage one of our premier Carnival events, CHAMPS OF STEEL PLUS in 2017.
Most decisions taken by the Chairman of the NCC and his cabal was taken without any input by the members of the Carnival Interest Groups, without whom, the board in not duly constituted, and this has proven to be detrimental to the proper production of the Carnival in 2017. It is easy for anyone to say I am sorry, and the buck stop with me, as was announced by NCC Chairman, but that does not take away or compensate for his failure, incompetence and mismanagement of our Carnival product. In some other countries, these people would have been arrested and charged for treason. The much maligned Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C., still attracted the largest paying audience to the Savannah stands to date.
No discussion was entertained on the issue of funding for Steel bands participation on the roads of Trinidad and Tobago for Carnival 2017. Somebody must investigate the many ghost-gangs and ghosts contractors entertained by the NCC cabal. Is the NCC fulfilling its mandate, or does it have a new mandate to mashup we culture? “Rootsman” identified them and their mission before he exited the stage.
Pan Trinbago Inc T.C would like to thank all the Steelband leaders, Pan makers, Arrangers, Pannist, Workers, Parents and Guardians, Sponsors, Judges and all those who came together with well wishers, to guarantee that the National Instrument played a role in the National Festival. In spite of, “We Jamming STILL”.
As we continue the mammoth task of building, clearing and cleaning a tarnished image coming out of this 2016/2017 onslaught, that still have some people that are prone to mischief, and confusion, and cannot find peace within themselves, continuing their crusade of self destructiveness. We continue the struggle to build a strong and economically viable foundation for the future of the Steelpan fraternity. We have come this far, where Cowards flinch and Traitors sneer, we take a pride in our liberty, and we Jamming STILL!
PAN TRINBAGO INC. T.C.
Michael L. Joseph
Public Relations Officer