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Published on July 21st, 2014 | by AFROCARIBE


Steelpan Booms in Africa

Trinidad and Tobago’s National Instrument booms in Africa – an exclusive interview with the President of Pan Trinbago’s 50th Anniversary – 1963 – 2013

Keith Diaz as the organization and the country celebrates the GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF PANORAMA, (An annual competition held at the National level that involves all the steel pan orchestras in Trinidad and Tobago, usually at Carnival celebrations) It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Trinidad and Tobago, at the office of Chief, President Mr. Keith Diaz the 16th President of Pan Trinbago. Chief Keith Diaz, is no stranger to fame, as the 16th President of Pan Trinbago, a close associate of the Alaafin of Oyo, he is well travelled and has accomplished a lot for the organization throughout the world. Mr.Diaz ushered us into his office with a warm smile and open arms. I was amazed that a man of his caliber returned my calls and expressed reasons why we missed him on our first agreed date for this exclusive interview. Chief Diaz, is very enthusiastic about his African connection, and one of his top priorities is to keep close to his African heritage.

The interview started with a great chat and I was enlightened by Mr. Diaz about some of his experiences in Africa.He described his Coronation in Nigeria and his tremendous Contribution to the revolution and prosperity of Steelpan in this part of the world.He also described some of the lasting friendships he made on his travels to Africa. Mr Diaz,now also Chief, is tremendously proud of his recent conferment as a chief by the Alafin of Oyo, an ancient city in Southern Nigeria, by the law of Tradition of llara Remo and all other powers enabling him on the behalf of Oba Alaiyeluwa Emila-Oye Odunayo Awobajo,Agbore 111.The Alara of Llara Remo prescribe authority for chieftaincy matters in Llara Remo North Local Government Area and appointed him :Oguniyi Keith Diaz.

This cultural and Historic event took place on 5th August 2012. President Diaz noted that this year has been a remarkable one for the Steel Pan and Pan Trinbago as we celebrate fifty years as an organization. Nigeria is the first country from Africa to acknowledge and strengthen ties with Trinidad and Tobago, just after our independence. Past presidents of Pan Trinbago organization targeted other countries like USA, Europe, and London. But as l got into office my target was Africa, the journey started when l sent a tenor Steel pan to the Presidents of Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. This singular effort opened Africa to the Steel pan boom we are experiencing today. As the 16th President of Pan Trinbago, it has always been my dream to visit Africa, our home; not only did I visit my homeland, but I was proudly crowned Chief, in Oyo state, a Southern city in the federal Republic of the Nigeria . My grandmother told me to stick to my African lineage that is where l belong. I feel at home when I am in Africa. When l visited Nigeria l saw all the things my grandmother told me about, the food, clothes and the culture, they quite are similar to what enjoy here today, and were handed down to us from our ancestors. The Trinidad and Tobago National instrument of excellence has been exported to about 64 countries in the world. Steel pan is taught at the kindergarten level in schools the UK and in over 500 Schools in the USA. The 2014 National Panorama Competition, promises to be a one of a kind experience for those who attend and those view locally and internationally.

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