Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Journey to freedom

Emancipation Day celebrations intensify this weekend


MUCH-REVERED: South African singer, Lorraine Klaasen will headline the Pan African concert at the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain next Thursday.

Mark Fraser

“Throughout the British dominions the sun no longer rises on a slave. Yesterday was the day from which the emancipation of all our slave population commences, and we trust the great change by which they are elevated to the rank of free men will be found to have passed into effect in the manner most accordant with the benevolent spirit in which it was decreed, most consistent with the interests of those for whose benefit it was primarily intended, and most calculated to put an end to the apprehensions under which it was hardly to be expected that the planters could fail to labour as the moment of its consummation approaches. 

We shall await anxiously the arrivals from the West Indies that will bring advices to a date subsequent to the present time.”  Published in the Guardian UK on August 2, 1834.

This year marks the 180th anniversary of the abolition of chattel slavery on August 1, 1834 and the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) has for the past several weeks been presenting a number of events including the annual Kwame Ture Memorial Lecture Series as part of the annual Emancipation celebrations. 

In this coming week leading to the grand celebration next Friday the cultural achievements of the Afro-Trinbagonians will be the focus as the ESC presents a number of shows at the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village, which opens at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Tuesday from 7 p.m. Activities will continue at the village through the rest of the week until the weekend.

The traditional blessing of the ground upon which the Emancipation Village sits will take place on Sunday from 6 p.m. at the area in front of the Queen’s Park Savannah. 

The line-up includes Brother Valentino who recently returned from a visit to Zimbabwe where he performed his classic “Stay Up Zimbabwe” before the people there who not only appreciated his rendition, but treated him with great reverence. 

The Black Stalin who is about to release a five-CD collection will also be on stage on Tuesday performing several of his evergreen calypsoes that to this day appeal to youth and elders alike. 

The main event as far as the shows are concerned takes place on Thursday at the Emancipation Village from 8 p.m. when host Errol Fabien will lead a sterling selection of artistes at the, “Pan African Concert”. The headline acts here are Lorraine Klaasen originally from South Africa and Nigerian artiste, Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 who will each deliver full length concert performances. 

Lorraie Klaasen, daughter of South African singer Thandi Klassen, is based in Montreal and is a much revered world music artiste. Klaasen has performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and her international itinerary has included the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. She and her mother are also reputed to have been two of Nelson Mandela’s favourite musicians. 


cultural programme:


 n Sunday 27 July

BLESSING OF THE GROUND    6.30 p.m-8 p.m. Blessing of the Ground  

Chair:  Invocation – Elders Bro Equino Moyo assisted by Ray Brathwaite Drummers—St James Cultural Artisans   In front of the Queen’s Park Savannah,


Tuesday 29 July

GRAND OPENING 7 – 10 p.m


Grand Opening of the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village— Featuring: St George’s College Musical Ensemble 

Karega Mandela  

Karene Asche (Reparations)

Alana Sinnette


Jeunes Agape

Valentino and,

Drummers Ensemble 

Stalin and Valentino, 

Moko Jumbies  of Junior Bisnath

Music by Kelly Green

Grand Stand Queen’s Park Savannah


Wednesday 30 July

JAZZ AT SUNSET & PAN BY MOONLIGHT 10 – 5 p.m. (TBC), 5 – 7 p.m., 7 – 11p.m.


Wasafoli Drummers and Dancers Children’s Camp

Jazz at Sunset  

African Jazz by KC Class is Class

Chantal Esdelle and Moyenne

Pan by Moonlight


Marabella Tamboo Bamboo

La Famille

Super Novas

Republic Bank Exodus

Petrotrin Phase II

Pan Elders

Valley Harps Steel Orchestra

Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village

Queen’s Park Savannah

Thursday 31 July 

9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Youth  Day

Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village

Queen’s Park Savannah



Pan African  Concert 

Featuring :

Network Rhythm Band

Ruanne Cabralis

Ziggy Rankin

Bally and Wasafoli

Lorraine Klaasen 

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80

Grand Stand Queen’s Park Savannah

Friday 1 August 

Emancipation Day

4.30 a.m. - 8.30 a.m., 3 – 7 p.m., 

7.30 p.m  Drum Call / Freedom Morning Come


Cultural performances – Live Band Package – Isasc Blackman/ Resistance etc

Flambeau Procession 

All Stars Panyard, Picadilly Greens and Yoruba Village

Treasury Building and moves off to the Lidj Yasu Omowale Village, Queen’s Park Savannah


Saturday 2 August


2 – 7 p.m.,  7.30 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Youth Pan Concert

Success Stars


Old Tech

Golden Symphony

St Margaret’s

Exo Cubs

Legacies & Legends

Sing the Chorus and Ah Wanna Fall – a Calypso Musical - David Bereaux and Friends


Tamboo Bamboo

Bois Academy (Stick fight)

Gary Cordner

Marvellous Marva


Bevon St Clair (Young King 2014)

Roger Johnson

Capoeira demonstration

Limbo— Malick Folk Performers


Skins Alliance

Sogren Trace Enhancement Organisation

Noel James – Informer

Georgia Charles-McIntyre

Abby Blackman


Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village

Queen’s Park Savannah

Sunday 3 August


YOUTH CONCERT  11.30 – 2 p.m., 2 to 7 p.m.

MC BLACK SAGE     8 – 11 p.m.

MC ANTICS Food Fair & Family Day – Drums / Single Pan Band / Tamboo Bamboo

Rhythm and Voices of Africa in the Village

Frontline Drummers

St Rose’s Girls

Carenage Performing Arts & Point Cumana Youth Group


Brother Book

St James Cultural Artisans

Second Freeport Sea Scouts

Sogren Trace Enhancement Organisation

St James Police Youth Club Elite Drummers & Ignited Dancers

Dayo Bejide

Tunapuna Vibrations 

Black Beat International

Curious Ringo

Mark Mayo

Oba Dread 

The Wise One

Wolde Dawit




Devon Welch