Friday, February 23, 2018

How far have we come in 50 years?

About a week ago, our Prime Minister, at a function to launch our 50th independence anniversary celebrations, made the statement that better days are coming, or words to that effect, although as Black Stalin sang many years ago, "We still waiting and waiting".

To lay my bucket down in the well of another calypsonian, It was Donric Williamson, Lord Funny, who, 25 years ago, won an Independence calypso competition singing, "Twenty-five years have gone, how you feel?".

Now that 50 years have gone, perhaps not only Funny, but the rest of the population can join the chorus and give an update as to how Trinbagonians feel about approaching this important milestone.

Fifty years ago when then prime minister Eric Williams prophesied that the future of our nation is in our childrens' schoolbags, little did he know that by the dawn of a new millennium, things would take a turn for the worse as our schoolbags, like the modern-day laptop, only dish out what is fed into it, and today, in spite of free education across the board, we have tertiary education houses jostling for space with our jail houses.

While we see an increase in national scholarships for deserving pupils, the murder toll seems to be matching this achievement—as we say in T&T, "mano to mano".

We live in a time when a drug bust or murder report in today's newspaper, like a one-day wonder, is only replaced the next day by another "find", and I am not referring to oil. But to quote another Lord Funny classic, "Tomorrow today will be yesterday".

Gregory Cockburn

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