While we love Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, we also love every musician and arranger in T&T. Every year Boogsie has created pride and widened the sense of who we are as a nation while he has led the cultural brigade that has innovated our orchestral and symphonic world of music.
This year, once again, Boogsie has kept his pulse on the national sense of where we are, who we are and what we need. More Love. More Love. More Love.
Leave all pain, brutality, corruption and public thievery, stop the rape, police brutality and underhandedness of publicly elected officials, whether in the disgracefully racist "Calcutta ship", whether in the fact that there are inadequate controls for procurement – that sacred milking cow. Government after government has postponed installing such controls. Just give us more honesty, more love.
Maybe next year Boogsie will deal with the fact that our most powerful heritage is locked out of our schools. Imagine, our Midnight Robber poetry is not included in any school literature curriculum, while dumb, lifeless pictures of traditional Carnival characters are stuck up around the Savannah! There are samba schools all over Brazil and a university in Brazil has an advanced programme for pan, and all over Europe there are schools for violins....what do we have here? Almost nothing but fat officials.
Why is our pan proudly taught and performed in clean facilities all of the world while here we are left with almost nothing but mysteriously vanished and mismanaged resources?
Germany has 450 registered steelbands, each with reserved practice spaces and performance facilities, while we shamefully adopt a common design for a sole Napa facility that is not designed by Trinis! NAPA is not suited to pan or our rich cultural heritage, and is in fact a common design seen in every Chinese province. Why? Because a misguided, colonised leader emulates a foreign idea of who we are!
Money is not culture. Throwing up a big prize is but the tip of the homage that must be paid to our gifted pannists. Does the Government really know what the pan is or are they still bogged down with the petty tribal rivalry between "my band-your band"?
Can we have a national consultation on pan? Not by Pan Trinbago, but by pan lovers, arrangers and players, and recognised by our Government, to create a blueprint for the future.
For God's sake...we need more small acts of love, not small acts of war. Does the Mayor of Port of Spain understand this when he sends out wreckers to brutalise unknowing citizens? Can someone tell our respected magistrates that even though the Gazette may have published notices about the "No Parking" streets and times for parking etc, no one reads the Gazette, not even the politicians? So is it fair to tow and fine our people when the Mayor has not made it a priority to inform citizens with prominent street signs? Is that love Mr Mayor?
There are lights of pan all over our republic, all the way down to Siparia Deltones and across the water to Tobago. In Couva children sacrifice long nights with Joylanders with the support of proud fathers and mothers. Who will grasp this moment of who we are, where we are?
We do not need $4 million food fetes to divert crime. We need love and music to heal and build.
Cuba has doctors to give to the world. Here, every other young person plays pan, so why are your players and arrangers left at the mercy of a pan entity that does not consult, that is not democratic, that is closed and secretive? Why have panmen and women been left behind?
Like Boogsie, our arrangers and our pannists have so much to offer, but who is asking? Not the riot police with tear gas and guns who Pan Trinbago depend on for some kind of brutalised, Europeanised order at our sacred Panorama.
Boogsie, we love you for leading, but we also love all our musicians and arrangers.
Thank you all. You are all winners. Long will live what you have all given to us and the world.