Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) Khafra Kambon was smiling last Friday night at the opening of the 20th Anniversary of Emancipation Celebrations at the Lidj Yasu Omowale Village, Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
Kambon received a $2 million cheque from Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Linclon Douglas after the Minister made his welcome remarks.
The presentation was made in front of a few hundred Emancipation "loyalists" and several visitors. Kambon gave thanks and said he understood that next year they will not have to fight for funding from the government.
Before Douglas, chairman of Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), former commissioner of police Everald Snaggs told the audience of his company's long association with the ESC.
Snaggs said TSTT has given the ESC just about half a million dollars for this year's celebration and continues to support their work.
Kambon said this year's celebration was special since it as the 174th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.
He said it was also the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Trinidad and Tobago and the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC), said to be the oldest political party in Africa.
The entertainment Friday night featured Wasafoli Dancers and Drummers and pannist Earl Brooks in the first half and David Rudder in the second.
Backed by Wayne Bruno and Friends, Rudder kicked off his session with "Hosay" and "1990", two songs that were very significant 22 years ago following the attempted coup in the country.
He referred to them as the "anthems of 1990".
He continued with "Calypso Music" for which he brought the audience onto the forecourt to dance and sing as he asked them to "emancipate yourself from your chairs".
With Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, Dr Bhoe Tewarie in the audience Rudder performed "Oil and Music" and "Trini to the Bone" before he sang "New Day Dawning" in memory of Nelson Mandela's birthday.
He also performed "Model Nation" for Calypso King of the World the Mighty Sparrow who celebrated a birthday recently.
Rudder had the entire audience dancing and singing as he performed songs like "Madness", "Dus in Yuh Face", "Hammer", "Rally Round the West Indies" and "High Mas".
Rudder left the audience wanting more and they begged him to do one more.
He obliged with his 1986 Road March winner "Bahia Girl".