Entertainment News

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Chill It cools down heat at BessFest

Lifestyle - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 02:06

Patrons who took time to sample the fare at this year’s edition of the popular food festival, BessFest, held at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, recently, got the treat of a lifetime when they savoured the offerings of Carenage-based Chill It Frozen Desserts.

Young and old made a beeline to the Chill It booth to enjoy the unique range of frozen desserts on sale, including popsicles, poptails, ice-creams and cocktails. Jaysen Francis, a Chill It Frozen Desserts director, said the company utilises mainly local ingredients in their finished products, such as mango, avocado, pawpaw, guava and pineapple.

“We always use fresh fruits of the best quality for our products,” said Francis. “We started operations about a year ago and most of our business is handled through catering services for now, for events such as food festivals, weddings, birthdays, etc. You don’t have to have a ‘sweet tooth’ to enjoy our products.

Francis added that the company is working toward expanding operations with a presence in specialty outlets. While the young can savour the usual frozen desserts, Chill It has concocted alcoholbased products for adults, such as Carib Cocktail which takes its name from the famous beer, and Avocado Hennessy among others.

Chill It Frozen Desserts employs five employees at present, but as Francis explained, they hope to generate more employment as the business grows.

Categories: Entertainment News

Entertainment set to Thrive on a Thursday

Lifestyle - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 02:02

After work on Thursdays, North Trinidad has gotten something new with the instalment of Thrive International’s #ThriveINLime networking event. This event, which has been happening every Thursday at The Chancellor Hotel, St Ann’s, since July 5, was created to allow people in the creative fields to connect, collaborate and create. Thrive allows others to showcase their talents, be inspired by industry talks and be discovered. The event brings a different focus each week which keeps it fresh with an element of fashion, art, media and entertainment happening at least once a month. Started first in Dubai five years ago, this industry concept is gradually building momentum in the north, with interest already to bring it to south Trinidad soon.

Founder Ethan Auguste who is based now in Geneva after living in Dubai for eight years, is here in Trinidad working on developing the concept, brand and the fourth annual #ThriveINTNT event to be held in October.

Said Auguste: “I’m very pleased with the growth so far and see a lot of potential with this event here in Trinidad. It takes a few months to build a night so we are in it for the long haul. The event is free for all to enjoy after work from 6 pm – 11.30 pm and can only be possible due to the support of our sponsors Chancellor Hotel, MK Entertainment, Native Caribbean Foundation and Hiero Graphics.”

So far, ThriveINLime featured talks in fashion with Darcel De Vlugt, Claudia Pegus and Kyle Matas, Film with Danielle Dieffenthaller, Lisa Wickham and Michael Mooleedhar, followed by Art with Israel Silva, Nadya Shah and Japan-based Trinidadian Dexta Mega. Today, ThriveINLime will focus on music with industry talks from Carl “Beaver” Henderson, Kit Israel and Maarten Manmohan and will be hosted by Mark Wallace.

Also, for the first time, live bands will grace the Thrive stage.

To get involved in Thrive, or showcase your talent or brands, email [email protected] for details and visit www.thriveintnt.com

Categories: Entertainment News

Bishop on mission to empty hell and fill heaven

Lifestyle - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 01:59

New Birth Church of God, of Vega de Oropouche, celebrated its 15th anniversary yesterday with the unveiling of its church billboard on the Toco Main Road. The unveiling was followed by procession to the church, of clergy, parishioners and villagers, singing and chanting.

Bishop Allan Merryshow said his mission and objective is to “empty hell and fill heaven,” and this was demonstrated by a church filled to capacity. There were also people filling an outdoor tent.

Many speakers brought greetings for the upliftment and growth of New Birth Church of God.

Merryshow urged parents to have their children know God and teach them the morals that will make their children disciplined, respectable and obedient so parents can be proud of them. He added that crime is plaguing the country and the church must play its role in addressing this worrying problem otherwise there will be regrets.

Merryshow gave the assurance to all present that his wife, Pastor Marie Merryshow, and his elders, are interested in assisting those who need spiritual guidance, an ingredient that is missing in the daily lives of citizens. He invites all to attend his church as a warm welcome awaits all so desirous of attending. (Ralph Banwarie)

Categories: Entertainment News

Holistic Market Atelier (arts workshop)—open for business

Lifestyle - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 01:56

Holistic Music School will continue to develop the creative, intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional and physical skills of primary (five to 12 years) students through Atelier (arts workshop) scheduled for Monday, August 6 to Friday, August 17.

In keeping with the introduction of the new Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA), participants will explore Mathematics and English Language Arts through the systems and interactions of a holistic market.

The workshop will encourage students to apply both critical thinking and creativity to mental mathematics, problem solving, story/report writing and comprehension.

Activities will be scheduled from 8:30 am to 3 pm daily at Holistic Primary School. Supervision will be provided at no extra cost from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. The cost of the workshop is $600 per week plus a registration fee of $150. Students will be enrolled on a first come, first served basis. Enrolment is limited.

Secondary school students

Holistic Music School is also inviting secondary school students (12 to 19 years) interested in exploring jazz performance and improvisation. Students should have at least one year of practical experience on trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, flute or guitar.

This year’s cadre of professional jazz musicians will include Rellon Brown (trumpet); Daniel Ryan (saxophone, clarinet, flute); Joshua Pasqual (trombone); and, Seth Escalante (guitar).

Jazz atelier sessions will be scheduled Tuesday and Thursdays from 4 pm to 6 pm, on August 6-17, at Holistic Music School. The introductory cost of the workshop is $240 (four sessions).

For August Atelier 2018 registration information e-mail atelier.holistic.edu @gmail.com anytime or phone 621-0428 on Friday, August 3


Atelier (the French word for workshop) was established by Dr Patricia Dardaine-Ragguet in 1997 as a means by which to engage students in positive, holistic and character building exercises in the context of creativity and artistic development.

During the past 21 years, themes have included Holistic Jazz, Rainforests, Birds, Under the Sea, Developing Healthy Communities, Olympic Games, Beethoven to Boogsie and Christmas Around the World.

Dardaine-Ragguet, an administrator, holistic educator and musician, has designed the 2018 Atelier curriculum to excite and inspire current and future entrepreneurs and musicians. Age appropriate concepts will be introduced in a relaxed and interdisciplinary workshop setting. A cadre of experienced teachers, consultants and trained apprentices will instruct students.

Holistic Market Atelier (Arts Workshop) for August school vacation:

SEA primary school students (2019 - 2023): Mathematics & English Language Arts Curriculum through Fashion, Film, Stilt Walking, Agri-Science & Business Development

Secondary school students: Jazz Performance & Improvisation; Commercial Music — Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute & Guitar

Categories: Entertainment News

Defence Force offers unique camp experience to teens

Lifestyle - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 01:48

In a ground-breaking move, the T&T Defence Force (TTDF) has partnered with Junior Achievement T&T (JATT) to provide 34 teenaged males a motivational camping experience of a lifetime.

“Let today be the first day of the rest of your lifetime,” camp co-ordinator Major David Benjamin, exhorted the youths, aged 13 to 17, as he welcomed them to an orientation exercise at the Holiness Revival Ministries auditorium, Woodbrook, on Friday.

Appropriately named, “Youth Empowerment Camp,” the two-week session is the first ever youth camp of its kind to be facilitated by the TTDF. It offers a unique live-in experience at Teteron for the lucky youths who are drawn from communities throughout Trinidad. Projects will include camping activities, competitive, sporting events, nature hikes, a talent show, kayaking, mountain biking to culminate in an awards ceremony on the final day, August 1.

Major Benjamin told the boys what to expect at the camp: “This is not a boot camp. This camp is about making you a man. Apart from the camping activities, you will learn about etiquette, personal life skills, how to dress, how to present yourself, how you build self-confidence. There will be no corporal punishment but if you don’t behave yourself, your parents will hear about it. We want you to walk in with an empty toolbox and walk out with a box full of tools you will use for your entire life.”

Part of the TTDF mandate, Major Benjamin pointed out, was to offer support to the national community, with the youth camp designed to offer a wholesome and far-reaching experience for the youths to develop into exemplary young citizens.

Junior Achievement executive director, J Errol Lewis, hailed the partnership between JATT and the TTDF as “ground-breaking,” noting that it was the opportunity-of-a-lifetime for the teenagers. “We at Junior Achievement are thrilled that the senior officers at the Defence Force decided to collaborate with us on this exercise and provide exceptional support for the entire duration of the camp. It will be very intense and they will be devoting the services of experienced tutors trained in counselling and extend quality time to these boys,” said a grateful Lewis.

The participants, Lewis said, were selected through consultation with their schools.

The campers and their parents were also addressed by Col Ronald Jeffrey, chief staff officer, Defence Force Headquarters, who appealed to the teenagers to make full use of the “golden opportunity” offered to them through the camp. He urged the parents to use the time away from their sons as a time for reflection, adding that they should reinforce and build on what their children would learn at the camp. Col Jeffrey said the TTDF was proud to partner with Junior Achievement to offer the teenagers a great experience that should serve to mould them into upstanding young men.

On their arrival at Teteron base later in the day, the boys were given a pep talk by Chief of Defence Staff, Commodore Hayden Pritchard.

The packed itinerary for the camp also caters for visits to Coast Guard headquarters at Staubles Bay with a ride on one of its vessels, exploring Chacachacare and historic Nelson Island, Macqueripe Bay, the Fire Services Training base at Savonetta, Couva, and the Youth Training Centre (YTC).

A similar camp, catering exclusively for teenaged females, will start on Monday, August 13. Parents wishing to register their daughters for the experience can contact Junior Achievement at 471-6946 (Nesta) or 756-1399 (Shaunika).

Categories: Entertainment News

The Free Form talent gold mine

Lifestyle - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 00:33

Sapphire Productions, under young, accomplished dramatist Gabrielle Scott, has managed to bring together some of the country’s finest emerging stage talent for its Free Form “open mic” series which continues in Santa Cruz on July 27.

Sapphire’s July 13 session at Idlewood in Port-of-Spain assembled more than a dozen creative young people capable of delivering high-quality spoken word performances, poetry, visual art, music and song to a cozy, enthusiastic audience.

Scott explained to Guardian Media that the series was designed “to encourage artists to not only share their work but to experiment with their work.”

She added: “As the name suggests, the forum of Free Form is to incite creativity that is beyond form, that is free of the restrictions of the rules of music, poetry, dance, song and even visual art.”

The July 13 event delivered on all of the above. Kelline Theophille opened with an original poetic piece that set the stage for thought-provoking content throughout the evening. The north-south water taxi was, for Theophille, “the slave ship” bound for “the plantation of Port-of-Spain.”

Then the multi-talented Chanel Glasgow (“resident vocalist and assistant-producer”) impeccably delivered two songs accompanied on the guitar by “resident musician” Mikhail Gibbings.

Glasgow is an outstanding young vocal talent, matched on the evening only by dramatist/singer Syntyche Bishop (last seen as Anita on West Side Story) and the fascinating composer/guitarist/singer Iantha Hicks whose original two-piece set became the evening’s earworm for some.

“I prefer when I see you cry, it makes me smile, yeah it makes me smile. As it were, it makes me feel bad for a little bitty while, but then I just smile …” hmm.

Emmanuel Scott, Thaddy Boom, Kerissa Joseph (singing a cover of her late father Mighty Penguin’s song, Women Doh Like Soft Man) and Sheynnene Hazell who performed with Dr Shenilee George (a dentist by profession) were no slouches themselves.

Dion Carrington and Tyler Phillip delivered artful original, poetic compositions and painter Yejide Cordner was part of another of the evening’s high-points – the Free Form Collab.

“The Free Form Collab is where different artists perform a freestyle piece organically made in that moment inspired by a word given by the audience. It is true communion in the space between performer and audience,” Scott explained. In this instance, the audience agreed on the word “flood.”

Accompanied by Gibbings on the guitar with song and spoken word contributions from co-host/dramatist Idrees Jali Saleem, Glasgow and co-host Tafar Chia Lewis, Cordner went to work on a splendid water-colour painting on the flood theme. It was an amazing display.

Another creative high-point was an Extempo Jam featuring Chia Lewis, Saleem, Glasgow and the wonderfully cantankerous comedian/spoken word exponent Thaddy Boom who also showed he can deliver highly-competent vocals when he is ready.

Saleem and Chia Lewis, accomplished dramatists in their own right, are an outstanding pair who kept the programme flowing flawlessly and in good humour.

Proceeds from the series go toward financing the next stage of academic work by Scott, a UWI Theatre Arts graduate, who is due to further her studies in theatre at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York.

“By assisting in providing a space for artists to express themselves I’m also helping myself achieve my own goals,” Scott said. “It’s a win-win.”

More info

Free Form is Free Form: the Patio Sessions is set for July 27 at 30 B, Jennings Avenue, La Pastora, Santa Cruz, and cannot and must not be missed. Showtime is 7 pm.
For more information check @sapphireprods on Instagram or send an email to: [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment News

Focus Arts Productions asks why do men cheat?

Lifestyle - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 00:41

What do men want? Why do men cheat? What defines a man? These are some of the questions explored in the Focus Arts Productions’ upcoming production of Da Mans Dem, which will take place at the Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook, on Tuesday, July 31.

Playwright Alan Charles said the play is the sequel to Love, Sax and All That Jazz, and is told from the viewpoint of three male characters, the brothers. He said: “In this offering, the brothers take centre stage and give their take on love, sex and relationships. Through the life of three buddies we get a glimpse of the male psyche as they attempt to explain what men want, Why men cheat, and what defines a man.”

Charles said both plays are written from a Christian standpoint, “to highlight some of the issues surrounding sex and relationships that the church sometimes fails to address. They were written to bring light and offer solutions to some of the challenges faced in relationships. At the same time, they also offer audiences clean wholesome quality entertainment. There is a PG13 limit attached to the production.”

The play is now in its sixth year and has been performed throughout the UK, Toronto, Barbados and Trinidad. Charles said: “The show benefits from having two casts, a UK cast and a Trini cast. Love Sax and all that Jazz is in its ninth year and, in addition to the previously named countries, has been to Grenada, St Kitts, St Vincent and Antigua.

“The upcoming show will feature the Trini cast and is directed by local actress and dancer Kimmy Stoute-Robinson. It stars Dexter Musgrave, Khadija Glasgow, Marie Guerra, Karen Richards, David Clarqe, Jamel Spring, Brandon Giroux, Fidel Guerra, Jomo Williams and Abbi-gail James-Williams.”

Charles said he hopes the audience will be uplifted and inspired by the comedy drama, and be able to use some of the sentiments in the play to strengthen their relationships if already involved or gain some invaluable insights if you are looking to get involved.

“Whenever and wherever the shows are performed audiences are thrilled and impressed. We have no doubt that our next performance at Little Carib Theatre will also have audience in tears of laughter while being inspired and uplifted” said the playwright.

(Paula Lindo—[email protected])

More info

Tickets cost $125 advance, $150 at the door and $100 each for groups of ten or more.
For more information call 624-4162, 387-9561 or 768-8214, email [email protected] and find Da Mans Dem on Facebook.

Categories: Entertainment News

Nalis PAC clinics go nationwide

Lifestyle - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 00:38

Come August 7, Nalis will unveil its PAC Lab preservation clinics and workshops at the Sangre Grance public library, at 10 am. The series of family heirloom preservation clinics will be conducted nationwide by Danielle Fraser, Nalis’ conservation librarian.

The hosting of these clinics is part of the Nalis Preservation and Conversation Lab’s (PAC) commemorative activities to mark its fifth anniversary. At the Family Heirloom Preservation Clinics, the public will be provided with one-on-one, expert advice on techniques to preserve items such as postcards, diaries, family Bibles, certificates and photographs.

A preservation workshop titled When Disaster Strikes: Emergency Salvage of Water Damaged Family Heirlooms will be held at the National Library Building, Port-of-Spain for members of the public on August 20, from 9 am to 2:30 pm. Participants will learn hands-on preservation techniques as well as methods for salvaging water-soaked, paper based records and materials. The workshop will be repeated exclusively for Nalis’ staff on August 22.

Library and Archive professionals and paraprofessionals are specially invited to attend another workshop—Dealing with Mould: Guidelines for Library and Archival Collections—on August 22 from 9 am–3:30 pm.

Participants will learn measures to prevent mould growth and actions to take should it occur within their collections. For further details or to pre-register for any of the activities, contact 624-4466 ext. 2038 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

The Nalis PAC Lab, which was officially commissioned on July 8, 2013, celebrates its role in preserving countless library material and historical collections. As the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Preservation and Conservation Regional Centre for the English-speaking Caribbean, the Lab’s core duty is to work with the Heritage Library Division in achieving its mandate to acquire, promote and preserve national heritage material. Additionally, the Lab advises public and private organisations on the care of their collections and artefacts.

More info 

Nalis Preservation and Conversation Lab’s (PAC) clinics and workshops:
August 7: Sangre Grande Public Library (10 am - noon);
August 8: Maloney Public Library (10 am - noon);
August 13: Couva Public Library (9:30 to 10:30 am);
August 14: Rio Claro Public Library (10 am - noon);
August 16: Carnegie Library, corner Prince of Wales and Coffee Streets, San Fernando (10 am - noon).


Categories: Entertainment News

Sita Haran debuts Ramlila Yatras

Lifestyle - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 00:36

Having commenced last Thursday at the Caroni Hindu Mandir at Siwalla Street, Ramlila Yatras in the Caribbean had its three-day run in Trinidad on the weekend.

The show featured an excerpt from the Ramleela and was presented by actors from Uttar Pradesh, India. The production was hosted by he National Council of Indian Culture [NCIC] and Ayodhya Research Institute of India, in collaboration with National Ramleela Council of T&T.

The two-hour excerpt was titled Sita Haran and depicted the meeting of Hanuman with Sita where he presented her with a ring sent from her husband Lord Ram while she was held captive by Ravan, the demon king.

Ravan later gave her one year to make up her mind to marry him or be killed. The performances were done in Hindi, yet those who could not speak the language were able to follow the plot because of the excellent acting and facial expressions of the actors.

Dani Gupta gave a stunning performance of Sita, her cries and tears seemed too real times and seemed to strike an emotional chord in patrons attending the free event.

Mavendra Tripathi, portrayed the meanest Ravan seen in the western hemisphere. Tripathi kept an angry face throughout his performance by not letting a smile escape. Hanuman, portrayed by Navneet Jaiswal, blended facial expressions with a touch of comedy. This allowed for laughter, an emotion that is rarely seen at local Ramleela performances.

The players received a standing ovation for their roles and the troupe moves on to Guyana and Suriname later this month where they would showcase performances that include the following three scenes: Ram Vivah, Van Gaman and Sita Haran.

About Ayodhya Research Institute of India The Ayodhya Research Institute was founded on August 18,1986 as an autonomous organisation of the Culture Department of Uttar Pradesh. It is an entity formed to conduct research on Ramkatha, investigate the historical significance of Ayodhya in relation to all religions, study the Art, Literature, Culture, and Folk Art of Avadh, especially of Ayodhya, conduct research on Vaishnavism Bhakti movement and specially stories about Lord Rama, and preserve ancient documents of Avadh.

What is Ramleela?

Ramleela or play is a folk reenactment of major events in the Leela of Lord Ram.

Leela refers to the mystery of God appearing in His own Creation and performing actions selflessly and without desire. Ramleela is performed in several styles with the oldest being the open-air community style performed by amateurs and villagers as in the case of what takes place in T&T.

It is also performed on western-style stages by professional drama troupes.

Ramleela ends with the epic battle between Lord Ram and Ravan, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana of Tulsidas also called the Ramcharitmanas.

This folk Leela tradition originates from the Indian subcontinent where the Leela is staged annually often over ten or more successive nights.

On this last day, the actors are taken out in a procession through the city, leading up to a mela ground or town square, where the enactment of the final battle takes place.

At the end of the battle, giant effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanath are set afire to be followed by the coronation (abhisheka) of Ram at Ayodhya, marking the culmination of festivities and restoration of the Divine Order. Rama is the seventh incarnation of Vishnu and the central figure of the Ramayana.

The Ramayana is based on the life, times and values of Lord Rama.

Lord Rama is called the Maryada Purushottam or the best among the dignified.

The story of Lord Rama is so popular in India that it has actually amalgamated the psyche of the Indian mainstream irrespective of religion.

The Ramayana is the ethical base of mainstream India.

Categories: Entertainment News

Sibling rivalry

Lifestyle - Sun, 07/22/2018 - 01:42

This series of articles will cover inter-dog aggression. Readers must understand that these articles are for guidance only.

Aggression between dogs is a complex psychological condition requiring a professional dog behaviourist to evaluate and treat each case individually. In this article, we will continue to assess how and when inter-dog aggression develops.

Inter-dog aggression is fighting between dogs living in the same household. In the second article in this series, we started to discuss the two developmental stages of maturity in dogs. It is between sexual and social maturity that owners may first start to notice signs of aggression between the dogs. One of the most common scenarios involves brother fighting brother or sister fighting sister – this is why inter-dog aggression is often referred to as sibling rivalry.

As we looked at in the second article, the “alpha” concept is a myth. There is no absolute dominant dog. Rather, resources may be competed for and the winner most often depends on who wants the resource more. Dog A may be food-motivated and will guard a treat from Dog B who is less interested in the treat. In this scenario, Dog A is being more assertive over Dog B in the presence of food. On the other hand, Dog B may be very attached to the owner and will vie for the owner’s attention while Dog A is more independent and does not seek to be in the owner’s company all the time. In this case, Dog B is the one exerting the assertion when the owner is around.

Dogs who are unrelated will not share genes. Siblings, however, are more likely to have similar behavioural traits because they share not only the same DNA, but they have also shared the same womb. It is, therefore, possible that these dogs will naturally compete for similar resources instead of having vastly different preferences.

In addition, siblings grow up together and will attain both sexual and social maturity at the same stage. When there are two dogs in the same household who are likely to be interested in the same resource, and they are of similar temperament, and they are the same age–meaning that they start challenging at the same time–fighting can be quite likely.

Fighting also occurs between dogs that are not related. In these cases, it is most often that a younger dog attains social maturity and starts challenging the older dog. The natural canine social dynamic is that the older dog defers to the younger, fitter dog.

However, if the older dog has been the resident dog for years on his own and is accustomed to getting and having everything for himself, he may find it difficult to learn to share his resources–and even harder to give them up to the newcomer.

The owner may exacerbate the situation by feeling sorry for the older dog and punishing the younger dog while giving preference to the older dog. This increases the tension because it goes against the grain of nature and the result is a fight.

Categories: Entertainment News

Journey of comebacks

Lifestyle - Sun, 07/22/2018 - 01:40

Patience is the key

However strong or tough we might consider ourselves to be, the fact is that none of us are indestructible. As amazing and adaptable as it is, the human body is vulnerable. Even those of us in perfect health will at some time experience loss, illness, or injury that throws us off our game plan. How do we hold on? How do we pull ourselves up and struggle through the pain, disappointment and despair? How do we face those unexpected challenges that hit us without giving up? How do we deal with injury and still maintain focus?

Whether we are aiming to lose weight, striving to establish a consistent exercise routine or preparing for competition, when unexpected problems affect our fitness or training plans it is vital that we re-adjust your goals. The key is to be patient and realistic. Rather than concentrating on performance or results, we must make the first goal healing. By focusing our energy on recovery, we allow ourselves to feel encouraged by our progress rather than discouraged by how far we may have fallen back.

Stress is a major factor in the prevention of improvement after injury. It makes it more difficult for our bodies to heal. Stress hormones interfere with the removal of damaged tissue and impair the movement of healing immune cells to the site of the injury. It can also cause sleep disturbance, further hindering recovery. We must use our bad break as a chance to work on another part of our performance and train our minds to look at what we can do rather than what we can’t. This will give us a feeling of purpose and be of benefit when we are able to resume our training. This is an excellent time to work on such skills as balance and stability.

Vital to the recovery process is emotional healing. Time must be spent on relaxation, ensuring that negative emotions are kept at bay. Crucial to any healing process after injury is professional care and support, without which it is virtually impossible for the process to be completed.

So as we train and struggle to achieve our best in whatever field of endeavour we choose, as we fight back from disappointment, despair or injury the words of Sherrilyn Kenyon speak volumes: “The strongest steel is forged by the fires of hell. It is pounded and struck repeatedly before it is plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility and the blows give it strength. Those two things make the metal pliable and able to withstand every battle it is called upon to fight.”

Akeem Stewart has created history in T&T as a Paralympian. His is a journey of endurance. We applaud his skill and determination and are inspired by his commitment. “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition, such as lifting weights, we develop our character muscles through overcoming challenges and adversity.” —Steven Covey

Keep training!

My name is Akeem Stewart. I am 24 years old and I am the first athlete in T&T to win Paralympic Gold in 32 years. My journey has not always been an easy one and has been a series of ups and downs.

I can remember when I was 14 and I started experiencing pain in my knees. My dad was my first coach and he was training me in shot-put and discus. The doctors described my knee pain as the result of a growth spurt. I had grown an additional six inches and my body was trying to adjust. I was frightened but my dad encouraged me to remain calm and positive. I had to lay off of training for one and a half years. Thankfully, when I got back on the field I was stronger in shot-put and discus and I qualified for the Carifta Games in St Kitts and Nevis.

My knee had improved and I was motivated, but misfortune struck again. When doing shot-put the ball rolled off my hand and fractured my right middle finger. Were it not for my dad and my close friends who encouraged me and my own spiritual strength, I would have wanted to give up. I had to stay out of participation for three years. I kept training and in my final year of being a junior athlete I qualified for the Carifta Games in Jamaica and won T&T’s first medal in that competition.

I moved up to the senior category and started doing really well in my favourite event—shot-put, breaking the national record for the first time in 19 years in the Open Championship with a throw of 19.34 meters. I was on a roll, but once again disaster struck. At the Hampton Games, I tore my meniscus, which is the most important cushion you have in your knee. It was the most terrible pain that I had ever felt. I had to stop throwing. This injury threw me back a great deal. I continued in the gym and with aqua therapy.

In 2015 and early 2016 I was at my lowest. I felt that I had no real technical support, no equipment, no facilities. Still, I held on and in 2016 while fighting off my knee injury, though I did not feel like going, I went to the Paralympics in Brazil. To my shock, I broke the world record in the javelin, a skill which I had just started in 2015, throwing 57 metres. The crowd support was amazing and really motivated me. Now I started to get recognition globally. I started training even harder, breaking the shot-put world record in Jamaica in 2017 and qualifying for the Paralympic World Championship in London.

Then once again misfortune struck. While off the field I injured my left metatarsal and had to sit out. It is part of the bones of the midfoot and is extremely painful. Despite the injury, I had to throw the javelin a few days later or I would have been disqualified. I feel that I took out my frustration, anger and disappointment on the javelin. I put everything into the throw. I broke the 25-year javelin world record as well as the world record in shot-put.

I now have to compete with the able-bodied group, the big guns and I am training for the CAC Championship in Colombia and the NACAC in Toronto. With all my injuries there have been times that I felt like giving up but I know that major setbacks bring major comebacks and that if you align yourself with positive people and have faith you will succeed. We must never, ever give up. I believe strongly in the Biblical word “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I want to thank my dad Wayne Stewart for always being there for me, my coach Wade Franklin, my Cuban coach Ishmael Lopez, who worked with me in Australia. Thanks to the Guardian Group, bpTT, Southern Sales, and MJP Michael Johnson High Performing Centre. I also want to thank Playable Caribbean for supporting my development over the last three years and the public for your continuing support.

The road is never easy but if you work hard and give it your all you will succeed.

Categories: Entertainment News

Miss World representative to be announced

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:18

The winner of the 2018 edition of the Miss TT World Beauty Pageant will be announced when the gala finals are held on Sunday, August 5 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain.

The ten finalists have already participated in the Top Model leg of the competition, held at Gulf City shopping complex, La Romaine. Three finalists were chosen from the bevy of beauties and they were Britney Smith (Miss South Oropouche), Aliyah Fraiser (Miss Chaguanas) and Maya Cozier Brian (Miss St Anns).

The event was free to the public and was done in collaboration with Detour which also held a runway show featuring men’s fashion. This segment provided a glorious helping of eyecandy for the scores of women who attended the free event.

Brian Gopaul, national director of the pageant for Elite Planners Limited, the franchise-holder since May, said there are two more pre-finals events carded. Last night, Talent Night was held at the Cascadia Hotel Banquet & Conference Centre in St Ann’s and, on July 29, the Sports & Fitness segment would be held at the Fitness Centre, South Park, San Fernando.

Gopaul is hoping that the Government would step in and assist in sponsoring the eventual T&T representative for the finals of the 2018 Miss World Pageant, scheduled for December in China. He disclosed that sponsorship from corporate T&T was slow.

Stating that the present batch of delegates is “the best in the last decade,” Gopaul said: “We are very confident that with this set of delegates we can have a top five at Miss World this year because the strength of these girls.”

At the Top Model show, the young ladies faced a tough panel of judges that included Gabrielle Walcott-Pollonais, second runner up at Miss World 2008, designer Richard Young, Tenille Clarke and Sharon Imbert.

The delegates made their first appearance in resort wear designed by Vanessa Mohammed of Bikini Cabana of Carlos Street, Woodbrook; the second section consisted of casual clothing sponsored by Detour Stores; and, the final section consisted of elegant yet functional gowns created by Everlasting Vows of Price Plaza, Chaguanas.

Categories: Entertainment News

An immaculate view in PoS

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:16

The fifth installment of Architectural Delights, captured pictorially by Edison Boodoosingh, focuses on the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located in east Port-of-Spain, on Independence Square.

Construction on the Cathedral began in 1816 and the edifice was constructed from limestone quarried from the Laventille Hills.

The seat of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain, this Gothic-styled Roman Catholic church was built in the shape of a Latin Cross with an underground crypt, the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin being the last to be interred in 2000.

There have been many significant moments in the history of this immaculately structured historic site.

The venue for the installing of successive archbishops, the last being Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon, the Cathedral was also a target during the 1970 Black Power disturbances when protestors stormed its interior and defaced statues of saints.

Legendary Laventille community leader and Desperadoes steel orchestra leader Rudolph Charles was also churched at the cathedral.

Having undergone recent intensive renovations the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception remains a standing monument and pillar to Roman Catholicism in T&T.

Categories: Entertainment News

Vacation fun at Flying Fish camp

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:15

It’s been fun and games at the Flying Fish Swim Club vacation camp, with children and teens experiencing some of the sights and sounds of T&T, over the two-week duration.

Activities have included hikes to Edith Falls and Fond Pois Doux, Amerindian culture and medicines, kendo martial arts, scuba diving, hip hop dancing, and water safety and lifesaving at Maracas Beach.

With camp one coming to an end, the next one is due to run from July 23–August 3, with the final camp from August 6-17.

Registration for the camps is ongoing at the Flying Fish Swim Club, 19 Jamaica Boulevard, Federation Park.

For more information or to register, please contact the club at 628-3337 or [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Three Sisters After Chekhov comes to Napa

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:15

This weekend re-live T&T’s pre-Independence era with the hit production Three Sisters After Chekhov at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain today and tomorrow at 7.30 pm.

Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters chronicles the decline of the upper class Prozorov family in Russia during the 1900s, and Trinidadian award-winning playwright Mustapha Matura reinvents this plot in a Caribbean context. Matura has won numerous awards including the George Devine award and the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Set in colonial Trinidad in the 1940s, the production explores the historical and social issues associated with this era interwoven with an element of masquerade.

It features three sisters living a privileged life in Port-of-Spain with their nalve brother and his domineering wife.

This funny, exciting and captivating play will leave the audience breathless with its many surprises, striking designs and riveting storytelling directed by Belinda Barnes and featuring a talented cast comprising of Chanel Glasgow, Patti Ann-Ali, Breige Wilson, Shivonne Church-Isaacs, Syntyche Bishop, Cherysh Latouche, Marvin Dowridge, Adam Pascall, Fabrice Barker, Nicholas Subero, Joseph Quesnel and Kearn Samuel.

According to Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly: "This production which is hosted by the Ministry and staged by the National Theatre Arts Company of T&T (NTAC), will provide an enriching experience for communities and is a continuation of a sustained programme of work by the Theatre Company aimed at the promotion, preservation and exploration of our theatrical heritage.”

Admission for Three Sisters After Chekhov is free but ticketed. Distribution of tickets was held daily at the Napa Box Office in Port-of-Spain since Monday, from 11 am to 6 pm. For more information call 271-2895; 271-2894; 225-4023.

Categories: Entertainment News

See We Music pleases at Kaiso Blues Cafe

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:11

It was a family affair at Kaiso Blues Cafe in Newtown on July 8 as Easy Listening Promotions presented Ménagerie—Si, Oui Music, or, in local parlance See We Music, a play on French, Spanish and English influences in the musical arts.

The band Ménagerie features the musical talents of the Gabriel family comprising of vocalists Amirah Gabriel, Tharā Gabriel, Ayanna Gabriel, and Asha Gabriel-Lewis, as well as drummer Lenville Gabriel.

Bound both by family ties and friendship, the band also enjoys the accompaniment of Samuel Peter (guitar), Mark Peter (keyboard), and, bassist Kent Diaz.

The family band performed to a full venue of patrons of varying ages who followed the band on their musical journey through contemporary styled music like Ray Baretto’s Afro-Cuban Jazz version of the 1934’s song Summertime to present day gems such as Mark Anthony’s Vivir Mi Vida and No Te Pido Flores by Fanny Lu.

But it was when they turned on the Urban Swagger personas during the performance of their adapted piece Video by India Arie, that the uniqueness defining each vocalist’s individual style stood out; A truly refined display of how naturally their sounds coalesce and harmonise.

As they stated during an interlude, “One Bob Marley isn’t enough,” so a medley comprising of hits from the renowned Jamaican reggae icon’s Nine Mile album such as No Woman No Cry, Could You Be Loved and I Wanna Love You amongst others, were delivered.

During a 15-minute break, Lenville engaged patrons in a fun trivia game where he explained historical moments in the development of various instruments, their places of origin and the local rhythmic patterns/arrangements that define a genre.

Special tributes and recognition were also given to local artistes. Andre Tanker’s Sayamanda was performed in his honour. Calypso icons David Rudder and Carl Jacobs were also recognised as patrons were thrilled with a medley of extracts from Bahia Girl and Trini to De Bone.

The young blended voices backed by the expertise of the band’s instrumentalists made the evening quite a truly remarkable and enjoyable experience.

• For bookings of the band Ménagerie featuring the Gabriel family and friends, contact Easy Listening Promotions at [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Island Hikers’ annual Paria Bay campout this weekend

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:10

During the summer vacation, an exciting destination for a family campout is at Paria Bay. For those not wishing to hike, the boat is available, and secure overnight parking is available at Marianne Beach Resort.

Today’s assembly point is at the Blanchisseuse Fishing Depot, at 1 pm and interested people should contact Jamal at 761-1889.

Tomorrow’s assembly is at the same venue at 9 am and to make the jaunt contact Mario at 749-2956.

All campers are allowed two-three bags; a tent, sleeping bag and personal backpack. Campers must bring their belongings labeled in garbage bags to the boat jetty for loading.

Paria Bay is the perfect place to unwind, forget ones busy schedule and enjoy nature to the fullest. The scenic coastline and the refreshing Caribbean breeze provide the perfect ambiance to relax and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. The childhood memories to camp in the wilderness, sleep in a tent and admire the twinkling stars are everlasting. It is a time to be carefree just to sit on the sand, unconcern about time and blown away by the picturesque seascape. A time to reflect on the real meaning of life and how perfect a world we live.

Paria Bay has a little of everything, and apart from its fascinating beach and magnificent waterfall, there is the river mouth with its tranquilising waters. Another attraction is the giant leatherback turtles that frequent the beach at night and during the peak season from May to July over 30 come ashore to nest.

During the months of July and September another spectacle is to see the hatchling emerge from the sand.

On the western end of the beach, sea erosion formed a magnificently carved arch, which has a protruding fragment in its middle. Its grand appearance gives it the name Cathedral Rock, and because of its elegant grandeur, it is a lovely spot to take pictures. A nearby stream provides clean water for cooking and local fishermen supply freshly caught fish to campers.

A boat provides transportation of personal items and camping equipment to Paria Bay. To get to the beach campers have to walk the two-hour journey from the Blanchisseuse, Spring Bridge. Along the way, a place of interest is Turtle Rock where one can enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery.

Suggested Items for the camp-out: are a tent, sleeping bag, life jacket, medication, repellent, flashlight, extra change of clothing and footwear, cup, plate, knife, fork, garbage bag and a pen knife.

Suggested food items to bring along are Vienna sausages, sandwiches, tuna, sardines, baked potato, trail snacks, fruit juices, peanut butter, biscuits, boiled eggs, cooked chicken, milk, coffee or tea bags, drinking water.

Please note: dinner and breakfast supplied only tomorrow night and Sunday morning. However, campers are required to bring personal food items and eating utensils (cup, plate, knife, and fork not supplied).

Meals not provided today, so bring your own.

Categories: Entertainment News

WE Day in T&T

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:09

Last month, RBC Royal Bank and WE brought one of the world’s largest youth empowerment celebration, WE Day Community, to T&T. This is the second time WE Day has been held in Port-of-Spain.

The event attracted more than 1,100 students from across the country and was co-hosted by Ally Brooke from the multiple international award-winning band Fifth Harmony, and Lonnie Chavis, an actor currently starring on the Emmy Award-winning television series This Is Us. Musical performances were given by Karl Wolf, David Rudder, and Marge Blackman.

“WE Day Community is a celebration of young people recognised for completing local and global actions as part of a year-long service learning programme that impact their lives, their communities, and the world,” said Gretchen Camacho-Mohammed, Managing Director, Trinidad and Tobago, RBC.

“RBC is a proud supporter of this vision. Through our partnership with WE, where over 200 schools are members of the WE Schools programme, and programmes like RBC Future Launch, we firmly believe in the potential that youth have to make a difference, change the world and be successful.”

As part of the celebration, several outstanding students were awarded with a trip to Canada to attend the world’s largest WE Day Event on September 20 in Toronto.

In addition, Gasparillo Secondary School student Destiny Prescott won a ME to WE trip. With this, she will be able to put her leadership into action on a volunteer-oriented trip to Ecuador.

In the past, the event in Toronto has drawn leading international figures such as former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.

The event also has featured inspiring performances from stars like Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Nick Jonas, Zendaya, and many more.

“Together, RBC and WE are helping a generation of Trinidad and Tobago students realise their full potential and strive to achieve their dreams,” added Camacho-Mohammed. “In addition to serving our clients, we are fully committed to helping our communities prosper. This is why we are proud to have once again brought this inspiring event to Port-of-Spain.”

For more information on WE please visit: https://www.we.org/

The students from T&T attending the 2018 WE Day event in Toronto are:

• Quinn Bainn Black (Holy Faith Convent, Couva)

• Anjali Basdeo (Holy Faith Convent, Penal)

• Adrian Ragoo (Brazil Secondary School)

• Anilee Maharaj (Parvarti Girl’s Hindu College)

• Nathaneal Davis (St Mary’s College)

• Marcus Joseph (Palo Seco Secondary)

• Riana Lawrence (El Dorado West Secondary School)

• Kayla Stewart (Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain)

Categories: Entertainment News

Soca Brainwash soars beyond Toronto’s expectations

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:06

Against all odds, internationally renowned DJ Private Ryan—along with his diligent team—executed a truly successful and memorable first-time staging of the famed Soca Brainwash fete series in Toronto.

Appropriately titled Soca Brainwash in the 6ix, the Soca Picnic, the event that was originally set to take place at Toronto’s Bandshell Park, had to be relocated to the Woodbine Mall parking lot on Rexdale Boulevard due to unforeseen circumstances.

With only a couple of days of turnaround time to relocate, transform a new location and execute, the team pulled out of all the stops to recreate the unique essence of the famous fete for its first edition in Canada’s most exciting city and did so in fine style.

Despite the venue change, doubts and criticisms, Soca Brainwash in the 6ix was not only a well- organised event but also a well-attended event with patrons coming from all parts of the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Montreal and even various US states.

Upon entry attendees were greeted with a spacious, festive, superbly decorated ambiance complete with plants, trees, grassy areas, park benches and balloons (to complement the picnic theme) and were given signature Soca Brainwash branded mugs.

The event’s décor created a true Caribbean festival atmosphere and was strategically and effectively arranged in order to provide patrons with shade from the sun while they enjoyed the sweet beats of soca, dancehall and reggae music.

In keeping with the standards of the DJ Private Ryan party brand, the day fete featured well stocked bars around the venue which boasted a plethora of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink offerings.

Although not advertised, the drinks-inclusive affair offered its local and foreign-based feters a mix of complimentary food items which included BBQ & jerk chicken, rice and peas, coleslaw, doubles, waffles and Canadian poutine.

Much like all other editions held in the Caribbean region and US, Soca Brainwash in the 6ix presented an all-star cast of energetic DJs and MCs which represented the local, regional and diaspora markets.

These included favourites such as Barrie Hype, Ryan Sayeed, Tony X, Jester, Young Chow, and of course DJ Private Ryan himself.

Soca Brainwash was well received by those attending for the first time and by those hoping to recapture the vibes of previous Carnivals.

Up next on the Soca Brainwash global tour is the event Soca Brainwash is Cooler in Bim for Barbados’ Cropover next month. Keep informed on upcoming events by following www.instagram.com/djprivateryan/

Categories: Entertainment News

Bro Valentino soars high at 77

Lifestyle - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:02

I am placed in a zone every time I attend a Brother Valentino (Anthony Emerold Phillip) performance and this has been happening for almost half a century. Emotions were about the same, though somewhat more poignant, when I attended Valentino at 77, held at Kaiso Blues Cafe, on Woodford Street, Newtown, last Saturday.

Celebrating his three-score and ten plus seven birthday, the People’s Calypsonian was joined in performance by his children, all displaying proof of that old adage, “de fruit doh fall from de tree.”

Valentino’s other half, Peggy Castanada, relatives and friends in calypso Shortpants, Gary Cordner and Roderick “Chucky” Gordon, were in attendance as well. The night was quite reminiscent, not unlike the feeling of family I used to get back in the 70s when Valentino would perform at the Belle Smythe Street residence of Rosie and Boboy Adams in Woodbrook on a Sunday evening, at NJAC’s Black Traditions in Art concerts. Back then, Vallie would regale us faithful, seated on crocus bags on the floor, to classics like Life is a Stage, Trinidad is Nice and Barking Dogs.

Saturday also made me remember 1979, when Valentino and Black Stalin staged Blood Brothers at Queen’s Hall, a show produced by the late Astor Johnson and at which I had the unforgettable honour of having my poetry dramatised by the late Errol “Stork” St Hill. Admission to that, then deemed exorbitant, was $4. Back then, fellow calypsonian Funny prophetically told Valentino, “boy, one day people will be paying a hundred dollars to hear you sing calypso.” Saturday’s admission to Kaiso Blues Cafe was $100 The loud voice of cartoonist Keith “Culture Man” Anderson awakened me from my nostalgia on Saturday though, just in time to take in Valentino’s son Jasane introduce the evening’s first act, his brother Joel, a vocalist as well as a competent keyboardist.

Valentino’s daughter Jiselle was late in arriving but son Ade and daughter Jandell were present, up front and centre, seemingly basking with pride of their celebrated father.

After Joel, Noel “Informer” James performed a mix of calypso and comedy, an act which whetted the audience’s appetite for Valentino’s eagerly awaited appearance.

Valentino opened with Glory Days, a ditty from the 80s, one with a distinctly different rhyme and metre from many of his well known acidic political and social commentaries. He followed with his 1975 Dis Place Nice and Kaiso in Trouble.

Next up, Valentino sang what I consider to be one of his best compositions, Pan From the West. This song I rank alongside another of his gems, Where Calypso Reach.

Birds that fly high, a song that most of today’s politicians and corporate jefes would do well to consider, preceded Valentino’s biggest hit Life is a Stage, first recorded 47 years ago.

At the ripe age of 77, patrons seemed to understand that Valentino couldn’t occupy the stage for much longer so he rounded off his contribution with his 1979 classic Stay Up Zimbabwe.

Bringing the curtain down on Valentino at 77 was his long time calypso brother Soft Touch.

Valentino was backed by Joel on keyboards, guitarist Keston Agard and drummer Kester Benjamin. During the programme, Anderson also gifted Valentino with a portrait he drew of the iconic calypsonian.

Categories: Entertainment News


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