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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Introductory studies in Nile Valley civilisations at Studio 66

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 02:26

Studio 66, 66 Sixth Street, Barataria, is the venue for a four-series course by lecturer Amon Saba Saakana, PhD, Dip Egyptology, this month.

The first will be held tomorrow, followed by three, all scheduled to begin at 6.30 pm.

The course looks at the introduction and development of agriculture, pastoralism, astronomy, philosophy, science and technology from 11,000 BC to 3200 BCE.

The primary aim of the course is to familiarise the student with the concept of a shared belief system and potent cultural influences spreading from the southern zones of north-east Africa to the monumental structuring of Kemet.

Topics include concept of ntr and the birth of cosmology; highlights of agriculture and animal husbandry innovation in the development of humanity; sacred science and technology: from pottery to tomb and pyramid building; and, rekh: moral precepts, the process of knowing and the Initiatic Temple University.

Saakana received his PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a Diploma in Egyptian Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

His work has been widely published, and he is the author of a collection of poetry, God in the Song of Birds (2016), and the forthcoming Kmt in the Italian Renaissance: The Herme(s)tica in the Vatican Inquisition, due later this year. This is the first in a quartet of books on Kmt (Ancient Egypt).

Saakana is founder and principal of Karnak House publishers and Per Rekh Institute, a publishing house and a temple university dedicated to the arts and sciences of ancient Nubia and Kmt.

The course will be held on May 10, 17, 24 and 31, at the cost of $50 each in advance, or $60 on the day of the course. To register, call 365-7798.

Categories: Entertainment News

bpTT brings hope to Signal Hill students

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 02:22

Hope came unexpectedly and in abundance for 27 students of Signal Hill Secondary School who are benefitting from the complete refurbishment of the school’s computer lab. The project was financed by BP Trinidad and Tobago, and marked by a handing-over ceremony at the school last month.

The project was also achieved through collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Education, Innovation and Energy. Delivering the feature address at the handover was Assemblywoman Marisha Osmond, Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Chief Secretary, Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

“I am a graduate of this great school, and as a past teacher also, I can understand every aspect of the challenges of education,” said Osmond. “This is indeed a benchmark contribution to the school and I can testify that bpTT has made sterling investments in young people all across Tobago in areas such as academics, sports and culture. This isn’t just a classroom—it is a gateway to the future. Signal Hill and bpTT have set a great example for us, and we must all do our part in providing opportunities for young people by fostering an empowered and productive population.”

The Signal Hill students are carded to write the Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) subject as part of their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations during the month of May, but were deprived of a functional computer lab until bpTT intervened.

Encouraging the students, Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, bpTT, said: “When we got the request from Signal Hill, we immediately understood the critical need of the students and responded with urgency. bpTT is committed to the development of our nation and nowhere is this more important than in creating opportunities for young people to achieve their full potential. As you go on to achieve success in your exams, just remember that it’s never too early to think about your careers.

“Right now, young people are transforming the world with technology-based companies. I look forward to seeing how you will change the world for the better.”

Primus added: “The late leader, Nelson Mandela once said, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together’. Just as we have partnered with the Tobago House of Assembly and Signal Hill Secondary for this project, I hope that you all partner with each other as students and friends and take Tobago even further along the pathway to a brighter future of sustainable development.”

With the EDPM examination scheduled for early May, bpTT was able to complete the project in the two weeks of the Easter vacation, ensuring that the lab was fully functional for the opening of the new school term. The project encompassed the installation of new, networked computers, whiteboards, a printer and projector as well as refurbishment of the air-conditioning units, electrical installations and the general aesthetics of the lab.

Given this level of support, the students have already committed to a non-stop schedule of study and practice that will centre on use of the new computer lab.

According to ecstatic Form Five student, Janelle George, “To be completely honest, we were very despondent when we were confronted with the possibility that we might not get a fair chance to succeed in the EDPM exams. Then we were told that bpTT would behelping us and it felt so good to come out to the first day of the new term and walk into our brand new computer lab.

“We’re going to work hard together to ensure that we repay this investment in us. bpTT has energised us to achieve great things and we are truly grateful to them and everyone else who contributed to this wonderful project.”

Also giving kudos to the construction of the lab was School Supervisor III, Sherry- Anne Rollocks-Hackett, who said, “Education concerns society as a whole and as the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.

bpTT has demonstrated that they are a conscientious member of our national village and by investing in young people; they are creating a better reality.

“Although these students are tech-savvy, the staff and administration of Signal Hill have shown them another aspect of ‘networking’ and its benefits. I expect great things from these students and many more students of Signal Hill to come.”

Signal Hill Secondary’s principal, Allyson Potts, was also happy for the timely intervention of bpTT and noted that under the guidance of their EDPM Coordinator, Pearl Alman-George, they were accustomed to attaining a 100 per cent pass rate in this subject.

An emotional Alman-George echoed the sentiments of all for the handover, and said: “These students were patient, and although it was difficult, they never gave up hope. That’s what bpTT means to them right now—the realisation of their deepest hopes. I’ll be retiring soon, but I know that with this computer lab, Signal Hill students will benefit for years to come and they will continue to be our shining beacons on the hill.”

Categories: Entertainment News

Proof that police can shoot and not kill?

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 02:14

In the continuing quest to determine how well police are equipped to treat with the mentally ill, especially in crisis, nothing as yet has provided any source of comfort on the matter. No one seems to know exactly what is covered in the Police Induction Training and whether that passing classroom encounter with the issue of acute mental illness is sufficient.

It is not that we are unaccustomed to police shootings and shooting to kill—hardly, since T&T looks like a normal day of Gunfight at the OK Corral. It is about the reasoning that leads a police officer to kill rather than maim or disarm an ill person acting violently.

To my mind, it is quite possible to find alternatives to deal with an individual acting violently and wielding a broken bottle or a “two-by-four.”

While I would rather see police trained to deescalate such situations, and while I do not subscribe to tasing, I’d rather a tased mentally ill person than a dead one. A bullet should never be used where medication could be sufficient to return to calm, alive.

But the myth of violence among the mentally ill which translates to the stigma that all mentally ill people are violent may well be behind the extreme measures police have taken over the years. Often I wonder how much prejudice has to do with police actions in these killings. Are actions propelled by a discriminating and ignorant perceptual measure of the worth of the life of a person who may be considered “mad”?

As a society, we have not as yet addressed the prejudices we hold against people who are different from us. And may God help those of us who are different if we pick up a stone and throw it at the police—it is almost an assurance that such a one would meet his maker much faster than even some criminals with automatic rifles.

And on that note, a police corporal and a sergeant firing at each other, in close proximity of each other, expending 28 rounds of ammunition and one remaining alive, employed—and possibly with full pay—to tell the sordid tale of alleged infidelity and indiscipline suggests to me another picture about shooting to kill or shooting to cause injury.

I wish that one of the individuals engaging the attention of this quest I am on had an opportunity like that—to be shot at and live to tell the tale. Instead, it takes about three rounds of ammunition, on average, for police to kill a person presenting with acute mental illness.

Sheldon Sobers, 25, dead by suicide

As an institution, Costaatt holds a special place in my heart. As a former adjunct lecturer, I have some of my best memories teaching and impacting the lives of some fine young people, a large number who are still in my community of friends and associates.

So when Ornella Brathwaithe posted about Sheldon Sobers’ death on Facebook and Alette Williams followed with a stirring, unsettling expression of grief, it got my attention. I could not recall Sobers but his name seemed familiar. It turned out that he was a student in my sister Debra’s class when she lectured at Costaatt, also.

The painful thing about this suiciding is that Sobers had sought an intervention. He was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the San Fernando General Hospital, and hours after being admitted this 25-year-old man hanged himself using a piece of cloth.

The news story said Sobers “was found dead around 9.30 am at the entrance of a room near the male dormitory of the psychiatric ward.”

The story also quoted the police as saying, “He (Sobers) was a regular patient of Ward 1 (psychiatric) and because of his behaviour he could not be immediately assessed.”

That fateful Sunday before his death, Sobers was said to be displaying “unpredictable behaviour” and having been transferred to the hospital by ambulance, he was then placed in an isolated room. I do not know how long he was there “quarantined,” unpredictable and unattended but “around 9.30 am a nurse found Sobers dead.”

Gail Miller-Meade, CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority, was quoted as saying that they (SWRHA) are now investigating why Sobers was kept in an isolated place when he was displaying signs of depression and mental instability.

The SWRHA in its condolences said it “remains committed to reducing the effects of mental illnesses among the population and implored the public to seek help as early as possible.”

But Sobers sought help and was in the assumed best place for an intervention. I have so many questions for the SWRHA but for now I must follow Alice down the rabbit hole…

CAROLINE C RAVELLO is a strategic communications and media professional and a public health practitioner. She holds an MA with Merit in Mass Communications (University of Leicester) and is a Master of Public Health With Distinction (The UWI). Write to: [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Yes She Can spreads its wings to Anguilla

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 01:44

Popular women’s wellness group, Yes She Can (YSC), extended its reach beyond the shores of T&T once again with the launch of Yes She Can Anguilla. The launch took place last month at the Tea Box Lounge, South Hill, Anguilla, and was hosted by YSC’s founder, Roberta Rose Collins.

It was attended by Dr Dina Foy, wife of the Governor of Anguilla, as well as representatives of the Business and Professional Women of Anguilla; the Department of Sports; the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the National Chronic Disease Unit Anguilla, and personal trainers, Train Smart.

Carlishia Philips, Director of YSC Anguilla, welcomed guests, who were treated to a presentation on the transformative powers of Yes She Can membership.

Even the vegan refreshments reflected the philosophy of enjoying healthy food, such as unsweetened lavender-iced tea. “At first no one wanted to try it,” Collins laughs, “but before the end of the evening, it was all gone.” Snacks included blueberry salad, gazpacho, stuffed mushroom, flatbread and dip, beet chips and dip.

Collins shared the incredible life-changing experience that YSC membership inevitably brings. She is certain that YSC has the potential to contribute to an improved health-related quality of life for our society through educating and encouraging women about the benefits of making healthier choices, and finding a fulfilling and enjoyable life for themselves and those in their care.

“YSC seeks to help women appreciate that they have the power to make choices that will positively affect their lives and, in turn, those around them.”

Since its start in 2015, YSC members have trained for and completed numerous challenges, including:

• The “Trinbago Tri” Triathlon at Store Bay in 2015
• The Chinese Bicentennial Dragon Boat Regatta in 2016
• The Stanley International Dragon Boat Race held in Stanley, Hong Kong – June 2016 and 2017 (Through YSC’s Hong Kong arm)
• The Flow Duathlon in 2017.

The team has also hosted an International Women in Wellness Conference in March 2017; completed an archery course in 2017; and entered relay teams for the T&T International Marathon (TTIM) in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

In addition, members have participated in an untold number of 5K and 10K races, Zumba meets, hikes, and other challenges. The group has also come together to exercise its social conscience, such as its collection and delivery of 2.5 tonnes of relief supplies to hurricane-struck Anguilla in September 2017, and participation in activities such as Royalty for a Night, Blessing Bag delivery and Share Happiness TT.

“The comradery of the YSC women in Trinidad and Hong Kong, and that support system, has grown and allowed for us to go beyond what we perceived to be our limits.” Collins said.

YSC continues to spread its values, which are:

• Activate: take action to exercise, eat well, push your limits and live a healthier and happier lifestyle.
• Motivate: inspire, support and encourage those around you.
• Celebrate: celebrate successes big or small and have fun every step of the way.

Yes She Can Anguilla’s first activity will be in collaboration with the Anguilla Tennis Academy to introduce the sport to more women on the island. And there is no doubt that as the Yes She Can sisterhood grows, more women will continue to discover their own strength, push back their boundaries, and learn how high they can reach when lifted aloft in the arms of their sisters.

To find out more about Yes She Can, Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yesshecanproject/

ROSLYN CARRINGTON
[email protected]
 

Categories: Entertainment News

Super Mom’s concert to pay tribute to domestic violence victims

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 01:42

In the face of violence and tragedy, those afflicted can choose to help others avoid the same fate. The upcoming concert, Super Mom’s Mother’s Day Extravaganza, organised and hosted by Caryn Sobers, is one such initiative which aims to bring awareness and support to women exposed to domestic violence.

Sobers said the event was created in memory of relatives who lost their lives to domestic violence. In 2014, Sobers lost her brother Trevon Sobers and her aunt Deshon Sobers after her aunt’s estranged boyfriend shot them dead in a domestic violence dispute. Sobers’ grandfather and younger brother were also wounded in the attack but survived the ordeal.

The event will be held at the Jerningham Community Centre, Cunupia, as Sobers grew up in the area.

She said “Charity begins at home. There are a lot of women, some of them single parents, within the community of Enterprise who need to know that there are avenues for help and support.”

The main speaker will be cultural activist and co-director of Caribbean feminist group Womantra, Amanda T McIntyre. Performers will include the 2018 National Women’s Action Committee Calypso Queen Stacey Sobers (Caryn’s aunt), newly-appointed National Parang Association of T&T president Alicia Jaggasar, calypsonian Karen Eccles and Meguella Simon of the Divas Calypso Cabaret International Tent.
Robert Young of The Cloth will put on a mini fashion show and there will be performances by the Paramin dance group, The Faith in the Word Youth group. Sobers said, “there will be a special guest appearance by my brother, Jamal Sobers who survived the shooting which claimed the life of my aunt Deshon and younger brother Trevon Sobers.”

This is the second year the concert has been put on, and Sobers said the event was well attended last year. She added: “Those that were there in attendance were treated to games for which they received prizes. There was live entertainment and an all-round evening of good positive fun. This year when they leave it is guaranteed that they would have been educated on the topic of Domestic Violence, and they would also have had a day of fun and relaxation.”

Sobers said the primary objective is to cover all projects and costs and any additional funds will be channelled into the community. “This has inspired me to want to do more for the women in and around the community of Enterprise. They say when it nice do it twice or even a third time, so I plan to continue this venture for as long as I can,” said Sobers.

Super Mom’s Mother’s Day Extravaganza takes place on May 27, from 5.30 pm until 1 am at the Jerningham Community Centre. Tickets cost $185. For more information, call 315-4755 and 230-5859.

Categories: Entertainment News

St Julien Presbyterian Past pupils give back

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 01:40

Emotions of gratitude and inspiration etched on the faces of scores of pupils of the Basdeo Panday Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Centre and St Julien Presbyterian School who received educational gifts last Thursday was testament to the fact that investing in young people and giving back makes a significant difference.|

The pupils of the schools, which are both located in St Julien Village, Princes Town, benefitted from the generosity of the Kowlessar family, which has seen three generations attend the schools so far.

Speaking on behalf of her family was Anne Kowlessar who indicated that they wanted to make a contribution to the institutions which had created the educational foundation for their family.

“We all have so many wonderful memories of attending both schools and those experiences shaped who we are today, especially in terms of our love for learning, our strong connection to home and our values.

We felt that it was our duty to give back to the schools that have given us so very much. The feedback of love and appreciation that we have received has filled our hearts with joy.

“I would encourage every person to give back to their past schools because every little contribution makes a big difference, especially when it comes to educating our children. Just as much as the government and the denominational boards, we each can each play an important role in education.”

Each pupil was presented with a book bag filled with items such as pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, markers, a stapler, notebooks and an array of other stationary supplies, in addition to a dictionary.

The wide-eyed looks of wonder mirrored the heartfelt appreciation of the pupils, which was reflected in the words of Shane Harricharan, a standard four student of St Julien Presbyterian, “This is a tremendous gift to us and we are very thankful that the Kowlessar family wanted to contribute to our education. I have always been motivated to study hard to succeed and now I have another reason to achieve my best.

“I want to follow their example and give back to this school one day so that those students will also know that they are supported and appreciated. This was a wonderful thing that they did and we are thankful for everything.”

St Julien Presbyterian School boasts many successful past students, including former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday who resided in the village and in whose honour the ECCE Centre was named.

Other outstanding members of the St Julien alumni include UWI lecturer Dr Indira Rampersad; former Petrotrin vice-president Mado Bachan; media, cultural and literary consultant and educator Dr Kris Rampersad; past principal and school supervisor Wilfred Adimoolah; and engineer Roy Gunness.

Also expressing gratitude for the generous gesture was St Julien Presbyterian Principal Hannays Ramsingh: “In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we sometimes forget that we have so very much to be thankful for. When a contribution like this is made, it makes us pause and reflect on the fact that we each have a responsibility to inspire and motivate young people, especially to learn and grow. These children have been energised to learn by this act of kindness and this is one of those moments that will stay with them for a lifetime.

“We are truly grateful, not only for the generosity of the Kowlessars, but also for the valuable lesson that they has taught us as adults—that we all need to give back and keep the cycle of benefit going.”

Categories: Entertainment News

Sarah Knights unveils first solo exhibit

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 01:07

Come Thursday, May 10, artist Sarah Knights will unveil her first solo exhibition — ONE THOUSAND MEs — at Medulla Art Gallery, located at 37 Fitt Street, Woodbrook, at 7 pm.

Knights’ ONE THOUSAND MEs is a series of self-portraits that speaks about intersectionality.

These paintings invite the viewer to look closer in order to understand the inner essence of the pieces. The past and present based on popular culture, provides a wealth of knowledge and insight into her creations.

Knights’ paintings borrow the stiff classical poses from women in the 1900s which is layered with images of women from the present day. She uses mediums such as collage, embroidery, acrylic and found objects to convey her message.

MEET SARAH KNIGHTS

Sarah Knights was born in Sangre Grande on March 15, 1983. In 2008, she graduated with an associate degree in Visual Communications from the John S Donaldson Technical Institute. With her new appreciation for art and design she later pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts at the University of the West Indies. Her formal training at the UWI helped her to use art as a means of selfexpression and healing.

After graduating she began working on a body of mixed media paintings, using herself as the main subject to discuss issues of identity with women in modern societies. Her paintings reflect both the present and the past and look at racism, feminism, beauty and religion, influenced by western media and popular culture.

Knights’ works have been exhibited in various group exhibitions including: Connecting Cultures: Contemporary Art From Trinidad and Tobago,—US Chief of Mission Residence, US Embassy and Medulla Art Gallery; Growth, The Caribbean Center for the Arts, St Croix; Thru Contemporary Arts Collection, Art Society of T&T; Mixed Bag, Boxout, Rivoli, France; Movement, Boxout, Frankfurt, Germany; A City in Positive Transition, Medulla Art Gallery and Port-of-Spain Corporation; and, From Likeness to Fiction; The Portrait Inside Out, UWI and Brock University.

MORE INFO

For more information, contact: 680 1041, 622 1196 or [email protected] ONE THOUSAND MEs continues until Tuesday, May 29, and Medulla gallery hours are Monday-Friday (10 am-6 pm); Saturday (11 am-2 pm).

Categories: Entertainment News

National Poetry Slam winner stunned

Sat, 05/05/2018 - 01:51

“I’ll be damned if I continue letting closets be a place where people hide.” That was the powerful ending line in Deneka Thomas’ winning poem at the First Citizens National Poetry Slam 2018. The poem, which spoke from the point of view of the proverbial closet which many LGBTQI people hide in until they come out, or sometimes kill themselves in, packed a powerful punch as Thomas built from the invention of the closet to her powerful closing line. Her performance elicited a roar of approval from the sold-out crowd at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain.

She said this has been the hardest poem she has ever written. “No poem has ever taken so much out of me that I contemplated quitting every time a line came out on the page that reflected my whole soul,” said Thomas. “Prior to writing there were real tears shed and plenty nights of my partner staying up till late trying to convince me that I was enough and this poem was worth it every time I got scared and started to doubt myself.”

Thomas was visibly stunned when she was named the winner, to the extent that she ran off the stage and had to be coaxed back by her fellow competitors, who were visibly happy for her. She said: “I cannot remember my performance, only how it felt to say every word, and the out of body experience I felt when my name was announced as the winner. This narrative was so important. Telling this story is all that matters. I wanted to give people a glimpse into a part of the queer experience that is often never seen or considered.

“This accomplishment means I get to continue that conversation in a huge way and this is the greatest reward at this point in time. The reason why I committed to this artform, to spoken word poetry, to advocacy and youth work, to this competition for the last four to five years is because of its magical ability to open spaces.”

Thomas’ poem was one of four which referenced the subject of LGBTQI rights, whether wholly or partially, continuing the event’s trend of poets building poems around the hot topics of the day.
Second place winner Kyle Hernandez took the stance, both figuratively and literally, of Jesus on the cross, taking his followers to task for the hatred some of them show towards LGBTQI people in his name. “Not much has changed since I last died. It is not finished,” were his final powerful words.

Brendon O’Brien’s poem also asked Christians who were against the LGBTQI community why they were going against their God “I know God is love, so who the ass you praying to?” Deja Lewis also mentioned the community in her poem, among many other topical references.

Another popular topic was that of domestic violence, with third place winner Idrees Saleem delivering a stunning piece centred around the ideas of consent and the things that people have done when rejected romantically. “This juxtaposition between gods and monsters who walk amongst us; No means No!”

Poets also based their poems on other social issues, including the prevailing thought that “Trinidad is not a real place.”

Other popular topics were domestic violence, violence in general, politics, the police, corruption, legalisation of marijuana, the environment, the loss of traditional values and the use of culture for empowerment.

A couple of poets spoke about the difficulty of composing a poem that would fit into the new three-minute limit and also win $50,000.

Other participants included Shenique Saunders, Alexandra Stewart, Davon Musgrave, Jillian Smith, Marcus Abraham, Marcus Millette, Carlon George, Dellon Mathison, Akile Wallace, Ahmad Muhammed and defending champion Camryn Bruno.

The show, which was the final event of the Bocas Literary Festival, flowed smoothly, with the newly instituted three-minute rule per performance keeping the poets on their toes. An opening presentation from UWI Afrikan Society, I-ACT - I Am Christian Theatre and Derron Sandy, as well as performances during the intermission by I-ACT and the Modsec Group Exhibition Slam kept the audience entertained throughout.

The judges were chief judge Paul Keens-Douglas, Jessie-May Ventour, Sharda Patasar, Mervyn Taylor, Anthony Joseph and Raymond Antrobus.

Keens-Douglas said the judges had a difficult time picking a winner because of the high quality and standards of the poems. “The real winner tonight was spoken word and poetry. There were many high moments and wonderful use of dramatic imagery. We’re very proud of the fact that the poets showed care for the society.”

Categories: Entertainment News

All that is We in Best Village Trophy Competition 2018

Sat, 05/05/2018 - 01:43

The young and not so young flocked to the Princes Town West Secondary School on Saturday, April 28 and North Eastern College, Sangre Grande, the following day, to vie for a spot in the finals of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition.

The competition in these first two preliminaries was tight, as many community, school, church, Police and NGO based groups participated in Folk Presentation Categories of Music, Dance, Drumming, Literature, Best Dish and the La Reine Rive competition.

Competitors, from as young as seven to as old as 70+, embraced the opportunity to demonstrate their passion and skill in dance, drummology, poetry and singing, fusing music genres as they captivated and entertained an appreciative audience.

For 2018, the Preliminaries competition also forms part of Community Festivals celebrating All that is We – We Craft, We Food, We Drama, We Dance, We Music and features all the elements of T&T culture inclusive of food, craft and farmers’ market and other family friendly fun filled activities.

This weekend, the competition and All that is We Community Festival go to the St Madeline Regional Complex and Arima West Secondary School, respectively.

These Folk Presentation Preliminaries continue every weekend in May simultaneously with the Folk Theatre Preliminaries from today to May 27 in communities across Trinidad. There is lots to see and do as the Ministry executes its mandate to build culturally rich communities, providing a development stage for knowledge transfer, protection of our cultural heritage and preservation of All that is We.

The finals of the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition will take place in July/August at both the Southern Academy of Performing Arts (Sapa), San Fernando and the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa), Port-of-Spain.

All events are free and the full schedule of event dates and locations is available on the Ministry’s facebook page, the CultureTT app and at www.cdca.gov.tt

Categories: Entertainment News

Elegant fashion struts at Radisson

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 03:17

Guests attending an Evening of Tea, Fashion and Entertainment hosted by The Ladies of the District Grand Lodge of T&T and Grenada were treated to a display of fashion by top names in the industry, including The House of Jaipur and designer Heather Jones.

The event was hosted on April 28 at the Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

Models turned the aisles of the hotel’s ballroom into their catwalk as guests were given the opportunity to view the pieces up close.

Categories: Entertainment News

Tea and fashion for the needy

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 03:15

The Ladies of the District Grand Lodge of T&T and Grenada hosted an Evening of Tea, Fashion and Entertainment on April 29.

The event was held at the ballroom of the Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

Guests were treated to tasty hors d’oeuvres, tea and a fashion show by top names in the industry, including the House of Jaipur and designer Heather Jones.

There were also performances by vocalists Maria and Graeme Gillezeau, dancer Shreya Maraj and pannists Jessie Gajadhar and Sabrina Motie.

The event was hosted to raise funds for a few children’s homes which included the Couva Children’s Home and Crisis Centre, Izekiel Home in Preysal and Goodwill Industries of the West Indies.

Proceeds from the evening will also be donated to some deserving families in need.

PICTURES DARREN RAMPERSAD

Categories: Entertainment News

Student writers feature in theatre workshop series

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:06

This evening, Wednesday, May 2, the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago’s Monthly Readers Theatre Series 2018 will feature excerpts from the work of student playwrights enrolled in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at the UWI. This will be the Playwrights Workshop’s offering for the month of May in its on-going Readers Theatre Series, which occurs on the first Wednesday of every month.

These students, in a course guided by Tony Hall, have been engaged for the semester, in studying different approaches to play writing and play construction mainly for the stage. Their course of study, which embraces the writing of short play scripts, is aimed at entry level even though some have more experience in the craft than others. A small but exciting selection of their work has been chosen for these readings.

Come out to support the student playwrights in our midst. There will be discussions with all the playwrights right after the readings.

The Playwrights Workshop Trinbago, in partnership with the T&T Performing Arts Network, is inviting actors, playwrights, directors, producers and the general public to the reading to provide the playwrights with feedback, to further develop their scripts. The event will be held today at 7 pm, at the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, 6 Newbold Street, St Clair. Admission is free but space is limited. RSVP is required.

For further information email [email protected] or call (868) 351-6293. You can also find the event at https://pwtreaderstheatre2018.eventbrite.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram @playwrightsworkshoptt

Categories: Entertainment News

Food galore at Lions

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:04

For yet another year, the Port-of-Spain Central Lions staged a successful all-inclusive gourmet event.

Held on Sunday at Lions Cultural Centre in Woodbrook, the cookout, billed as Karibbean Kravings Plus, was attended by a smaller than usual crowd, perhaps because the annual event was held on Sunday rather than on its traditional Saturday in May.

Nonetheless, the chefs—including nine from the Lions fold—were out in their numbers and they all treated guests to some delectable dishes.

Not to be left out were the dessert specialists and some of the cooks who came up with some unique names like Fish Hijacked in Venezuelan Waters, Vanessa Mendez’s Wine Fuh You Lover and Conrad Chin Fatt’s Shots for Curry Oink Oink.

The evening was graced by the presence of South Africa High Commissioner Thami XN Ngwevela and her staff.

Also in attendance were Port-of-Spain Central Lions Club president Dave Gibson; past International Director Terence Boswell Inniss and Father Harold Imamshah.

The High Commission also continued the tradition of having two of its indigenous dishes—Dumplings and Chakalaka, and Tangine Lamb Stew—on offer.

Also preparing dishes were alumni from Queen’s Royal, Fatima and St Mary’s Colleges, and Belmont Intermediate (Belex).

Judges for the evening included Angela Pidduck, Myrna Hosford, Irma Hannays and Peter Ray Blood.

Live entertainment was also provided by multitalented musician Arthur Marcial and St James Tripolians, plus DJ Wayne Rochard.

Categories: Entertainment News

Police and the mentally ill: Are they or aren’t they trained?

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:02

Minister Dillon: Yes, they are

In April 2017, following the death of Raymond Joseph who was shot three times by municipal officers inside the Point Fortin Area Hospital, Fyzabad MP Lackram Bodoe had put forward an urgent question to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon about police training to treat with the mentally ill.

Dillon reportedly said officers do receive training in the matter. He was reported as saying, “Police go through different types of training at the police barracks including how to treat a mentally ill patient.”

Joseph, a 51-year-old ex-soldier from Mahaica Road, Point Fortin, was said to be well-respected within the community and relatives said he was being treated for a mental illness when a confrontation with police ended in his death.

Jennings-Smith: No, they aren’t

On May 17, 2017, the T&T Guardian carried a story by Geisha Kowlessar headlined, Cops not trained to deal with mental patients, in which Kowlessar referred to a comment from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Glenda Jennings-Smith.

The story read as follows, “Faced with perennial criticism for using excessive force in handling the mentally ill, MP for Toco/Sangre Grande, Glenda Jennings-Smith, said the police however, are not properly trained to deal with mental patients and called on the various health bodies to stop neglecting their responsibility.

“This,” the story said, “as the family of a 24-year-old man, who was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer during an altercation near a Moruga bar… has called for an investigation.”

TTPS: We do not have mechanisms

On June 7, 2017, police shot and killed another mentally-ill man.

Inspector Lester Kerr was speaking at the TTPS weekly news conference following the police shooting of Damien Paul in Ste Madeleine when he reportedly announced that “the Police Service does not have the mechanisms in place to train police officers on how persons who are suffering from mental health problems in T&T, ought to be handled.”

This was less than a month after MP Glenda Jennings-Smith publicly said, “Police are not properly trained to deal with mental patients.”

Inspector Kerr was responding to media reports that told of how Paul was throwing stones at the police when he was shot and killed.

Kerr admitted that “law enforcement officers did not have the requisite skill set to treat with such cases.”

He was quoted as saying: “Well, we don’t have people trained to deal with mentally ill persons, what we would do is to contact the relevant authority if it becomes necessary but if a police officer is on any scene and they feel that their life or any other person’s life is in danger then they would act accordingly. But we are indeed saddened by any loss of life because it is not one that we really look forward to.”

Minister Moses: Police trained for all confrontations

On June 8, 2017, Power 102FM reported acting National Security Minister Dennis Moses as “assuring citizens that police officers are trained to treat with confrontation by all categories of persons including the mental ill.”

Moses, while acting as National Security Minister, responded to a question in the Senate and said, “The police are trained to treat with all categories of persons including confrontation by mentally ill persons.

Minister Moses explained that “the Police Service Academy Induction Training Programme offers training to recruits with respect to treating with mentally ill persons.”

PCA to acting CoP: Are they trained?

The PCA, in April 2018, described the killing of Colin Roopchand, 26, at his home in La Romaine, as “unfortunate” and indicated they were currently investigating the matter. Police shot and killed the man who lived with bipolar disorder and who “was acting violent and abusive towards his mother” and according to police, “he attacked them.”

The PCA called on acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to provide the public with information as it relates to the level of training provided to its members in this regard. It further called on him to give an account of the failure, if any, to provide training on treating with those who are mentally ill and who pose a threat to the public.

‘Call Tyrone’?

Following Roopchand’s killing, when contacted for comment, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams reportedly said “he did not want to speak freely on the matter. He suggested that all questions be sent to his office’s communications department.

Thereafter, he promised to respond by providing full details “as it relates to training and all other matters raised so that total clarity would be brought on the matter” (Newsday, April 7, 2018).

More to follow

—Caroline C Ravello is a strategic communications and media professional and a public health practitioner. She holds an MA with Merit in Mass Communications (University of Leicester) and is a Master of Public Health With Distinction (The UWI). Write to: [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

LeShae is Caribbean’s Next Top Model

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 05:01

Flow Trinidad, hosted a commercial-free viewing of the season finale of Caribbean’s Next Top Model Season 4 on Wednesday, April 25. The event which was held at the Savannah Terrace, Hilton Trinidad revealed the winner of the competition to specially invited guests.

LeShae Riley, a stunning 21-year-old, 5’11” Trinidadian contestant, strutted off with this year’s coveted Caribbean’s Next Top Model (CNTM) title as Season 4 came to a nail-biting finish. The statuesque LeShae edged out 15 other contestants including Suriname’s Daphne Veldkamp in the keenly contested finals.

Flow’s director of marketing Cindy-Ann Gatt, in her address, expressed joy over the following which the show generated across the region. She was also enthusiastic about highlighting CNTM’s contribution to celebrating Caribbean women. Gatt remarked, “Flow’s interest in Caribbean’s Next Top Model was an example of how a made-for-TV-series could reflect key aspects of who we are as Caribbean women while maintaining a connection to popular culture. With unique style and flair, the show celebrates the fact that Caribbean women know how to strike a pose, show attitude and exude confidence that no other part of the world can capture.”

Caribbean’s Next Top Model is produced by Starfish Media Ltd, based on the Next Top Model format licensed by CBS Studios International. Executive producers are Dionyse Fitzwilliam, Wendy Fitzwilliam and Kiran Maharaj.

Categories: Entertainment News

Tobago Fashion Coda 6 premieres

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 04:52

Tobago Fashion Coda 6 got off to a fashionable start at the Magdelena Grand Resort on Thursday, April 26. Patrons got a taste of fashion from designers as Ecliff Elie, Dale Angus, Elizabeth Arthur and European diesigner Liselore Frowijn.

The evening, attended by fashion experts and guests from around the globe, was also filled with entertainment such as former Chutney Soca Monarch KI. Tobago’s own Buccooneers Steel Orchestra welcomed guests as well with the sweet strains of the steel.

Categories: Entertainment News

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