On Sunday February 14th, 2021, at 6:00 a.m. AST, a group of culture conscious professionals informally known as the Creative Minds, will showcase the cultural diversity of their beautiful twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Located in the most southern part of the Caribbean, and comprising of approximately 1.3 million people, the islands are a melting pot of cultural diversity. Culture plays a major role in the development and sustenance of the country’s tourism industry, hence this event will serve to cement their place in the World’s Carnival Calender in the absence of Carnival 2021.
The event’s aim is to showcase the unique culture of stilt walking and steel pan and promote health awareness in solidarity with the world during this time of Covid-19. Additionally, it also acts as a visually therapeutic intervention during this stressful time of the pandemic and pays tribute to health care and front line workers globally. The Lead Consultant and Project Manager of this unique and grand feat is Business Development/Tourism Consultant Simone Claxton Msc., BSc. (Hons.) of Simone Claxton Destination Management & Consultancy, who is also President of The Sapphire Miriam Foundation. This team consists of highly esteemed professionals (Retired Fire Officer Mr. Curwin Callender of Universal Safety Network, Calypsonian Mc Morris Edwards of Culture Pulse Studio/Birds Calyspo Tent and Cosmic Vision team members) who support the dream of Culture Icon Mr. Junior Bisnath.
Trinidad’s Culture Icon, Junior Bisnath, founded the San Fernando School of the Art, Sport and Culture approximately twenty-five (25) years ago with a vision to educate youths in the art form of stilt walking (locally known as moko jumbies). His group is popularly known as KAISOKAH MOKO JUMBIES and specializes in the art of stilt walking which is a part of most national celebrations. He is known internationally for his contribution to this art form and his school has supplied the American circus with professional stilt walkers and he has trained persons as far off as Zimbabwe. His achievements have even been entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. At the school, stilt walkers/moko jumbies learn drumology, woodwork and unicycling and he is currently in the process of rebuilding the school as well as a museum filled with artifacts he has collected over the past 40 years.
The Culture of Trinidad and Tobago is the distinctive way its people respond to, reflect upon, and express their historical and contemporary experiences of life. It emanates from their unique history and is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, dance, clothing, beliefs, social values, family structure, attitudes to work, the forms and manner of artistic expressions, just to name a few. Amerindian, Spanish, French, English, African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian and Lebanese heritage merge to create the distinct and diverse cultural tourism product experienced today. Cultural tourism is more than just Carnival and includes architectural heritage, historic landmarks, culinary activities, museums, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, churches, temples etc. This twin-island Republic possesses several wonders of the world namely the La Brea Pitch Lake, UNESCO Northeast Tobago Man and the Biosphere Reserve, Buccoo Reef, Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Siewdass Sadhu temple in the sea and many other cultural and heritage attractions such as the mud volcano of the Devil’s Woodyard, Fort George, museums, sugar factories, old buildings and homes, plus an array of religious shrines, old cathedrals, churches, mandirs, masjids, steelpan yards etc.
The UN World Tourism Organization states “Share culture today to travel tomorrow” and that “With COVID-19 bringing global tourism to a standstill, millions of people in quarantine have been seeking out cultural and travel experiences from their homes.” As a result, this event will be live-streamed via Real Media TT You-tube channel and Facebook page and also on powermedia1.com internet radio station. The event will commence outside of the San Fernando City Hall in the presence of the Mayor with the playing of the National Anthem on our national instrument – the Steel Pan. The steel pan, the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century, was invented in Trinidad and Tobago and instills a sense of national pride among people from all walks of life.
It is played not only during the Carnival period but at concerts, national ceremonies and private functions. Stilt walkers (four persons at a time) will be walking from the city of San Fernando to the capital city of Port-of-Spain in relay style, with all Covid-19 protocols observed, as history is created. The stilt walkers will be accompanied by a mix of soca and calypso music complied by Culture Pulse Studio Sound Engineer/CEO (Mc Morris Edwards) who has also produced the theme song for this event. In an attempt to persuade the world to be champions for green, healthy and prosperous societies fourteen (14) banners along the journey (which marks 14 rest stops) will reflect messages from the World Health Organization (WHO’s) actionable’s for a healthy recovery from Covid-19. The walk will cover approximately forty (40) miles and culminate at the well-esteemed Queen’s Park Savannah where a tribute will be paid to Culture Icon Junior Bisnath.
T&T nationals have won many of the most prestigious awards in international culture. These include: Oscars (Sam Mendes); Grammies (Billy Ocean, Dexter Simmons); Emmys (Peter Minshall); 19 Tonys (Heather Headley, Geoffrey Holder); Bollywood Oscars (Horace Ove); Commonwealth Book Prizes (Earl Lovelace); and Nobel Prizes (VS Naipaul, Derek Walcott). Other practitioners have been acknowledged in the Guinness World Book of Records such as Horace Ove (who directed the first Black independent film in Britain). They have produced many gold, platinum and multi-platinum musical artists (Billy Ocean, Winnifred Atwell, Heather Headley, Nigel and Marvin, Anslem Douglas).
Culture will require support to survive and flourish, as it enriches the destinations’ identity and inspires tourism revival, hence you can support by donating to Fund me TnT account PANDEMIC 2021 SOLIDARITY WALK. According to the United Nations, “Coming out of this crisis will require a whole-of-society, whole-of-government and whole-of-the-world approach driven by compassion and solidarity”, therefore, now is the time for global solidarity and support, especially with the most vulnerable in our societies (women, children, migrants).
If you require further information please contact Simone Claxton on firstname.lastname@example.org or 18683322712.