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Cromwell Smith mulls lacklustre support of VI Festival

Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka is trying to get to the bottom of the poor participation for Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival. Photo: VINO
A sparse crowd had witnessed the Calypso Monarch at Rita Francis Festiville on July 27, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
A sparse crowd had witnessed the Calypso Monarch at Rita Francis Festiville on July 27, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
Even the August Monday Parade was poorly supported. Photo: VINO
Even the August Monday Parade was poorly supported. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A local talk show host is trying to get to the bottom of the problem of poor participation by many sections of the territory towards the just concluded Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival.

The celebrations saw minimum turnouts to the calypso show, torching light procession, Emancipation Service [relocated to Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall], among others. Activities that were usually well attended flopped, including the East End/Long Look Parade, the August Monday Parade in Road Town, and the Carrot Bay Cultural Fiesta, which prompted the Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn, to suggest a national discussion on the way in which the populace wants the emancipation celebrations to be like as soon as the “dust settles.”

Cromwell Smith, aka Edju En Ka, used his weekly radio programme, Umoja, on ZBVI 780 AM on Thursday August 11, 2016, to make his voice heard on the matter which has been on everyone's lips.

On one hand, he is questioning whether the lack of adequate historical knowledge is affecting the genuine community involvement while on the other hand, he is querying whether education is enough to do the work.

“We talk about the challenges that we have from the festival and to me a lot of it stems from the lack of knowledge because there is no community participation, and the question is can we have true community participation without true community knowledge?” he asked.

On the other hand, he said some people develop a negative idea towards the festival regardless of how much education and information that is brought to light to bring more awareness and to put it in better perspective.

To further cement his argument, one female caller joined in the conversation, stating rather bluntly that she does not participate in the activities since they are not done to her liking and she is not the only one sharing that view.

“I think that what is happening is the way that some of those activities are conducted, there is a large part of the population that does not subscribe to how things are done,” the female caller to the programme said.

Many felt that they were not “feeling” the festival and as a result, opted for the comforts of home.

Others have said the festival, under Culture Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn, has become too political.

18 Responses to “Cromwell Smith mulls lacklustre support of VI Festival”

  • he ain't get the message (12/08/2016, 10:10) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    The NDP killed everything around here and the people boycotted for what was done to the leader of the opposition. Maybe he needs to get a synopsis from miss P while he is at it?
    • Reply (12/08/2016, 20:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Too bad most NDP supporters, etc. won't publicly abandon the NDP. Too scared? Party loyalty? Hypocrisy? All these?
  • the VIP way (12/08/2016, 10:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why not do it the way it was?
  • autopsy report (12/08/2016, 10:21) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    cause of death was the NDP
    • Legal tender (12/08/2016, 18:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Cause of death is MVW. Ask the committee members. The man listens to no one and always wants to have the final say. It's his way or no way at all. But to late shall be your cry MVW (Mr. Know it all).
  • evil ballhead man (12/08/2016, 10:22) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    we all know that the problem is bottom line
  • VIslander (12/08/2016, 10:45) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Gone are the days when we a community. I give to Edjuenka for creating the discussion. The VI has become such a greedy and political oriented society. We now have to be paying to participate in our own emancipation festival when our ancestors have already paid the price for our freedom from slavery. The bvi is now a money grabbing country, some ppl has no interest, but making money. The NDP Govt is to be blame for this, they put a price tag on everything look @NHI nothing but a scheme to benefit themselves and partners, the 100 million $ports project,
    • True (12/08/2016, 11:40) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      Our ancestors who paved the way with blood sweat and tears is rolling in their graves. I grew up with my grandparents
      Who are no longer with us. I miss them and think about them everyday but, I am glad that they are not around to see what has become of the BVI that they loved so much.
  • Schups (12/08/2016, 11:04) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply

    All these armchair experts! When people were involved with Festival all they did was chastise and talk £$$% about how they're dressed. Now the have nothing to talk about because people refuse to participate in their hypocritical fest, they are now wondering what went wrong. What a pack of a$$*s.

    • voter (12/08/2016, 18:36) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ms P says that is not our culture and then proceeded to alienate 80% of the BVI population from Festival. That about sums it up. That and the fact that it is reduced to a bunch of imported acts and some t-shirt bands.
  • See (12/08/2016, 11:37) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Maybe people are just tired of paying for the same drunk and drug fest. What ever happened to the emancipation meaning of the festival ?
  • vincyman (12/08/2016, 11:47) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    firstly many local does leave the island around festival time.WHY? EXPATS got the WORD NOW to stay out of Y'ALL FESTIVAL NOT CARNIVAL.. THE festival need restructuring either go back to the good ole day of festival or go full CARNIVAL STYLE,don't try can blend the TWO.IT NEED A FIX TICKET PRICE to enter the village like $20..private promoter also need to be allow to have shows in the village. instead of trying to big shows EAST END WHY NOT combine with ROAD TOWN and have one big reggae and soca nite and keep CARROT BAY ALL TRADITIONAL/CULTURAL NO INTERNATIONAL ACTS....
  • Straight and honest talk. (12/08/2016, 11:58) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's simple. The media. The Radio. The TV. That's our problem. They have the power to make things happen. Talk about things from April. Ask Calypsonians and bands to get their materials early and be good. Not wait until early July to talk about Festival. Honestly it's only ZBVI that's trying. I think government need to either get their own Radio/TV Station or work out something with those we have to promote the thing properly.. I was so so upset, soon after Jouvey on Parade day Zrod playing Reggae, foreign soca and Hip hop. What kind of F N thing is that. No country in the Caribbean that will ever happen when Festival or carnival going on. This is what need addressing. People a broad are listening to our TV and our Radio and if it sounds dead like nothing going on why would they get excited...When Carnival going on either in Antigua, St. Vincent or St. Kitts just listen to the radio stations from those countries alone make u want to jump on a plane. It's not the same here.. I found that these DJs only concern about their personal gain and don't give an F about our festival.
  • Questiion (12/08/2016, 12:22) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cromwell, what have you done? We quick to blame and instigate but we should start with ourselves.
  • a bvislander (12/08/2016, 16:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rain and bad weather, very tight economy for individuals and government and companies, the cost of being in the parade, the loudness of it all....lack of togetherness...says it all.
  • Boo (12/08/2016, 18:37) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Searching for relevance huh Edgu?
  • ok (12/08/2016, 21:19) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Gov't should not be in the entertainment business. You want festivals,parades etc, organize and pay for it yourself. Hate to say it, but BVIslanders are becoming minority in the country, better get use to a whole different culture.
  • wize up (12/08/2016, 23:37) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    The majority of the residents in BVI are non belongers who have no interest in VI history or VI culture....

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