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‘No African person is indigenous to VI‘- Cromwell Smith

- Says citizens should be able to discuss immigration reform without the ‘rancour’
Cromwell Smith aka 'Edju En Ka', hosts the popular ‘Umoja’ show, Thursday nights on ZBVI 780 AM.
Fueled by xenophobia and anti-immigrant conversations, the VI over the past month has descended into state where the Indigenous Virgin Islanders have been speaking out against the “Clear path to regularisation: Residency and Belonger Status Programme,’ initiated by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) to regularise undocumented immigrants in the quickest way possible. Photo: VINO/File
Fueled by xenophobia and anti-immigrant conversations, the VI over the past month has descended into state where the Indigenous Virgin Islanders have been speaking out against the “Clear path to regularisation: Residency and Belonger Status Programme,’ initiated by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) to regularise undocumented immigrants in the quickest way possible. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - Talk show personality Cromwell Smith aka 'Edju En Ka', who hosts ‘Umoja’, Thursday nights on ZBVI 780 AM, says that with the conversation surrounding immigration reform in the Virgin Islands (VI), citizens have been exhibiting harsh discussions filled with bitterness, hatred and malice.

'Edju En Ka' made the comments on his ‘Umoja’ show on Thursday May 30, 2019, when he quoted Former Chief Minister, Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE in saying that local people should be able to have progressive discussions without the ‘rancour’, while noting that no African can say they are indigenous to the territory.

One Family

“I think that we should be able to have discussions without, as Hon RT O’Neal like to say, and I like to use his word, without the rancour… we are actually one family, all African people and I don’t know if now is the appropriate time to say time, but from what I have read regarding the definition of the word indigenous, I don’t think any of us, any African person is indigenous to this region,” he told his listening audience as part of an opening commentary.

“If we want to say our African brothers who are native, who are so-called native Americans… They would be the ones I think would have more of a claim to be indigenous, but we want to say generational Virgin Islander, I think that would be a more appropriate and accurate term.”    

Further, Mr Smith underscored, “But I think [what is] most important, [is] for us to remember that we are all one African people,” he said although the VI is said to be represented by well over one hundred nationalities calling the territory home.

“All of us except those few African persons who were actually never slaves, who were brought here after the abolition… and brought into the territory, all of us have to trace our roots back through the Caribbean before we can get to Africa,” he further said.

Build together

“So we are one African people and I think that we ought to bind together to build our region and those of us who find ourselves in the same location we need to bind ourselves together to build that location,” he said.

Fueled by xenophobia and anti-immigrant conversations, the VI over the past month has descended into a state where Virgin Islanders have been speaking out against the 'Clear path to regularisation: Residency and Belonger Status Programme' initiated by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) to regularise undocumented immigrants, who have been in the Territory for 15 years and more, in the quickest way possible.

With the pervading question ‘Why the rush?’ now a consensus amongst the local populace as well as the VI Opposition, Mr Smith said “I think the rancour that is being created, perhaps we need to take a look at that, I think we can be kinder to each other… we are all one people and our strength is in our unity.” 

47 Responses to “‘No African person is indigenous to VI‘- Cromwell Smith ”

  • island man (31/05/2019, 15:35) Like (24) Dislike (13) Reply
    History will show that the VIP was on the right side of history
    • Strupps (31/05/2019, 16:13) Like (17) Dislike (44) Reply
      Crownwell you have forgotten what it is to be a BVIslander. You don't represent us.
    • @cromwell (02/06/2019, 11:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Squabbling over a nomenclature is a distraction and a waste of time. Anybody with intelligence understands who the native BVIslanders are. Lets just move on from there.
  • stups (31/05/2019, 15:36) Like (37) Dislike (9) Reply
    Why everyone always try to be so politically correct. When you go to Guyana, where your wife is from, you are an expatriate. Simple and fact.
    We all know where blacks came from, so why don't you in a hurry go backto the mother land so you can claim you are indigenous to that land? I wonder how well you will be welcomed home! Look reality is that everyone has to be from somewhere and we are all not alike. This fake we are all one kumbaya is sickening.
    Half of you all don't even get along with your own siblings who share the same blood and you expect to have a royal love fest with persons of different back ground, different values, different believes, different cultures...and the list goes on.
    We just have to respect our differences and move on. Pretending to be oh so in love with everyone is just FAKE and I am not subscribing to that. Shu I have family members I can't be kumbaya with. Still trying to figure that out. The rest of you all, I respect but I don't have to love you. And where you come from has nothing to do with it!
    Now that is REAL TALK!
    • Yes (01/06/2019, 01:27) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
      I bet if his brother or sister or cousin came to live with him permanently he will be against it. And who is closer to being one with you than your blood relatives. Generational or indigenous we are talking about the people who inherited this land after slavery, those are the natives. Edju En ka or Cromwell must know this. Just like he wouldn't turn his house over to his blood relatives so neither should native Virgin islanders turn their inheritance over to strangers. And if Cromwell returns to Africa sporting his new name and wearing African garb, Africans will see him as a stranger.
      One minute he is a staunch NDP supporter and the next minute he is in the VIP's bosom. This man is nothing but a turncoat.
      • @yes (05/06/2019, 21:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        The VIP was rightfully elected into office it would be a waste of time and simply unpatriotic to work against the VIP even if you didn’t initially support them. Mr.smith would gain nothing from barring them from his show and gains a lot more by working with them even if he is NDP.
    • @stups (02/06/2019, 00:38) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      He can’t disappoint his wife. Some people love their wife’s and in-laws more than their nation.
  • two faced (31/05/2019, 16:00) Like (22) Dislike (18) Reply
    he was singing a different tune when he came home first, now he in bed with a island women he singing different SMH
  • Let the drama begin (31/05/2019, 16:15) Like (28) Dislike (1) Reply
    We all know the Taino, Caribs and Arawaks are indigenous to the islands
    • True (31/05/2019, 18:00) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
      and what if they choose to seek out compensation,Reparations for the land they lost, how quickly the voices would change.
      • @True (01/06/2019, 12:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        When Columbus and his crew stumbled upon these islands (the BVI) they were UNINHABITED. No one was here. Who then will seek repatriations?
      • @True (02/06/2019, 07:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Seek out compensation? Who? The Europeans killed off all the people that settled here before their arrival?
    • Origins (31/05/2019, 23:56) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Taino, Caribs and Arawaks and most so call Native Americans came from ASIA.

      If you want to talk indigenous how far back do you want to go.
    • Wrong (02/06/2019, 00:21) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not the Caribs dear and Tainos and Caribs were not their native names but a European label. By the way they were all killed off by the European settlers, then the Europeans left these islands during the last revolt and also because their businesses were failing after slavery and after the discovery of beets which greatly replaced sugarcane production. The African people then establish these islands and paid the English crown for these lands, ‘which should have been free’. The Africans then became the new indigenous settlers of the Virgin Islands because no one else was alive to claim ownership. A well deserving transaction for so many years of hardship, death, and suffering ‘yet a very small compensation’ for such evil. Cromwell, you have no shame you wear the clothing and talk the talk with out a true connection to your own people. Sad!
    • not so fast (02/06/2019, 04:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      History tells us that the Caribs and the Arawaks came from South America.
      • @ not so fast (02/06/2019, 07:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        The all migrated from ASIA initially. That's why it was easy for Columbus to confuse them with Indians.
        • not so fast (02/06/2019, 11:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          No, Africa, if you really want to go back. But we really don't have to, suffice to say the natives or even the locals. We all know what we are talking about.
          • Strups (02/06/2019, 15:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            Dude look it up. They came from ASIA.
            • not so fast (03/06/2019, 03:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
              Anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered evidence of the first human existence at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in 1960, it was a world shaking sensation. You look it up. Why don't some of you go to school? You can call them natives, locals and yes even indigenous. We are speaking about those the others met here already established when they finally came. And in 9 generations these new comers could own nothing in the countries from which they came.
              • Strups (03/06/2019, 15:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
                No one disputes that the earliest humans came from Africa. That is besides the point and irrelevant to this discussion.

                The AmerIndians migrated from ASIA. Since you are incapable of doing the research yourself I'll give you a link. Note the migration routes and the DNA evidence.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas#Migration_into_the_continents

                Yep, I learned that all in PRIMARY SCHOOL. Apparently our education system is better than yours.
                • not so fast (03/06/2019, 18:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
                  Well if the earliest humans came out of Africa, then how do you think they got to Asia. Human migration took several millenniums so obviously there were many waypoints along the way. @not so fast seemed to be suggesting that migration started in Asia. I was just correcting that. Out.
  • BBC World News (31/05/2019, 17:39) Like (15) Dislike (18) Reply
    all of the overseas territories still belong to Great Britain and we will be back for our properties. we will remove the Belongers Status within 5 years so our citizens in our overseas territories can vote and hold electoral office. Long live our Noble Queen
    • Huh? (31/05/2019, 20:29) Like (18) Dislike (16) Reply
      Many people of Caribbean Isĺands speak negative about the BVI for years ..and all of a sudden they"re looking rights..
      • Jaigon (01/06/2019, 06:25) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
        @Huh? No, the Caribbean people do not speak bad about the BVI, they speak about people like you with your bad mindedness, hatred, bitterness and self centered self. But be reminded, when we close our eyes for good, they put us in a very beautiful casket and the only piece of land we occupy is where they dig our grave or build our tomb and that still ain’t belong to US. Because someone is still placed on US. Cromwell is speaking truth to life here, so he is now an outcast. Oh what a pity. May God have mercy on you and the many others like you. This whole immigration reform was designed by God, just to bring out the hatred, bitterness and wickedness of people like you against your fellow man. Always remember God sits high and he look down low. Hurricane Irma was just a breeze.
        • Strups (01/06/2019, 09:12) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
          Actually they do speak bad about the BVI. Don't believe me? Read the blogs.
          First they put down the place,
          Then the call the locals names,
          Then they claim that they should be given rights here.
          Then they call on God to deliver another Hurricane Irma when they cant get their way.
          And they wonder why these bad minded, ignorant, lazy, nasty, self-centered, bitter BVI people don't want them here.
          (does the cap fit?)

          This is our homeland.
          God Give you yours.
          What is the problem?
          • Jaigon (01/06/2019, 10:13) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
            @ Strups. You have a very very very serious problem. You need to check yourself. How much more ignorant can a person get. Wow!
          • chad (02/06/2019, 16:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            The “bone here” vehemently discriminate against everyone from outside. They forget that the outsiders help build thie BVI’s. The locals forget their fore parents went to other places to earn a living to take care of their families in Tols. How soon you all forget that. What if those countries had booted them back home, some of you would have starved to death
            I don’t believe in wholesale granting of status but what is wrong if the old rules are followed but folks do not have to wait a lifetime. The people live there are law abiding and are employed and have children, GRANT THEM THE STAUS NO MAN. CHO. STOP THE HATING. WE ALL ONE PEOPLE. MAYBE SAME FOREFATHERS
            • @me (02/06/2019, 20:26) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
              They came, they worked, they got paid, they improved their circumstances and improved their homeland by sending money home. We owe them nothing. They have 100% rights in their home countries. We have no claim there. What is the problem
    • @BBC World News (02/06/2019, 00:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      You are such a jealous fool! You wish it was yours. God rules these lands so go and tell your demons this. There was and has never been anything Noble about you psychopaths! The whole world can definitely testify to this!
    • ok (03/06/2019, 08:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Just make sure you bring your pu**y with you.
  • Law Abiding citizen (01/06/2019, 02:39) Like (13) Dislike (7) Reply
    Thank you Mr. Smith. You are on point. The indigenous people of the Caribbean (BVI included) are the Caribs, Arawaks, etc. That’s what ‘indigenous’ means.
    • Really (01/06/2019, 20:57) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      But these islands were uninhabited at their earliest recorded history. Perhaps you were around to say otherwise.
    • Sure (02/06/2019, 08:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

      He's on point, that's why his family lost their prime waterfront property in east end to an old w**** b** for a measly $25,000. Take that.

  • Quiet Rebel (01/06/2019, 12:58) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Here are some synonyms of indigenous:
    synonyms: native, aboriginal, local; original, earliest, first, initial; ancient, primeval, primordial; rareautochthonous, autochthonic. Brother Edju En aka is conflicted; we understand where his loyal lie. Anyway, Andrew is the one that stirred up the rancour with the rush. Why the rush? This should be a simple ? to answer but he cannot credibly answer it. Why?
  • Who is indigenous? (01/06/2019, 13:47) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    I have been having these types of conversations for weeks now. After I researched my own familly tree rooted in the Virgin Islands (the constitutional name of what most call the BVI), these are few facts that persons may fail to realized: 1. The birth records in the Virgin Islands only go back to the Late eighteen hundred; 2. And as a result of 1, you will need to search the list of slaves to find your ancestors. This concur with this article, there is no such “indigenous BVislanders” which by the way, there is no such citizenship either. Therefore, if the desire is for the indigenous “BVIslanders” to have this as a citizenship, one must then consider independence, which has much more ramifications. Migration is a part and has always been a part of the World not only the Virgin Islands. What is being proposed is not to simply hand down rights to Tom and Harry. But to individuals who not only have worked and received a salary in the Territory for x length of time but more so to persons who have helped and continue to developed the Virgin Islands. Furthermore, this means, I would think, that if someone meets the residency requirement but does not meet other essential requirements, the individual will not be granted the permanent status.
    What is important of this initiative? We need to educate ourselves on what is already written about who we are and where we came from; there is no passport granted by local laws but from the British Nationality Act; and there is no such citizenship as “BVIslanders”. Do the adequate research and you will then speak correctly and truthfully about the Territory of the Virgin Islands.
    • @ who is indigenous (02/06/2019, 00:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      You are a very poor researcher. On my first trip to the local churches I found much earlier records than what you uncovered. Then I visited the college and found much easier records. I also researched online and found earlier evidence of the African presence in the VI. I think you are the one that need to educate yourself a bit more. Please do not try to fool the people with your falsified facts.
  • bvi (01/06/2019, 16:45) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am a Born BVIslander not an African. My ancestors were African but I am not. Let Cromwell go to Africa if he is an African.
  • BVIslander (02/06/2019, 08:45) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why would anyone who is a born BVIslander, a descendent of generations of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents all of whom were born in the British Virgin Islands, be denied the privilege of saying and believing that they are local or indigenous BVIslanders? I am a local BVIslander and I am proud of my BVI heritage. All those who subscribe to being from Africa and know nothing about Africa, you can go to Africa and enjoy the rest of your lives there. Which country in Africa will you even go to? Those of BVI parentage, if you took an active interest in learning more about how they managed to survive in the BVI, you would indeed become more wise. You cannot go to another man's land and claim the same privileges as the nationals of that land, likewise, those who come into the BVI and say that there are no indigenous BVIslanders, can we go to your country and step into privileges that your Government has reserved for you? I don't believe so. BVIslanders, it is time to be proud of our BVI heritage and stop letting anyone try to brainwash you that you are not BVIslanders - it cannot get any stronger than by descent and by birth. We are BVIslanders, and that is a fact - the truth.
    • @bvislander (02/06/2019, 22:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I second that!!!
    • @bvislander (03/06/2019, 08:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      The point about the word indigenous being used in this context is that it is wrong. You all might say we BVIslanders can use it if we want and that is true. I can call my son my uncle if I want, my horse a flamingo if I want. I can make an argument that bicycle is my favorite food, if I want. Problem is that it does not make me look smart. It make me look kinda mumu if I use wrong words. If the context is a hot topic like who is a more valuable human being than another person (which is what it looks like you all is trying to say even though not one single one of you all CHOSE your place of birth) then using a wrong word just makes your argument even weaker. It makes us BVIslanders look stupid when we use the wrong word to persuade outsiders that we are superior. It doesn’t take them long to decide that yes, these BVI people really are arrogant, stubborn and simple. So, continue using the wrong word if you want - I’m just gonna sit down with my uncle for a nice bowl of home grown bicycle, and watch you children of God use your words to spout pure nastiness to other children of God..
      • @ @bvislander (03/06/2019, 16:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Who cares what others think? If you wished to be ruled by outside visitors’ opinions then you go right ahead. I am indigenous to the BVI bottom line.


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