If not now, when?
The steel pan is our National Instrument but the stigma attached to it since its infancy has not disappeared entirely. Only when pan realizes the economic parity enjoyed by those who play conventional musical instruments will it begin to realize its true worth.
The fact that pan belongs to all of us would suggest that its wounds are self inflicted, and that its growth Nationally and Internationally is certainly within our grasp. There are many steps to be taken to bring pan into the economic 21st. century, keeping in mind; that the most difficult of challenges do not necessitate complex resolutions. The first step is a change in the mindset of pan's National leadership. An innovative instrument needs innovative leadership. It is time for us as a people to take absolute ownership for our national instrument.
The recently concluded Panorama finals in San Fernando can be used as a catalyst to generate a new thrust forward for pan. So much can be garnered from that event if leadership could recognize the pluses and minuses. However, this will go for nought if there is no comprehensive game plan in place to realize pertinent economic objectives. DeFosto provided tremendous clarity as we lament the economic status of pan in trinidad and Tobago.
Among the observations would be the depolitization of our national instrument and its unique art form. Our national pan leadership must clearly understand what this means. If this opportunity fails to materalize into something substantive, especially in a period of National Economic Wealth, the economic future of pan will continue to be an abberation that surfaces once a year. The principle of maximum leader must be abandoned for something more inclusive if pan is to realize its true economic potential.
If pan cannot be successfully marketed at home, and if we fail to take absolute ownership in the process, foreign pannists will thrive elsewhere, and we will not share in those spoils of global economic activity. I mean no offence to existing pan leadership at our highest level but they are yet to rise above mundane expectations.
Do note that "even a fool may have heard a wise man speak and repeat wisdom to you". Let us no longer foster failure on behalf of our pannists.
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