All posts by News

Election bell ringing

By Raffique Shah
March 12, 2024

Raffique ShahOnly a fool, a fanatical partisan politician, or an academic seeking to enter the profession of predicting election results would venture to predict the results of the next Trinidad and Tobago general election, due sometime over the next year or so. I have watched with interest how incumbent prime minister Dr Keith Rowley gave his first signal, when at one of his party’s meetings last week he spent some minutes on the topic and declared the election will be “the most serious you have ever taken part in”. I found that statement intriguing: every election is important.
Continue reading Election bell ringing

Decolonising the Euro-American universities’ curriculum

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 05, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was one of those trips that I find particularly gruesome. On Tuesday, I travelled from Boston, USA, to Edmonton, Canada, via Minneapolis, to participate in a conference, “Pan Africanism: Decolonising the University Curriculum”, at the University of Alberta. When I arrived, the temperature was -15°F. It was freezing cold.

This conference was organised by Prof Andy McKnight, a University of Alberta Distinguished Professor, who comes from an outstanding academic and political Caribbean family. He is related to Sir Grantley Adams, the first premier of Barbados and only president of the short-lived West Indian Federation; and Tom Adams, the son of Grantley Adams and second prime minister of that island.
Continue reading Decolonising the Euro-American universities’ curriculum

D’Prive who was a King

By Raffique Shah
March 05, 2024

Raffique ShahWhen I was informed last week of the passing of the man known universally as D’Prive—ex-Private Winston Nurse—I went into an introspective mode for just about a minute, and then my mind drifted to The King. Not Charlo or any other monarch. This king is the lead character in the author James Clavell’s novel, King Rat.

D’Prive and I had shared a private joke over my observation that he shared similarities with Corporal King, the main character in this epic novel set in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Singapore. King Rat was one of Clavell’s most colourful creations. He—not the generals and other high-ranked personnel, some of whom were of royal stock, and all of whom were of the officer caste—called the shots in almost every way, the exception being that he could not leave.
Continue reading D’Prive who was a King

They stole the soul of the nation

By Raffique Shah
February 26, 2024

Raffique ShahMany of my readers who know of my health challenges, who have noted my not-infrequent absence from this space, added the proverbial two-and-two together and came up with 22. Wrong answer. Watching each other with a strong element of conspiracy my readers worked feverishly (they thought they were on a timeline!).

They engaged in conversations aplenty. My spies reported that further discussions held in camera resulted in innovative journalism, but like all who have followed my chequered careers in my near-80 years on earth, they quickly resolved their differences, demanded communication time with me, and… well, here is the fruit of the first such exploration.
Continue reading They stole the soul of the nation

A Quest for Truth

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 20, 2024

“A Quest for Truth” was delivered on Monday Night February 19, 2024, at the UNC’s forum on crime.

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, leader of the UNC, other members of the panel, distinguished members of the UNC, ladies and gentlemen and those who are present at the Chaguanas Borough Council and those who are following on radio or television.

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target that no one else can see.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

Continue reading A Quest for Truth

Dem people

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 20, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAfter my column “Rowley cannot fix the crime problem” appeared in the Sunday Express a few weeks ago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Jearlean John, leader and deputy leader of the United National Congress (UNC), respectively, invited me to share my views on the crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago in its Anti-Crime Conversation that it was conducting. I accepted their kind invitation without reservation.
Continue reading Dem people

Machel resurrects the old

By Raffique Shah
February 19, 2024

Raffique ShahIt took Machel Montano 40 of his 49 years to creatively and graphically make an emphatic statement on this senseless commess that surrounds calypso and soca. I am still not sure however that his contention—that soca is the soul of calypso—is correct, but he laid down the gauntlet for anyone who wishes to argue otherwise. I have never entered the debate before. Not when it raged in the 1970s with flamboyant stage performances by artistes like SuperBlue, Maestro, Ras Shorty I and the like.
Continue reading Machel resurrects the old

If Jesus Returned to this Earth

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 13, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIf Jesus returned to this earth, what form would he take; what region would he go to; and where would he live? We know that he was born in a manger, the humblest of all dwellings, but would he reappear in the pomp and regality of a king, the self-importance and arrogance of a prime-minister, or the swagger and manipulative power of a financier?
Continue reading If Jesus Returned to this Earth

When music ignites passion

By Raffique Shah
February 13, 2024

Raffique ShahI can see it clearly today as I did back then 70-odd years ago. My brain at eight years young focused on the sweet melody that came from the one steelband that passed through Freeport Junction. By 6 a.m. when the junction came alive with about 800 people of varying races, colours and cultures, swaying, jumping and shouting loudly to the sounds of Lord Blakie’s “Steelband Clash”, I stood there in awe of what I was witnessing.
Continue reading When music ignites passion

Living and dying on a river bank

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 06, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIf you are travelling from Port of Spain to Arima and pass through Tacarigua and make a left turn onto Richard Street, you would be heading to the Northern Range. It will take you to a semi-urban community, Paradise Gardens, that sits at the base of that magnificent mountain. Sometimes its serenity feels like paradise as the soft, refreshing breezes that caress the community.
Continue reading Living and dying on a river bank