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Council’S Concerns On Carnival To Be Considered, Says Minister

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Commission will take the Christian Council’s recent concerns regarding the upcoming festival “into consideration” but stressed that celebration will encourage “Bahamianism” and not “sins of the flesh.”

He also denied rumours that event organisers are collectively paying Bahamian entertainers $50,000, stressing that each local act will be paid what they are worth.

“The Christian Council has a moral responsibility to the country, so what they said must be looked at and analysed and we must ensure we do not cross borders,” the tourism minister said.

“We will pay respect to the council by considering their arguments. All efforts made going forward will ensure decency and order are a part of this cultural expression.”

“We do not want to offend anyone but at the same time we have to push Bahamians and ‘Bahamianism,’ this festival will do that just. It will take the Bahamas to the world.”

His comments came one day after the Bahamas Christian Council denounced the “immodest” costumes for the planned event, saying the scant attire could lead to “fornication, promiscuity, rape incest” and other “sins of the flesh.”

In a statement released Monday, Christian Council President Rev Dr Ranford Patterson said the group has concerns over the “immodest” costumes for women being promoted for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

While applauding the government for seeking ways to boost revenue, Rev Patterson said it appears as though Bahamian women’s sexuality is “being overtly exploited for monetary gain”.

Mr Wilchcombe also responded to criticism from some local entertainers about the event.

He said that despite the “noise in the market”, Junkanoo Carnival is and will always be about promoting Bahamian music and culture. He denied rumours that the commission is offering Bahamian artists “peanuts” for their talent.

On Monday it was revealed that the Carnival Commission was seeking to pay American pop star Janet Jackson $1.9 million to perform during the week of activities, a proposal that was rejected by the government.

Bahamian entertainer Dillon McKenzie sounded off about the disparity between what international performers will receive compared to local acts.

In a post on Facebook, he said Bahamian entertainers are collectively receiving $50,000 for their performances in the planned event.

“Truth is we want Bahamian artists to perform and they will be properly compensated for their talents. There is no budget and we will pay each artist what they are worth,” Mr Wilchcombe said.

“They will be featured prominently and will be satisfied at the end of the day because without them we won’t have the culture and we won’t have a real show. They can rest assured that Bahamians will dominate the show. If we bring other people in they will be celebrating with us, not dominating the show. We have entertainers and artists here that can compete with the rest of the world. The Bahamas will be showcased properly.

“We are raising the level of Bahamian participation; we let Bahamian music suffer and fall apart for decades and now we will celebrate our own.”

Three members of the carnival commission recently resigned; two of them, Ed Fields and Freddie Munnings, reportedly left the commission due to issues with the government and the other, Inga Bowleg, reportedly needed more time to devote to her career.

Junkanoo Carnival will be a series of cultural events starting on Easter Monday and ending on May 9.

Officials have said it will cost $9 million to stage the event.

Comments

Economist 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Wilchcombe, the council will just make noise to grab some media attention. They don't have the courage of their convictions. Don't waste your time or breath on them.

They are trying to distract us all from the fact that they are doing nothing to prevent the murders in this country. Crime is nothing new, and yet they don't want you to know that they have failed to teach 'thou shall not kill" or "thou shall not steal" and certainly failed to teach "thou shall not commit adultery".

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR BREATH ON WHAT THE CHRISTIAN COUNCIL SAYS.

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ohdrap4 4 years, 3 months ago

One politician on tv last night said bahamians are used to nakedness, because when columbus arrived, the arawaks were all naked.

but of course, that all changed when the slaves were freed in 1967.

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asiseeit 4 years, 3 months ago

It's all about the votes, the votes! It's all about the votes, the votes!

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Greentea 4 years, 3 months ago

For the record- I am NO fan of Wilchcombe- ambitious dimwit IMHO- but this Patterson guy - in fact the entire Christian Council really need to go on a retreat and figure out how they could truly be effective in this day and age. these kinds of comments are meaningless. Why don't they focus on protecting children and women from sexual violence? Why don't they feed the hungry? Do some job training? Support a literacy program? Build some shelters for people who need safe haven? More important why don't they clean up the house of the good Lord? Too many ministers in the country, and wanna be ministers and "lay ministers" are the biggest hypocrites in the land and need to sit their azz down. just like the politicians can't pay their bills, sweetheartin, abusing children, homosexual lifestyle in private and heterosexual in public (and I am not homophobic just allergic to the hypocrisy of this and a witness of the pain it causes over and over again in the Bahamas). Churches need to CHANGE. The message cannot just be about arranging your insurance plan for the afterlife - it has to become about something larger than a damn car for the minister and a new hat for the first lady. Churches need to try meeting the earthly needs of its congregation and the community around it. And since the council is so concerned about what women do with their bodies- I trust that the Council will be the largest supporter of the equal rights bills - yeah right.

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Economist 4 years, 3 months ago

Greentea, you are correct. Good points. Amen.

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brownskinboi 4 years, 3 months ago

Couldn't have said it ANY better myself!!! #TRUTH

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TheMadHatter 4 years, 3 months ago

These are the new JunkanooCarnival costumes currently being shipped in by the Christian Council for use in the upcoming celebrations. They are getting cheap prices on them from Iraq.

They're sure to be a hit.

TheMadHatter

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="Christian Council Junkanoo Uniforms">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">Christian Council Junkanoo Uniforms by TheMadHatter

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TheMadHatter 4 years, 3 months ago

I don't think the Council is too worried about the colour. They just know these Islamic outfits will be the opposite of the fine bikini style outfit they complained about yesterday.

It is their goal in life to cover up God's handiwork, and teach that his creations are disgusting and indecent.

At the same time, they have no problem with teenage pregnancy cause that helps to fill seats and get some money in the plate.

TheMadHatter

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SP 4 years, 3 months ago

Ha....Interesting analogy and spot on as well. The christian counsel have no problems with corruption or police brutality!

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duppyVAT 4 years, 3 months ago

The Bahamas Christian Council and the Taliban have a lot in common for real!!!!!!! Both are ultra-conservative and anti-establishment - Sharia and Ten Commandments are akin to each other in their spirit of conservatism.

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SP 4 years, 3 months ago

Firstly, I am unaware of anybody forcing the christian counsel & their members to participate, view or be involved in Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

Secondly, the christian counsel can only speak for a small minority of individuals that fall into their particular way of interpreting Gods viewpoint of what is morally right from wrong. They are initialed to their opinion, have had their say, and now need to shut up.

We do not need or want Janet Jackson or any foreign entertainment entity to showcase Bahamian culture, although it would be interesting, unique and crowd drawing to have such well known celebrities participate in local cultural expression unless they can attune their acts to coincide with our local culture....i.e. Janet & others wearing Bahamian costumes, getting involved with Bahamian acts and singing to Bahamian music.

Preferably, it is my educated opinion that foreign participation is a totally wrong way to go and the same funds would be better utilized, would yield much better returns if Bahamian musicians and artisans were used for every facet of Bahamas Junkanoo festival.

Bottom line.... Bahamas Junkanoo festival is the absolute best idea put forward by any administration in 40 years and must be expanded to classical, soca, reggae, calypso and other festivals to add much needed diversity to our dying tourism product.

Congratulations Mr. Danny Johnson and crew for thinking out of the box. Now lets build and perfect Junkanoo Carnival to benefit as many Bahamians as possible.

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TheMadHatter 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree. While we do relish our Junkanoo - we need to move forward into the 21st century and try to improve our product a wee bit and get it more publicity.

Good stuff. Thanks also to Danny Johnson (whom I don't know) and to Perry Christie for allowing new things to come alive in this drowning nation. We sure need a breath of fresh air.

The people who want to keep the old stuff just the way it was, can take comfort in having Lady Pindling in Govt House. LOL.

TheMadHatter

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242in404 4 years, 3 months ago

Janet Jackson? The government was smart to shoot that down. If the Bahamas was to get a foreign entertainer to perform, they should try to get a big Soca performer like Machel. If the Bahamas want to make money off of a "Carnival", they need to pander to that target audience. There is a large group of people who travel from carnival to carnival and soca is a big part of it. So mixing the Bahamian culture in with a little bit of traditional carnival culture in the end is what will help it to grow.

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duppyVAT 4 years, 3 months ago

This Carnival thing is not even supported in Parliament ............ most Bahamians dont accept the Carnival thing.............. this is a feeble attempt to bring low life tourists and carnival freaks here. This will not enhance the quality of our local cultural scene..................A bad idea

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