EDITOR, The Tribune.
I have finally made my way through back issues of the two plus weeks of newspapers that accumulated during my trip to Europe recently.
During this exercise, I came across the Supplement for Public Service Week which l was interested in perusing since l had heard that during the official motorcade to celebrate the event, apparently no Bahamian songs or music had been played! - but that’s another story that needs to be fully analysed on its own ‘demerit’ for another time!
What l do want to point out for what it’s worth is a sad state of affairs under the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture’s segment in the supplement – and let me point out firstly that we, in the Cultural/Creative/Orange Economy professions, have constantly decried the fact that our unique Bahamian Culture - our flowing fountain of rich resources and tremendous talent that is naturally enshrined in the very essence of “we, the people” - has sadly always been ‘tacked on’, like an aberrant frivolous afterthought, to one Ministry or another for decades because Art and Culture is not considered to have any value by the ‘mustards’ nor the ‘ketchups’ - even though the ‘condiments’ have called on us over and over again over generations (since the time Clement Bethel was appointed the first Director of Culture after Independence) - to waste our valuable time talking for countless hours to deaf ears; and writing tomes of proposals for blind uncaring eyes that only end up gathering dust on some dark shelf!
Yet in spite of the ‘condiments’ deafness and dumbness, and because ‘we’ understand the enormous power and potential of our Bahamian Art and Culture, and are driven by our creativity, we make it all happen on our own steam using our own finances to try and show them better than we can tell them – but ‘they’ still just do not get it! – and because they do not know, nor understand, nor have the interest to learn, or listen to those who do - the ‘same story, different day’ scenario of ‘getting nowhere fast’ on the ‘condiments’ front continually repeats itself - to the whole country’s detriment!
So here is the travesty in the Supplement under The Cultural Affairs Division of the Ministry’s segment that is a blatant example of the above statements: one small paragraph cut and pasted straight from the government website with the last sentence stating: “The Cultural Affairs Division is headed by a director, Dr Linda Moxey-Brown.”
Dr Moxey-Brown left that post in 2016, l believe (I stand to be corrected); and the position was then filled by Rowena Poitier-Sutherland for several years; and Dereka Deleveaux-Grant is the now Director of Culture, having been appointed, l believe, in 2021!
Come on man! Who is checking and who is in charge? Say ya sorry and do better!
This is as bad as the 41th Independence anniversary celebrations when I received an invitation at the last minute to attend a ceremony at which my late husband would be one of the cultural legends being honoured, but the official Independence invitation highlighted the image, cut and pasted directly from the internet, of an Hawaiian man blowing a conch shell!
We turn 50 in a matter of months, and, yes, these types of details do indeed matter!
December 10, 2022.