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Mayor lauds Tuco South Central zone
San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello was high in praise of the South Central Zone of Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) for taking calypso to the schools of our country. He made these comments as he addressed students and staff of Pleasantville Secondary School at the launch of Tuco’s South Central Zone’s School Calypso Workshop Tour 2017, a release said.
The Mayor, in his address spoke of the critical role calypso plays as a historical reference point and pointed to the period of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s when several calypsos captured the history of our land and highlighted the major issues affecting society from the perspective of the people. He pointed to Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) as one of the great calypsonians and used some of his pieces to demonstrate their value and potential for use in the classroom. He also commended the students for their focus and attitude.
School principal Phillip Allard also noted the value of calypso and expressed gratitude to Tuco for choosing Pleasantville Secondary for the October 17 launch.
Hamidullah Wahid, vice chairman of Tuco South Central Zone, in his motivational address, discussed the challenging road which calypsonians have walked and the ridicule and social injustices suffered by so many practitioners of this great art-form. He noted with joy the level of appreciation for calypso coming from the youth present. Wahid also challenged them to embrace their indigenous art forms of calypso and steelpan regardless of race and other factors and called for a better appreciation of ourselves, our contribution and value.
Programme coordinator Ato Osei, a school teacher turned full-time calypsonian, cautioned the students to be mindful of the types of influences they allow within their mental space and be cognisant of the role which music plays in social conditioning. He also stressed the potential of calypso to make education within the school system more meaningful and relevant to students and expressed the firm view of the Zone executive, that the Ministry of Education needs to embrace calypso as an integral part of the curriculum.
Also on hand were members of the Mon Repos branch of the Community Policing Section who continue their work among the youth of the southern schools. They expressed support for the initiative and a desire for collaboration with calypsonians in the task of social development.
South Central Zone assistant coordinator Carey “Kinte” Stephens was on hand to perform and share his wealth of knowledge of calypso history. Also performing were Terry Marcelle (Di Masso) and calypsonian Serrano.
During the next few weeks of Calypso History Month, Tuco’s South Central Zone will take its calypso caravan across the country. Students will have the opportunity to experience live performances, interact with some of the premier calypsonians of the land and view the pictorial display.
The School Tour is part of Tuco’s South Central Zone’s celebration of Calypso History Month during the month of October. The objectives of this programme are to build patriotism and a greater appreciation for our indigenous calypso music and cultural expressions and to open doors to social harmony and success both within and without the school system.