Put down the gun, entertainer tells youth
Popular entertainer Peter Ram Wiggins has called on the country’s youth to put down the gun and turn to meaningful self-employment. Wiggins who won Best Nation-Building Song for his The Pledge, or Blue, Yellow And Black, as it is affectionately referred to, back in 2003, is very concerned about the impact increasing crime is having on his beloved country.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, while participating in the St Philip Carnival on Independence Monday, Peter Ram made it clear that although people were suffering because of the tough economic situation, turning to a life of crime was not the way to go.
“I know that it hard; but the youths have to learn to work with it. I know it hard; but the little that you got you work with it. Buy some drinks and go and sell. When breadfruit season in, get a couple of breadfruits and go and sell; ackee season, go and sell, instead of robbing the poor man that feeling the same pressure . . . . It makes no sense,” Wiggins argued.
The entertainer who is a popular household name locally, regionally and internationally, said he had a grip on the pulse of the people, as he “regularly limes on the block”.
He explained: “I am on the block every day, and you can hear the men planning what they going to do, what they are not going to do; and it rough. But still you got to hold order too, and you got to keep it real.”
He believes the police are doing all they can to maintain law and order.
“If you check it, from the time a man get shoot, by the same day or the day afterwards the police arresting a suspect. Once upon a time your could have blamed the police; but why blame the police?” he questioned.
Peter Ram says something must be done about the tough situation facing the country and its nationals, and he holds it must come by way of change in Government.
“I would like the people to protest so that election will get called and the BLP [Barbados Labour Party] could get in. Mia Mottley will be the next Prime Ministress [Minister].
“Barbados needs a change; and if they don’t change, it will get worse, because I am on the streets, not in the office. I am on the blocks and the corners. I speak to people every day and they are talking about the things that are happening –– people getting robbed, people getting shoot; and it getting worse,” he explained.
He was quick to point out that he meant “no disrespect”, but that the status quo could not remain as is.
“People [are] suffering hard and it real bad. No disrespect, they have good people in the Government. Michael Lashley is my boy, but the way things going . . . .”
Ram shook his head, adding: “People getting laid off. I got family and bedrens [friends] that get lay off and nothing at all for the amount of years that they put in. All the taxes that coming off of this and coming off of that; now you cannot even get a free ticket to go to a fete; you got people putting tax on complimentary tickets. So it getting harder and harder for real.”
TEN QUESTIONS TO WIGGINS
What does Barbados mean to you?
Barbados means a lot to me; that’s where my roots come from; my first love.
What is an authentic Bajan? What defines a Bajan?
A Bajan is someone that really stays true to their culture; that keeps it strictly Bajan in cooking, in dressing, in partying, and talking –– the dialect. Just keeping everything Bajan and don’t stray away like some people who go to New York for two weeks and come back talking Yankee.
So authentic Bajans are real Bajans, no matter where they go; and everywhere they go, they just fly the colours all the time.
Name your favourite Bajan saying.
Wuh yuh does do? I gine in town an’ buy sumting fuh muhself. How yuh keepin’?
What Bajan food do you love most?
Cou cou an’ flying fish; and I love a flying fish the ole time way, bend back with the head and the tail stick thru; [and] conkies.
What is your favourite Bajan tradition?
Everything Bajan that will cover that because there are so many.
What is your favourite spot on the island?
Anybody that knows me knows that I put up the most pictures of Barbados on my Instagram, but my favourite place is the countryside; love the beaches.
What is your favourite Barbadian song?
My favourite song is The Pledge; Blue Yellow And Black –– put it up! Not being bias, but it is bigger than me.
How do you celebrate Independence Day?
I go to schools and make sure that the children enjoy themselves due to the fact that I won the Nation Building in 2003. So I just go to any school that wants me to perform and sing the same nation building song. I love signing for children, and to make children happy is a joy to me.
What would you change about Barbados?
The Government . . . . People suffering hard and it real bad. No disrespect, they have good people in the Government. Michael Lashley is my boy, but the way things going –– people getting laid off! I got family and bedrens that get lay off and nothing at all for the amount of years that they put in. And all the taxes that coming off of this and coming off of that now you can’t even get a free ticket to go to a fete. You got people putting tax on complimentary tickets.
So it getting harder and harder for real.
What is your wish for Barbados as it celebrates 48 years of Independence?
I would like the people to protest, so that elections will get called and the BLP get in. Mia Mottley will be the next Prime Ministress. Barbados need a change, and if they don’t change, it will get worse, because I am on the streets; not in the office. I am on the blocks and the corners. I speak to people every day and they are talking about the things that are happening –– people getting robbed, people getting shoot –– and it getting worse.