That manifest destiny hangs on us all . . . !
Lots of progress we have witnessed in this little nation
But patriotism is what missing from de whole equation
We got to try we best to create more awareness
And build we identity de music start already
But we know that there is pretence
Whether queen or republic we still
–– In Dependence by Wayne Poonka Willock.
As veteran singer and musician Wayne Poonka Willock says of his 2015 Independence piece of work, it is intended to urge the people of Barbados “to understand the concept of Independence. It depends on the individual. It depends on each person in society. It depends on everybody”.
And the educator and former school principal stresses the point in the chorus of his song.
Cause it depend pun you, it depend pun me
It depend pun everybody
Just work in dependence, survive in dependence
Just strive in dependence, and struggle in dependence
Depending pun everybody
And though he only released last Tuesday in celebration of Barbados’ 49th Independence, and in anticipation of the 50th, Poonka said the song had been “written a while ago”, suggesting he had been giving some thought to the continuing transformation of the ideas and hopes of every Barbadian man and woman since that historic moment immediately after midnight, into Wednesday, November 30, 1966.
Most surely, we must all together fight every legitimate and moral cause that will support and see to the execution of the reality of our dreams as a people, the consequence of which must be a nation united on its own two feet.
And our elected and declared leaders must be of similar personal fibre.
At this time of year, Barbadians generally cannot help but reflect on the times of our National Hero The Right Excellent Errol Barrow, our Father Of Independence, who was noted and admired for his unyielding belief in the ability and fighting spirit of the people and independent-minded state of Barbados. And he never failed to use himself as that symbol of free thought and pursuit of equal opportunity and achievement.
He would be Barbados’ first indigenous leader to shake off –– and keep off –– the chains of colonial rule, even if, as some critics have said, it would create a society largely dependent upon the state.
We aver, that for all his establishing and expansion of social programmes, Mr Barrow did not fail to inspire the able-bodied and educated among us to work –– nor even exact that they do. He was famously not impressed by the “army of occupation” that infiltrated the Public Service, and through his charisma, energy and urgency sought to turn such an unproductive circumstance around.
Indeed, he would institute a reward system for those young energized Barbadians who volunteered for work in the private sector and quasi-Government projects that gave a new and vibrant image to industrialization in Barbados.
Subsequent leaders would seek to build on this social model.
For all our current economic challenges, as we look to 49 years of Independence, Barbados has another opportunity to further transform the lives of Barbadians. It is equally political as it is economic. What will underscore this, however, is even more inspired leadership and the fortitude to take urgent action, and the vision to make the right decisions to take Barbados to its manifest destiny.
But as Poonka as also suggested, we can’t leave it all up to the Government; “people have to input into the country to ensure that the country grows”. Truth be told, coming through the years there has been no rest for our communities; and there will be none as we continue to build on our identity as a people.
Despite the challenges we face, we might yet make simple the mission of creating a future Barbados that could once again be a model of progress for the rest of the Caribbean and most other small countries of the world.
As we listen and move to Poonka’s In Dependence, let us resolve to do whatever we each can to plant that seed of achievement –– for the good of ourselves, our fellowman and our country –– safeguarding yet our 50th Independence and beyond.