A chance to grow


The new Cultural Industries Development Bill will allow the talents and capacity of local artistes, no matter the profession, to grow and develop.

This was the summation of Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, as he made his contribution to debates in the House of Assembly this morning.

Jones, who is also the MP for Christ Church East Central, said: “This [bill] … is not going to change the road for the writer who is terrible. It is not going to change the road for the person who performs that is awful. What it will do is give to those who have the capacity to grow and to develop, the opportunity so to do.

“It gives them the opportunity to find venues in Barbados where they can perform and their creative work can be appreciated and paid for,” he commented.

He recalled the days of the 70s and 80s when calypsos were being played at the National Stadium noting that persons were at that time climbing over the walls even though the shows were sometimes free.

“People who use their hands, their minds, their hearts, whatever, to create something of worth, something of value, should be paid for those things. That is why I don’t support persons who burn CDs either of music or movies and retail them on the streets of Barbados for $5 a pop. I do not support that. It is difficult though to run down behind each and every person.

“Education means nothing to those persons who want to become involved in criminal activity because that is in fact criminal activity. When your talent, your creative outflow is being poached upon by those who are not conscious enough that you too need to earn a living to support your families, you too need to develop the capacity to bring to the wider world, the wider public, the benefits of what you do.”

Apart from that aspect of music, the education minister noted that this country has also had persons in dub, dancehall, reggae, noting that there was “spotted talent” across the island.

“I know we have immense talent in those who are musicians, people who play the flute, the trombone, the bass guitar, the rhythm guitar, the drums, those musical instruments, because in our schools, many of our schools, there are competent teachers of music, lyrics and the music that goes with those instruments.

“I can well remember the school we now call Graydon Sealy and the emergence of the steel band. Graydon Sealy being previously called the Garrison Secondary School … where [Glenroy] Patches Mendoza introduced so many of those young students to the steel pan, beautiful music that it makes.

“And then in the north, St. Lucy Secondary school as well. Not only the steel pan being played by a dedicated teacher of that school, but also involving them in the tuk band music from the north as well and you can go across all of the schools and you will find great young musicians having either gone to the Barbados Community College and then ended up as teachers, or to places in the United States or Canada, New York being one of the places we now have several great young musicians benefitting from scholarships provided by this government and operating at the top of their classes,” said the minister as he gave his support to the Bill.


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