SEC's 2007 Emancipation Day Celebration

Kambule leaving the Point-a-Pierre Roundabout
Kambule leaving the Point-a-Pierre Roundabout Reporters
Event Date: August 01, 2007
Posted: August 04, 2007

Through blazing hot sun and pouring rain, a team of very young Moko Jumbies showed no sign of giving up as they led the Emancipation Kambule organized by the Southern Emancipation Committee.

The Southern Emancipation Committee's Emancipation Day Celebration started from 7 a.m. with a brief ceremony at the Point-a-Pierre Roundabout. About an hour or so later, with a small gathering consisting mostly of Moko Jumbies, members of the Southern Emancipation Committee, dancers and drummers from the C&S Mix Generation Cultural Group, the Vessigny African Emancipation Organization and members of the community, the Kambule commenced from the Point-a-Pierre Roundabout and proceeded to San Fernando.

San Fernando's Emancipation Day Parade
San Fernando's Emancipation Day Parade

After a few hours of dancing and singing in the brilliant sunshine along the way, the blue sky gradually disappeared. Almost immediately after, the rain came and fell incessantly throughout the procession. Although a few people ran for cover, the younger ones especially were only too happy to continue the long journey in the rain. They danced and sang to the pulsating rhythm of the drums which echoed through the Marabella, Vistabella and Point-a-Pierre areas.

In keeping with tradition, it was important for the procession to stop at the Kambule's points of reflections. One of the reflection points was at the cemetery located along the Southern Main Road between Marabella Proper and Vistabella. Elder, Awo Olusino Amono Ifayomi, explained that it is important to pay tribute to our ancestors and that we must carry on the tradition and not allow anything to stop us. The Southern Marine Steelband Yard in Marabella Proper was another point of reflection. He explained that the Steelpan is a reminder of our spiritual existence because it is a direct link to the spiritual drum of our ancestors. The Southern Marine Steelband is also the binding force of Marabella. It was the only Steelband around during the 50s.

Members of the C&S Mix Generation Cultural Group
Members of the C&S Mix Generation Cultural Group in the rain

After a long and wet journey, the procession finally arrived at Palms Club and the traditional ceremonial acknowledgement to the Spirit of Uncertainty was immediately performed. The Spirit of Uncertainty is traditionally acknowledged when one is coming from one dimension into another. In this case, it was the Kambule coming from the streets into an enclosed area.

Before the cultural show started, people visited the various sections where clothes, handbags, T-shirts, wooden carvings of African symbols, books and lots more were on display.

The cultural show started at exactly 2.05 p.m. with the national anthem played on the Steelpan. The host for the evening was Ms. Afi Ola Murray, a young adult of the Southern Emancipation Youth Group.

The first performance was a dance and drumming by the C&S Mix Generation Cultural Group. They set the stage for the lively and fiery performances that were to perform subsequently.

Plaisance Park Performing Company
Plaisance Park Performing Company

Following their performance was the Plaisance Park Performing Company who also had the ability to make the audience come alive with praise and admiration.

Calypsonian, Nerukhi, who was not new to the stage, then displayed his talents to an appreciative audience.

After Ms. Marva Sandy, the Vice President of the Southern Emancipation Committee did the Emancipation greetings, Bro. Jason Baptiste entertained the audience on pan.

The cultural segment also included performances by the School of Culture, led by Bro. Claude Neptune; the San Fernando Old Tech Steel Orchestra, led by Sean Ramsey; popular Calypsonians and other artistes; Southern Experience–The Band; poetry by Mr. Moore; Fyzabad Inner Circle; The Frontline Drummers and drumming by Brian Parris.

The cast of Calypsonians included Luta, Kinte, Karega Mandela, Akil, D'Unlimited Soul, Mistah Shak, Composer and Jervae Caesar.

Betwixt some of the entertainment was the recognition of the hard work and talents of individuals who have worked to edify the world historically and culturally by presenting them with tokens. Before the awardees were called on stage, Ms. Jemma Joseph presented a brief history of their backgrounds. On receiving their awards, each one of the awardees briefly thanked the organization for recognizing their contributions. The awardees were: Dr. Anthony Martin, Zeno Obi Constance, Rodney Wilkes, Winston Suite and Kwame Nantambu.

Historian, Mr. Louis Homer 
Historian, Mr. Louis Homer 
Historian, Mr. Louis Homer was also invited to speak very briefly on the topic of Emancipation. His presentation included the historical significance of the area of Point-a-Pierre where several enslaved Africans were killed in a bloody riot in 1832 at the Plein Palais Estate. In remembrance of those Africans who were killed, the Southern Emancipation Committee was given permission by the Ministry of Works and Transport to erect a monument at the Point-a-Pierre Roundabout.

After a long and entertaining day, the final curtain came down on the Emancipation celebration.

The Southern Emancipation Committee is appealing to all people who have similar interests to come on board with them. They look forward to all the financial, physical and educational support they can get.

Members of the public can contact them at: Southern Emancipation Committee, 117-118 Upper High Street, San Fernando, or call them at 868-657-4818.

San Fernando's Emancipation Day Parade in pictures:

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