It’s the end of resistance and struggle
“It’s time to get on with the loving and stop fighting each other and terrorising each other,” is the message of Honourable Douglas Lincoln, Minister of Art and Multiculturalism of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). He was speaking at the celebration of 20 years of Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago and 20 years of freedom in South Africa. He said that he continues to share with his cabinet colleagues that the Art and Culture Ministry is the most important in the government. It is the department responsible for giving people a platform to express their sense of identity, of who they are, where they’ve been and where they are going. Culture is the foundation of any civilization, he went on to explain.
The Exodus Steel Orchestra, one of the leading Steel bands of T&T performed at various venues and locations to mark the event. The steel pan is the national instrument of T&T and is the only musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century. Invented by African slaves, the steel pan has received global acclaim. “We went with the wooden African drum and have returned with a steel drum.” said the Minister.
The removal of visa requirements for travel for South Africans to Trinidad and Tobago is a significant development of the growing relations between the countries, said High Commissioner Harry Partap of Trinidad and Tobago. He was speaking at a welcome reception pointing out the diverse interactions and commitments to develop and strengthen links and build bridges between the people of Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa. These sentiments were echoed by the newly appointed MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture for Gauteng Province Ms. Molebatsi Bopape.
It was Trinidadian Wendy Witshire of Dare to Discover who introduced Carnival to South Africa. She, together with Nozipho Ndiweni, organized Mas Feeva Carribean Carnival in Bela Bela in Limpopo Province in 2012.
Michael Guyadeen, CEO of the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago who accompanied the delegation, was pleased of the success the Trinidad and Tobago carnival has had over the world and was happy to share this success with the people of South Africa.
"Trinidad and Tobago have mastered the art of having fun, packaging it and selling it.” said the Minister.