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Pan Trinbago Responds to: “TAKE PAN AWAY FROM PAN PLAYERS”

by Michael L. Joseph - Pan Trinbago

Michael Joseph - PRO of Pan Trinbago

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Please allow me space to reply to an article written in the Daily Express by veteran journalist Keith Subero on Monday, 7th May 2018 titled TAKE PAN AWAY FROM PAN PLAYERS.

Two calypsos keep bouncing around in my head while trying to come to terms with Keith’s comments. David Rudder’s “Mad Man’s Rant” and Bro. Valentino’s “Barking Dogs”. The words sounded like mad men in bags, madmen in rags and madmen in their velvet gowns and suits also.

Bro. Keith, the Rasta man have ah saying, “Idetate to utter.” Are you trying to take us back sixty years? Your position is the same as in the colonial days when pan was seen as a noisy instrument produced by rouges and vagabonds with no ambition, and must be curtailed by all means. The pan players stood their grounds then to make the Steelpan into the industry that it is today with all the potential that pan lovers like you are seeing and believing that we are not trying or capable to exploit.

Rome was not built in a day, as the saying goes and the Steelpan organization has its challenges like every other institution in this country: some by design, because of people who share your sentiments.

You have me wondering if it is that you are looking for soft targets or low hanging fruits to stay relevant as a journalist. The veteran in you should see that this country is ripe and bursting at the seams with issues affecting the lives of every citizen, where none of our institutions are working to our benefit, yet you find time to attack the Steelpan institution, spouting allegations of every kind, none of which you have evidence to present in a court of law. Yet you are trying to paint Pan Trinbago as the worst managed institution in Trinidad and Tobago for reasons best known to you and your set agenda.

Taking a hint from you, the Queen of England should nullify our republican status, take away independence and re-establish the colonial secretary to administer our national affairs so that we the citizens can once again see the light of day, because the local politicians have corruptly mismanaged and made a total mess of the present system. But I guess it is much easier to blame Pan Trinbago and be happy. Why don't you recommend that we put professional administrators and big business in place of political administrators? 

Keith, the Nestor presentation is nothing new. He was a member of the administration of Pan Trinbago for many years, and is quite aware of the volume of plans and papers on the way forward, presented to various regimes, only to realize that a number of influential people in this country believe that Pan Players should not be controlling the commanding heights of a potential billion dollars industry that they have developed from discarded oil drums.

So, the plan is to frustrate the process of development and continue to vilify them to this day in order to achieve the desired results of taking it away from them.

Disrespectful as you are by describing Pan Players as blood-sucking specie preying on the Government’s annual subvention, I still see the likes of you making a bee line to the office of Pan Trinbago, or having their phones busy off the hook, to secure complimentary tickets for Panorama year after year without fail. Yet you keep making adverse comments about the organization’s low profit margin coming out of the same show. And may I remind you that the subvention is a small token towards the Steel bands’ participation in our national festival, that attracts visitors from across the globe to our shores, and above all, Pan Players’ contributions demand compensation.

I don’t know the difference between a veteran journalist and an investigative journalist, but common sense would demand some clarity on pronouncements. There is this false notion that the Steelbands outside of this country has gone so far ahead of us, and we have to act like tomatoes and play ketchup. This is plain old propaganda.

I am saying this knowing full well that the Steelbands in America, England, Canada and all those major countries where the grassroots bands exist are going through a struggle for survival. The only area that the Steelpan is making some strides is at the universities that have invested in research and development, where funding is provided by the state because, they have a different approach and appreciation for all things cultural. But that is a different subject matter altogether.

Trying to take Pan from Pan Players is not the way to go my friend. Sitting down and engaging in meaningful dialogue is the best option available.

Michael L. Joseph
Public Relations Officer
Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C.

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