On-air Host and Cultural Activist Gerelle Forbes Speaks on Presenting Pan to The People

Gerelle Forbes, hosting the live streaming at Renegades Steel Orchestra's pan yard
Gerelle Forbes -  photo:  Renegades Steel Orchestra

In tandem with the recent article Large Steel Orchestras Take Control of their Live Stream Broadcast and Production, WST (When Steel Talks) touched base with on-air personality and cultural activist Gerelle Forbes, who embodies beauty, intellect and knowledge of culture.  The latter two especially come into play anytime she is called upon as host/presenter.  At the Panorama 2020 panyard preliminary performance of Renegades Steel Orchestra, this was the case for yet another year. 

Here’s what Trinbago national Gerelle has to say about the task, when asked about how she thinks her love for the culture of Trinidad and Tobago is brought to bear in, and enhances - her presentation/hosting duties when in the Panyards.

“Truth and passion are the most relatable things I suppose. I genuinely ‘love d ting’ ....and specific to pan people... they can smell a fraud in the community easy.

“TV hosts I grew up watching never felt authentic.... were too polished.... from accents.... to image...  But coming from the ground of Pan... learning in the yards... limin’ and talking with other pan people... we aren’t presented like that.

“And a person always loves to see ‘themselves’ on TV.  So I think pan people’s passion is relatable when they see me.... ‘cause I really genuinely love ‘d ting.’ Politics aside ... (like everything else that’s inevitable).  But the direct energy.... from a yard... or the Savannah... u cyah fake dat - and pan history eh come from no polished background. Pan come from ‘the ghetto’... and the bad johns, and the roots of ‘d ting.’

“We can become musically literate but still feel it for what it is.  I can articulate the music and the culture because I’m educated...  But my education isn’t greater than my understanding of the raw culture and its magic in ‘d ting .’”

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