Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the state-controlled Spicemas Corporation (SMC), Kirk Seetahal, has said that he has been forced to look more inwardly to God in order to be able to execute the job at hand.
Speaking to reporters in St. George’s, Seetahal openly complained about the large number of persons including sponsors who are always looking to the corporation for free tickets for the shows taking place in the annual carnival celebrations.
He said that since taking up the position one year ago, he had to start taking an inward look at himself and to increasingly focus his relationship with God.
According to the Spicemas CEO, there is a level hate coming from some persons and that is evident in the kinds of things posted against him and others in the Social Media.
“I pray for the people of the country because I am shocked by the level of anger, the level of ignorance that we demonstrate to the world. We make comments about people, comments about artistes, we attack people, even the artistes”, he said.
“I’ve had several attacks on me that are not grounded, that are far from (the) truth but people believe that they can say what they want and do what they want via Social Media because they are not accountable…”, he added.
Seetahal noted that the people who engage in such behaviour are showing the world “the type of person you are and how you think and how you process things”.
“I am praying for this country harder than I’ve ever prayed before because I cannot believe the level of hate, ignorance and anger that we possess as citizens,” he told reporters.
In looking at the operations of the Spicemas Corporation since taking up the post of CEO, Seetahal said he inherited a system of freeness in which everyone believes that they are entitled to a free ticket for every show.
He spoke of that past situation giving the impression that the entity was making money because the attendance looked impressive.
“For example, when you come into Soca Monarch and you see 8000 people in Soca Monarch and you ‘bawlin’ ‘Spicemas making a set a money, they saying they ain’t making money,’ somebody ‘thiefin’ it. Nobody ain’t ‘thiefin’ it, half of the people would have come in free and it’s a shocker for me because I am experiencing it, he said.”
Seetahal pointed a finger in the direction of some of the sponsors who take the position that they are entitled to get free tickets to all shows.
He said: “…Yes, we understand the role that you (sponsors and stakeholders) play and the support that you give but everybody believes that you have to get a free ticket for every show and it’s a very, very difficult situation to deal with because it’s something that has happened for many years.
“…You look at Spicemas, they (Sponsors and stakeholders) giving you $5000 but if you calculate the value of the tickets they want, it’s probably $6000…so you probably better without the sponsorship”, he added.
According to Seetahal, many aspects of Spicemas need to be evaluated especially in the area of tickets to be donated to sponsors.
“We don’t tell a person that has gotten a ticket free for every event, every year since the beginning of time, I’m sorry I can’t give you a free ticket because I need to pay bills because they are the same people who would turn around and bash you when you can’t pay bills after… so I am making an appeal to people, don’t just love the culture dollar, love culture and let’s help push culture forward,” he said.
The CEO admitted that the kind of support he expected to receive from some persons are not forthcoming.
“It’s a challenge when you trying to put your best foot forward but everyone around you has a different agenda. It’s hard when sometimes that agenda becomes a political agenda because a lot of people like to use the Minister’s name and they love to use the Prime Minister’s name …. so they would come to the office and say the Minister say to give me a booth or the Prime Minister say to give me a booth and I don’t deal with that,” he said
Seetahal gave assurances that he will continue to hold his ground and do the job that is expected of him by those who recruited his services.
A few weeks ago, the SMC Chief Executive announced that he fell short by half-a-million dollars from the targeted budget set for the hosting of Spicemas 2016.