Time for action!!!

Spicemas 2015 is now over.

It is customary for the powers-that-be to indicate that the usual post-mortem will be conducted in order to learn from the mistakes and to make next year’s event much better.

The Minister of Culture, Senator Brenda Hood has already pointed in that direction and did so long before the staging of the annual festivity.

It is time to put words away and for there to be real action to make Spicemas more meaningful and productive.

THE NEW TODAY is concerned that those running the festival cannot get it right when it comes to the late shows every year.

A few years ago, the correct approach was made to retain persons to produce the shows and there was much improvement in the start of the shows and their duration.

This has been thrown out of the window for reasons best known to be authorities.

The lack of proper planning was underscored by Calypso King, Edson “Ajamu” Mitchell when he took to the airwaves to highlight the unprofessional manner in which rehearsals took place for calypsonians who were selected to appear in the Dimanche Gras show on Sunday night.

It appears that several of the calypsonians were told to show up at virtually the same time at the Police Band House for their rehearsals to fine tune their songs for the show.

There is only but one police band on the island and only one calypsonian can be accommodated at 8.00 a.m.

It begs the question – who is the person in charge of these rehearsals? It is time we get it right and realise that loss of time is loss of money for many persons.

Sen. Hood alluded to the fact that the Spicemas Corporation has been operating without a Chief Executive Officer for a long time and this ought to be corrected as part of the plans for going forward.

THE NEW TODAY wish to caution that the person appointed to fill the post must not be selected on the basis of “political correctness” but the criteria should solely be on the basis of ability to perform and carry out the functions of the office in an efficient and excellent manner.

It is our view that the person selected for the job must be given clear policy guidelines and if he/she cannot bring results within a specific timeframe should be dismissed for lack of performance.

The job of CEO for Spicemas Corporation should not be given to any party hack as part of the tendency in the country in recent years to provide “jobs for the boys”.

Carnival is a major business and should always be treated as such.

Central Government funds are getting much scarcer these and should not be just thrown down the drain because of the need to promote our culture.

The country needs value for money spent. The Spicemas Corporation needs to start generating its own revenue and should never depend entirely on government for its funds.

The tendency over the years is for Spicemas to start getting busy and active a few months before the holding of carnival.

If the promoters of “Pure White” and “White in the Moonlight” were not making big bucks from their shows then they would have been out of business by now.

So why can’t those behind Spicemas Corporation borrow a page from the script of these promoters and look at the staging of appropriate shows year round to bring in much needed revenue into their own coffers?

So maybe the powers-that-be need to put a “Think Tank” at the disposal of the Spicemas Corporation  to show them how to make money.

Indeed there is a lot of money that can be made from the staging of the annual cultural extravaganza.

There is also need to address the vexing issue of representation by the various calypso associations on the Board of Directors of Spicemas Corporation.

The recent court matter in which two calypsonians took the corporation to court over their scoresheets in the semi-final round of the national calypso monarch competition left a bad taste in the mouths of many of the artistes.

It centered on the decision of their so-called representative to take the side of Spicemas and to appear on their behalf and not with the aggrieved calypsonians.

There appears to be a deliberate attempt by some elements to divide and rule calypsonians by maintaining the status quo and to always keep the two sides bickering with each other and to be constantly at loggerheads.

In the circumstances it might be better for the two sides to alternate the representation on a six month basis in order to lessen on the existing tension.

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