Wednesday, September 15, 2010


RIP Arrow

Born on the tiny island of Montserrat Alphonsus "Arrow" Cassell's talent was anything but tiny. He gave us hits such as "Pirates","Long time" and the monster hit "Hot,Hot,Hot". In fact, "Hot,Hot,Hot" became the song that pushed soca on to the international stage. It was to enjoy more success following Buster Poindexter's remake in 1987. Years later,St Vincent's Kevin Lyttle was to enjoy unprecedented success with his hit "Turn me on". So, it is I think fair to say that Arrow paved the way for other soca artistes to realize that soca could be marketed to non traditional markets.

I think it was on the weekend I read that he was airlifted to Antigua for medical attention.However, I didn't really pay much attention to the news item because I didn't realise it was a life threatening incident. I couldn't be more wrong because today (September 15th) I learnt he had succumbed to brain cancer. My condolences go out to his family and the people of Monsterrat who are mourning his loss. If it's any consolation he will always be "hot,hot,hot".

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Wake up call

Kellisha Ollivierre from Kingstown Hill St Vincent, just 24 years old and most likely had dreams of a long happy life. Those dreams were rudely interrupted by the fires that raged through the Barbadian store Campus Trendz as robbers/arsonists turned a business place into an inferno and taking with them 6 lives. I didn't know Kellisha Ollivierre beyond the cursory interaction at "Lady J", the food establishment in Kingstown where she once worked. In fact, I never even knew her name until new of her death filtered through the community and the inevitable pictures popped up on people's Facebook profiles. I don't think that there is anything else I could say that has not been said already; but it is my hope that their loved ones find solace.

Coming out of this horrific story is the need for buildings to be built with more than one exit/entrance. It is as if we never imagine that disaster would befall us only to react when it does happen. Some of the buildings in Kingstown that have additional exits actually have these doors padlocked. Mind boggling isn't it? The earthquake that shook the Caribbean in Nov 2007 saw terrified persons jostling each other to escape via a single point. It's a miracle that persons were not injured in the chaotic scenes that were played out in some business places in Kingstown.

I've long remarked on the lack of preparedness during the Hurricane season. There is a stark absence of hurricane shutters on Vincentian homes despite the ever present threat of hurricanes. Yet we go along merrily, holding our collective breaths when a storm threatens only to exhale when it bypasses us. In fact, Vincentians have adopted a cocky approach to the hurricane season proclaiming loudly to all who would listen that we are Hairoun-Home of the Blessed. Left unsaid is those who were battered by Mother Nature's fury are cursed for want of a better word.

It's too late for Kellisha and the others but my hope is that their deaths will drive home the need for strict adherence to building codes. This laissez -faire attitude with respect to people's lives has to end. I certainly do not want to see another mother covering her grief with dark glasses and trying to make sense of the senseless.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Match fixing

For quite some time cricket has been plagued by allegations of match fixing. The sight of the late South African captain Hansie Cronje being grilled before a Commission remains etched in my mind. That, I think is when the ICC was forced into realizing that cricket was at times not a gentleman's game. The fallout of that scandal was a life ban for Cronje and the Indian batsman Azharuddin who had introduced him to the bookmakers. Two other South Africans who were implicated were given 6 month bans. Since then the allegations have continued with the actions of several cricketers being questioned. In the past week or so, the Pakistan cricket team has found itself under scrutiny for agreeing to bowl no balls at a specific time in the Lords test. Sadly, match fixing claims have long plagued the Pakistan cricket team culminating in a life ban for former captain Salim Malik.

With all the allegations swirling around some are openly questioning if the West Indies cricket team has succumbed to the lure of match fixing.This no doubt is borne out by the endless losses recorded by the team, the occasions when defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory and the involvement of Marlon Samuels with an Indian bookie. A few persons I've spoken to have brought up several matches that definitely made them think the games were thrown. While I agree that those mentioned were remarkable results, I suspect that many persons are still reluctant to accept the demise of the once great West Indian cricket team and prefer to accept reasons rather than the obvious. This is not to say that I believe West Indian cricketers are made of better moral fibre and will have the moral fortitude to resist temptation. The truth is, they like all others before them are vulnerable and likely to succumb if the price is right.

Still games like this prompt questions against a backdrop where one can never be sure what is happening. That is the match fixing legacy.

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