The greatest Equalisers

July 6th 2014 (World Cup time)

Life I have found can be full of agonising moments.  In Trinidad I/we often make mention of the vengeance of Moko when I/we see something we don’t like taking place.  For a true trini Moko is the great equaliser. What do I mean by equaliser.  1. Things that make us want to get equal or equity or justice no matter who we are or where we are and 2. Things that make us immediately feel empathy or sympathy.

I feel in this game of life there is a universal language and a universal plane on which injustice takes place.  In like manner there are some persons and events across the globe that create retributive justice or make us feel equal.  This is my list of “equalisers (nine to be exact), and I hope regardless of whichever team you support, you will enjoy or at least understand them.

  1. Men/Women with a mission. In my generation they have dealt with Racism/Apartheid etc. Ah yes the ole world order or superior race injustice known in these parts as divide and rule. There is nothing like this team/theme to bring a good equalizer to the game. How, don’t ask me? There is no single script. Ask Malcolm, Martin or Mahatma, Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa big big players on the world stage, they have seen injustice in the game and fought tooth and nail, risked their life to ensure that the game had an equalizer.  Reinzi, Butler, Kwame Ture….

 

  1. Failure. Yes this is a great equaliser. Nothing to cut you down to size and make you feel like one of the boys like failure, known to contribute to the losses of many, but equally to the gain and victory of others who have been able to overcome. Nothing in life like a good fight to get back into the game.

 

  1. Death. We seem to have no finite answer to this one but friend, family or foe, old or young, black or white, European, Asian, African, Indian, South American, male or female, death seems to put us on an even keel…off the field. Game over.

 

  1. Rejection. Yes rejection/ejection, nothing like getting thrown out of the game. No matter what you do, there will be those who rooting for you and those who are not, red card, yellow card, nothing like a scarlet letter to make you feel a lil sorry for yourself, or for someone to be empathetic or sympathetic. I feel you, I feel your pain, I understand, you will get by. Start you own game if you like. Take your marbles and go elsewhere.

 

  1. Poverty. Yes poverty is a great equalizer, does your heart not go out to those in need, are you not compelled to help, give, donate, assist, are we, you, they, not human. At Christmas, or Divali, or for Ramadan don’t we all revisit our own manger, humility, strife for better?

 

  1. Natural Disaster/Accidents. Yes, you remember them, the floods in Louisiana, Hurricane Hugo, Earthquake in Haiti, and on and on, the boxes you packed and sent. The text to donate etc. We may have no control over when in the game it may happen, but when it does, we become equalisers. How quickly we stop when we see a car overturned.

 

  1. Miscarriage. Yes I put this one in, if you think it/I bad, wait till you see the next one. I am in no way ridiculing or making light of this experience; I sincerely believe it is an equalizer. Why? Most of us have the innate thing about reproduction. It is at the heart of our existence, our purpose, our survival, ability to continue the game. If you have experienced it, or know someone who has, you know that feeling when you realize the game has been interrupted, you don’t know why, you don’t know what to say, but you feel it. You know that you want to get back into the game or you want that person to get back into the game. You deserve to play like everybody else, even those who seem to be able to play and don’t/won’t want to. This is not a female only phenomena.

 

 

  1.  P.E. No no no no no. Not physical education, PREMATURE EJACULATION. Yes yes yes yes. The initiation which allows a man to really become one of the boys. Be honest men. “That never happens to me”, “what…nah”, “boy you by yourself on that one”. ‘You off the pitch and the whistle to start eh even blow” or maybe the whistle did blow and as you come on you have to go off. PE has happened to most if not all men. “Boy I must be wait too long for this game”, “was a tight game”, “was a suhweet game’, “is the position they put me to play in” and on and on. Whatever it was or is you watching the opponent different, one up, you one down, and looking for an equalizer. This is not a male only phenomena.

 

  1. SPORT. Undeniably the greatest of them all. As you continue to root for your teams, where you have no citizenship, where you may or may not be accepted, where you may be considered greater or lesser, in the world or sport, fandom and spectatorship we all sit as equals, watching the game, rooting for “our” team. Cricket, Football, Basketball.  The list goes on and on.  Life goes on.  The game goes on.
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Nelson Mandela is dead – He Belongs to the Ages

December 6th – 2013

“Space: the final frontier.These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise” Star Date Dec 6.Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible say, wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel. I know what allyu thinking “Mary boy child…” Nah I want to change that, no disrespect to the Christ-ians but long time ago it will be said there lived a man called Nelson Mandela. Yea I have a His-Story degree and I writing my own thing.

Christopher Columbus believed he would reach the east if he sailed west. It is rumoured he was looking for a short cut for India and that my friends was the beginning and for some the end of Africa. The world then was a very big place (social media would have us believe it is smaller now HA HA). It took months to get from one place to another. So imagine how hard it was to be popular, worst yet be part of or lead a global movement.

They had some ole fellas around these parts, one Williams, one Adams, and one Manley, who together tried to come together and all that remained when they separate was an equation, a math equation that some of us are familiar with (one from ten leaves nought). They were right here and could not make one.

In the era following at least in Trinidad, from what I know there existed a spirit that linked us the world, but to Africa in particular and to things African. Case in point the 70’s. Even before and after that the Pan African movement, which we own be it CLR, Henry Sylvester Williams here and in Europe, or Over in America Kwame Ture/Stolkey Carmichael. Serious academic men of Global proportions.

Culturally Valentino’s ‘Stay Up Zimbabwe”, and Merchant’s “Um Ba Ya Ya O” these are songs that tell of a consciousness of our brothers and sisters far away but close to our hearts. These things were not nurtured on the internet, via fb or twitter. We casually read text messages and posts, but like the word itself, read (fb posts of Mandela’s passing) is not necessarily read (Long Walk to Freedom).

Then there was this man Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson aka Chief Olokun Igbaro (not me the Ooni of Ife call him that). This man make me, a secondary school student go to deluxe Cinema to see “Cry freedom” the Steve Bico Story (me a black CIC boy, from Cunupia, trying to find my place in the world). You all know I never went ZEN, for those who don’t know, it was deluxe cinema.

Flip the script a bit. Imagine these men in the non social media, non Bill Gates, non Steve Jobs era commanding by their presence and existence in the global diaspora (and I eh even mention Garvey) and here in Trinidad, not now but in the relatively modern era of pc’s and pagers people having “golliwog nights” and you cyar even get 50 brothers together to protest.

Today, yes today, Minister of Foreign Affairs getting “rupes up” by Minister of National Security about 13 “illegal immigrants” (Jamaican) and we cyar make a proper statement about Haiti, but everybody on fb know who the Jamaicans were and why they get rejected. Maybe Stalin said it best “Rastafarian cult growing and Carifta dying slow, is something dem Rasta’s on that dem politicians don’t know.”

Nelson Mandela stands tall for me, a man who achieved his Mission, I know this, I trust that much of my generation knows this. I fear that in the world of fb and twitter, in this shrunken world, generations after me (those here) and generations to come will not even know the essence of the man, like many of them who do not know of some of those whom I have mentioned above. They will say “Long time ago there lived a man called Nelson Mandela.”

The Oppressor can be overcome… without violence. This is the legacy of Nelson Mandela.