It’s been over a month since T&T has b the weight and effect of the closure of many of businesses, prompting a loss of earnings on different levels since the swell of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from the Government’s efforts to assist citizens of varied social backgrounds, many persons have pledged support in different ways, including two local artistes who recently piloted projects to assist and to share moral support during this time.
Soca entertainer Devon “Dev” Harris of Dev Barber Shop Crew from Cocoyea and Raymond Ramnarine of the chutney/soca band DEN (Dil-e-Nadan) from Gasparillo in their own ways have championed the cause to emphasis care and share for such persons.
In a one minute, 40 second video, Harris endorsed the call for people to take the COVID-19 virus seriously. He teamed up with some of his members and spoke about the seriousness and the restrictions society now has to play in the fight against the virus that has called for isolation worldwide.
Dev’s message said: “The world is in a frenzy as we reluctantly listen to the pandemic melody it plays a lonely sound of confinement. As we adjust to this new apocalyptic climate, thousands of lives lost, thousands of people are sick…ticking time bomb that we have to defuse. Humanity’s existence is being threatened—we cannot refuse. A revolution is on us, social distancing is a must…stay clean, stay healthy, and stay safe.”
Many other artistes have reached out on social media in their own ways, including Dwayne Bravo with his We Not Giving Up, and the extempo challenge initiated by National Extempore Monarch Brian London, which made its rounds on Facebook. Artistes have also been raising awareness by composing new songs on the pandemic. Among them have been Gregory “GB” Ballantyne, Crazy, Kees Dieffenthaller, Tobago Crusoe (Ortneil Bacchus), Marcia Miranda and Oscar B, as well as Humorous Calypso Monarch The Incredible Myron B. Gospel artiste Denyse Plummer also produced a reggae medley via WhatsApp.
Ramnarine a former Chutney Soca monarch, also raised the bar a bit higher to include his DEN team and relatives to pack hampers and boxes of food items to deliver to families in several parts of the country including Claxton Bay, Gasparillo, Princes Town, Belmont, Barataria, Manzanilla, Caroni and Penal and Debe. He organised with several small businesses including Dollar Value Supermarket, Kevin and Tricia Ramdhanie of Piping Designs, Ian Williams, Dallah Enterprise, Darpan Trading Co Ltd, Nadira Rahaman, Achan family, and the ADON Group that came together with the band to assist hundreds of people who needed the assistance.
Ramnarine said this was his way of helping out at a time when some people needed the help the most. He added that he did not do it for the recognition or fame, but just as a kind gesture to really help people.
Said the Gasparillo singing star: “It’s just out of having a pure heart; the love I have for our people. When I’m on stage it’s the best feeling ever and our people play an integral part of this experience so the least I can do is give back and see the smiles on their faces. To just give them some sort of hope.” (Innis Francis)