Manmay Lakay band, photo via Events Saint Lucia Facebook page

Events Saint Lucia in collaboration with the Folk Research Centre and the Cultural Development Foundation rolled out an events program yesterday, September 27, 2020 to commemorate the official launch of Creole Heritage Month. The production was very entertaining andinformative and took viewers on a nostalgic cultural ride featuring scenes from various local rivers and sites where the characters told stories or spoke of StLucia’s diverse culture. Hosted by cultural icon Kennedy ‘Boots’ Samuel, the event showcased a variety of native content including folklore, creole music and dance, local fashion, traditional games and more. The show kicked off with some upbeat creole tunes from the band ‘Manmay Lakay’, who are popularly known for their artistic play on words and groovy instrumentals followed by the Helen folk dancers who graced the audience with some quadrille dancing. Five “made for TV” productions were featured at the launch yesterday, with each production taking the form of a mini-series, highlighting key components of Saint Lucia’s cultural and traditional heritage. They were: Annou Dansé Kwéyòl Sent Lisianan educational and entertaining traditional dance series hosted by Jason C. Joseph Traditional Dance Choreographer and Music Specialist, Fèsten Jwé, a four-part series highlighting traditional games hosted by radio personality Kiedel Sonny A creole fashion series branded Bèlté Sent Lisi hosted by National Carnival Queen 2018 Earlyca Frederick I Di Kwik a four-part storytelling mini-series hosted by the iconic creole character “Grandpa” played by Cultural Activist George “Fish” Alphonse Dékouvè Sent Lisi, Dékouvè kò’w, an emotive series which is designed to take its audiences on an exploration of the people and sites of four quaint communities across the island. The Icon Series, now into its fifth season, was also previewed as well as the La Magwit Flower Festival. The launch was streamed via all popular social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Instagram TV, as well as YouTube. The organizers have also announced another major virtual cultural event called ‘Gwan Fet’ scheduled for Sunday, October 25th, 2020. This event will be staged at Fond Latisab Creole Park in Fond Assau, Babonneau which is designated as the Official Creole Village for the 2020 Creole Heritage Month season and allows for real-time participation by audiences facilitated through Zoom. Promotions and competitions including Best Decorated Creole Home, Best Dressed, Best Display of Creole Cuisine and Best Creole Friends & Family Photo, will run throughout the show which will be branded “Gwan Fèt …La kay nou”. In addition to cultural musical performances, traditional dance, traditional games, creole cuisine, traditional technology and storytelling, Gwan Fet will feature a creole cooking competition and full-scale creole fashion show. Creole Heritage Month 2020 aims to reach audiences far beyond St. Lucia’s 238 square miles thus breaking the barriers created by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The continuing spread of the coronavirus in some countries has forced tens of thousands of students to learn online. In my practice, I have found this “second-wave” so much more concerning, not just because of the increasing Covid-positive cases coupled with the alarming reports of Covid-related deaths, but also because of the deep, pervasive sadness all around. We have to accept that this is our way of life, for the time being, until the world develops a vaccine. The world is in a state of grief, which is important for us to acknowledge and to sit with. Our delusion of control has been called out and yet we have the same responsibilities, same burdens, same issues that we did before. But, instead of falling into despair, we must rise above. Flexible thinking combined with a willingness to adapt is the name of the game. So why is online learning so challenging for many parents? From the discussions I have had with parents and students, there is resistance to online learning stemming from loss, which then in turn has led to a reluctance to adapt. Loss of an established routine, loss of in-person instruction and, most of all, loss of the school-community has caused grief in both children and adults. However, we understand that opposition to adapting to our new “Now”, will result in the interruption of emotional and intellectual growth. For many parents and guardians, lack of technology or competition within the family for technology is an issue. Furthermore, I’ve spoken to many parents who felt as though they were ill-equipped to help their children. Arising out of this, despair and hopelessness hijacks parents’ brains which in turn affects family life on a multitude of levels. Making space within a home, especially in close quarters is also a challenge. Multiple children with multiple learning needs can be overwhelming for parents to manage, especially when they have different schedules and learning expectations. For example, the two-year-old toddler has different learning responsibilities compared to her six and eight-year-old siblings. Moreover, there is sometimes only one parent, day in and day out, who is responsible for managing their various needs in addition to his or her own work. For some parents, their lack of training and knowledge is a source of remarkable anxiety. Not only do they not understand the devices, platforms or use of technology on a whole, but many do not understand the curriculum demands, academic concepts or instructions given by teachers. While I’ve spoken to many parents who want to learn, some feel as though they do not have enough time to get up to speed or are ashamed of their limitations. For some of my parents, working from home has left them without colleagues, office banter or adult companionship. Being overburdened by longer working hours as well as being saddled with additional responsibilities at home has increased self-criticism and reactivity. Many stay-at-home parents struggle with being forced into teaching roles and are experiencing their loss of routine which previously allowed them to manage the home and the children. Some have told me they feel constantly on-call or on-demand not only by their children but sometimes by the schools. Most families will agree, however, that the disconnect from our communities has been difficult to accept. No longer do some have the time, opportunity or even feel comfortable going for that morning walk or having lunch with friends. There are very few opportunities for that much needed outlet. So, what can we do? How do we navigate this pandemic related “Now” so that we effectively support our children online as well as keep ourselves feeling constructive? Set realistic goals and be mindful that there is a learning process for all While some teachers seem to have better command of online learning, we know that others do not for many reasons. Thus, it is important that you establish a working relationship with your current teacher but also maintain healthy relationships with past ones. Remember your children’s former teachers know your child’s unique learning style, the discipline strategies which proved fruitful as well as the teaching methods which resonated. In other words, they can tell you what worked since you now have a huge teaching role. There is much to be learned from past and present teachers. The teachers in-turn will appreciate your interest and support. When all stakeholders speak the same language and are consistent, your child has the best chance of thriving. Keep a routine as best as possible If you have older children who are online, try to be in syncwith their breaks so that you are also available during that time for a chat, a snack or even a movement break. Avoid the use of screens during this time to give the brain the chance to reset. However, when they are in session, try to get your work done. Teaching your preschoolers may be a bit more demanding. But remember, children learn through play and interaction. Singing songs, playing games and movement activities are key to development. Allow them to attend their preschool sessions online with supervision; however, you may want to utilise their down time to complete your work. Ensure that creative time, physical activity, and self-care (for yourselves and your children) are also scheduled in. Screen time for entertainment should be minimal and used only as a reinforcement. Minimise distractions where possible Try to declutter the study area. With multiple children, who are able to be in the same room, set up a study center for each person. Younger children should have appropriately sized desks so that their little legs don’t dangle. Their feet should be planted on the floor to ensure maximum comfort and to reduce distraction. If there is a competition for devices, stagger the hours of homework and revision where possible. You may need to get your child’s classwork sent to you via email ahead of time or pick it up in a hard copy form if possible to review separately with your child. Schedule in chores Chores teach children responsibility and reinforce the importance of being part of a community. Children always should take responsibility for their personal space such as their bedrooms. But community chores also teach life skills from a young age as well as encourage independence. They build work ethic since there is a sense of teamwork and respect for one’s surroundings. However, parents are also reminded to offer a positive reinforcement or affirmation for a job well-done. Try using star charts to keep you children on task but nothing can replace a kind word or a hug. If you are a part of a small ‘pod’ or group, whether with family or friends who-are-like-family, be there for each other If you have children around the same age, maybe you can take alternating days for online supervision of two or three children at a time. One parent told me that in their “bubble” parents take turns watching small groups of children play in community areas for an hour or two at a time, which then frees the other parents to run much needed errands. This way parents get the chance to take care of work, home and even self. Remember, it really does take a village to raise a child. Try to put in one night a week for family time A special time where screens are not allowed. It is important to model for your children that screens do not have to be attached to a person at all times. Put in traditional board games, card games or outdoor activities that we played as children (such as Hopscotch, All-Fours or Moral). Play a game of darts, go for a walk or even a swim. At my home, we enjoy making s’mores outside with our children and stargazing. I recently had the pleasure of participating in a wonderful full moon yoga session, online, with my daughter which was both bonding and relaxing. We have this time with our children for such a short period, we need to remember to enjoy their company. After all, being a parent is the greatest gift and honour one will ever be blessed with.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has announced that Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival in 2021, is not on. He made the announcement at a Spotlight on the Budget Forum earlier today. “In 72hourswe will be in October and if at this time in October we are still in the throes of a pandemic, it would be madness to be talking about Carnival in February. I see no future for Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago in the months ahead,” he said. Dr Rowley said it would take something dramatic to reverse his thoughts on the matter. “I can put everybody on notice that unless there is some dramatic wind that will blow across us where, by Christmas, the pandemic would have beena thing of the past, Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago in 2021 is not on,” he announced. Questions surrounding the annual festival have been circulating for months. Other Caribbean counterparts have cancelled their Carnivals and related events for the rest of 2020, with possibilities looming over 2021. The Prime Minister encouraged that the populacelookson the bright side despite the announcement. “Let us be thankful that we’re all still alive to see each other's face. Let usremember what our country passed through in 1918,” he said. Dr Rowley says that while he understands the economic fallout that the decision will have, he’s more interested in saving lives.

The Prime Minister of Barbados has called on governmentsin the Americas region to ensure citizens employed in the tourism sector have priority access to thecoronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. Prime minister Mia Mottley, who co-chairs the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Americas Cruise Task Force, made the call as she addressed the 58 Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today. “I have listened to colleagues across the region who are desperately calling for a safe restart to cruise tourism. As one of the most tourism- and travel- dependent regions of the world, and, therefore, the region whose economies have come to a screeching halt, we have to find a way to jump start them,” she said. “But it must be done in such a way as to ensure the safety of our workers.It is for this reason that I have been advocating that workers in this sector be given priority access to vaccinations. This would allow thousands to get back to work safely and get our almost dormant economies awake again.” Mottley added that she is thankful that PAHO is assisting small countries like Barbados to have equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine when it is developed.

Kerwin ‘Private 6’ Bowers

StLucian artiste Kerwin ‘Private 6’ Bowershas now added music production to his list of expertise. The young musician startedP6-Muzik to provide the opportunity for artistes to receive the production opportunities that he was unable to attain as an artiste. P6-Muzik began in 2019. At that time, Kerwin was only producing beats for fun. When Kerwin produced his first 'riddim', the Craduro 'riddim', DJ Addo assisted him in getting artistes like Dhirv2Funny, Chester and Jardel on the riddim and encouraged him to take the craft seriously. “DJ Addo told me yo, you have a vibe. You should take this serious,” said Kerwin. From then, he started practicing and creating beats. He was determined to improve his craft, making up to five beats a day while seeking opinions from his musical peers. His next project was a collaboration with Jammin’ Production to create the Vapor Max and Street Jam 'riddims' which featured a number of local Dennery Segment artistes. He then dropped the Gambia 'riddim' and close to the StLucia Carnival season, the Smash or Pass 'riddim', which took off from the beginning with hits like 'In My Ears (Mosquito)'by Bobo and Dhirv2Funny and 'Behind D Truck'by Umpa ft Rambo. This was one of the hottest 'riddims' for Carnival 2019. High off a successful Carnival, P6-Muzik released the After Hours 'riddim' which featured versatile artiste Kelly B. “Kelly B is an artiste I highly respect for his work ethics. He reminds me of myself with his lyrical mastery,” said Kerwin. On Monday, the producer released the long-awaited Live Stream 'riddim' which he had been teasing via his social media platforms. The 'riddim' is a combination of percussion, trap and dancehall which gives it a unique Caribbean blend. Eight artistes are featured on the riddim, including Kelly B with 'Like That'and Jay Budz with 'Between Me And You'which were the first two songs to be released. “I expect a lot of promising things from that 'riddim'. Trinidadians are already calling me to be featured on the 'riddim'. I hope to get the popular Trinibad artistes on it,” he said. Although his journey has been a difficult one, the young producer saidpersistence is key. “Never give up, be persistent, try to be consistent. Don’t do it because everyone is doing it, don’t do it for the money but do it because you love it. Stay focused, practice daily and keep striving, you never know when you will get your lucky break,” Kerwin advised. Kerwin expressed his gratitude toeveryone who played arole in his journey including Veagel, Krome Productions, Ransum Beats, all of whom have been engineers on some of his projects. Healso thankedPatrice Regis, his mentor, DJ Addo, Junez, Frano,Esteban, Mysterio and the entire musicfraternity.

Bajan soca queen Alison Hinds wil be among the star-studded line up.

Caribbean soca stars including Patrice Roberts, Alison Hinds,Skinny Fabulous and Mr. Killa willperform at the first ever Virtual Walk for the Cure and Concert of Hope. For the first time in the nine-year history of the largest walk for a cause for Breast Cancer in the Caribbean, and similarly for the first time in Trinidad there will be no walk for the cause of Prostate Cancer, as Covid-19 has forced regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean, to take its flagship fundraiser online. The bank, through promoter 4D Entertainment, willproducethe regional event on October 4that will bring together some 13 popular regional performers and two DJs for a full three hours of entertainment. The event will alsoinclude energetic workout sessions from a number of top fitness coaches. Regional performers include Mr. Vegas from Jamaica; Edwin ‘The General’ Yearwood, Adrian AC Clarke, and Hypa Dawg Lil Rick from Barbados; Teddyson John from St. Lucia, Ricardo Drue hailing from Antigua, and from the Bahamas Julian Believe.King James from St. Maarten and Tumba singer Reinir Lijfrock from the island of Aruba will also perform. Donations can still be made to assist with the cause through The online programme begins at 4 pm and can be viewed by logging on to,,, Caribvision and Zoom. -

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during a news conference at the White House, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The bombshell revelations that President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for office and paid no income taxes at all in many others threaten to undercut a pillar of his appeal among blue-collar voters and provide a new opening for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, on the eve of the first presidential debate. Trump has worked for decades to build an image of himself as a hugely successful businessman — even choosing "mogul" as his Secret Service code name. But The New York Times on Sunday revealed that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the presidency, and in 2017, his first year in office. He paid no income taxes whatsoever in 10 of the previous 15 years, largely because he reported losing more money than he made, according to the Times, which obtained years' worth of tax return data that the president had long fought to keep private. The development comes at a particularly precarious moment for Trump, whose Republican campaign is struggling to overcome criticism of the president's handling of the pandemic. It hands Biden an easy attack line heading into Tuesday's debate. And with early voting already happening in some states and Election Day just over a month away, Trump may be running out of time to turn his campaign around. "Donald Trump needs this election to be about Joe Biden as a choice," said long time GOP consultant Alex Conant. "This keeps the focus squarely on Trump's character and the chaos going into the most important night of the campaign, the debate." Of course, Trump has repeatedly faced — and survived — devastating turns that would have sunk any other politician. That includes, most notably, the stunning "Access Hollywood" tape released in October 2016, in which Trump was recorded bragging about kissing and groping women without their permission. The video's release came just two days before Trump was set to face then-candidate Hillary Clinton in their second debate and was considered a death knell to his campaign at the time. At this point in the race, with voting already underway in many states and so few voters still undecided, it is unclear whether any new discoveries about Trump would make any difference. Trump's support over the years has remained remarkably consistent, polls over the course of his presidency have found. Yet the tax allegations go to the very heart of Trump's appeal, especially among the blue-collar voters in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan who propelled him to the presidency in 2016. Trump was supported by about two-thirds of white voters without college degrees, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Centre, versus only about 2 in 10 non-white non-college graduates. Indeed, in a Gallup poll from February 2016, Republicans who wanted to see Trump win their party's nomination cited his experience as a businessman as the second-most important reason they backed him, surpassed only by his status as a nonpolitician and an outsider. Even today, when asked to explain their support for Trump, voters often point to his success in business as evidence of his acumen. And they often repeat his talking point that he gave up a great deal to serve as president, citing his sacrifice as evidence that he ran for the job not out of self-interest, but because he cares about improving the lives of people like them. But the image of a man flying around in private jets from one luxury property to another and paying less in taxes than millions of Americans with far more modest lifestyles could prompt a backlash similar to the one 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney faced after he was secretly recorded at a closed-door fundraiser saying that the 47% of Americans who don't pay income taxes were "dependent upon government" and would never vote for him. "(M)y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," Romney said. Roughly half of Americans pay no federal income taxes, but the average income tax paid in 2017 was nearly $12,200, according to the IRS. Democrats wasted no time in seizing on the news, with the Biden campaign's online store already selling stickers saying "I paid more income taxes than Donald Trump" on Sunday night. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted an emoji calling on followers to raise their hands "if you paid more in federal income tax than President Trump." "That's why he hid his tax returns. Because the whole time, he wasn't paying taxes. But you were," added Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn. And Representative Richard Neal, D-Mass., chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the new report highlights the importance of the House Democratic lawsuit against the Trump administration to access Trump's tax returns. "This reporting shines a stark light on the vastly different experience people with power and influence have when interacting with the Internal Revenue Service than the average American taxpayer does," he said in a statement. In addition to the news about Trump's annual payments, the Times found that many of his best-known businesses, including his golf courses, reported huge losses, and that, as he faces an uphill battle for re-election, his finances are under particular stress thanks to "hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed." Trump is also under audit over a $72.9 million tax refund that could cost him more than $100 million if the IRS rules against him, the Times revealed. The development comes after Biden recently stepped up his efforts to paint Trump as a charlatan who has lied to his working-class supporters. In contrast, Biden has tried to highlight his own middle-class upbringing. The election, Biden has said, is "Scranton vs Park Avenue," pitting Biden's boyhood hometown in Pennsylvania against Manhattan, where Trump built his branding empire and reality television career. "This clearly plays straight into that contrast that Biden has opened up," said Joe Trippi, a veteran strategist of multiple Democratic presidential campaigns. Trippi said coming into the debate, Biden now has something he can concretely point to as he tries to sway the slim margin of voters who remain undecided. "You move a few points of working class voters, and you're talking about Biden winning in places like Ohio," Trippi said. Conant, who worked on Florida Senator Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign, noted how defensive Trump became when Rubio, during a primary debate, charged that Trump "would be selling watches in Manhattan" had he not inherited tens of millions of dollars from his father, Fred. Trump raised an index finger in the air, yelling, "No, no, no, no," as he sought to interrupt Rubio and insisted that he had instead borrowed money. "That is so wrong," he said. "So long as this campaign is all about Trump," Conant said, "he's going to lose."

 In this October 10, 2019, file photo, Brad Parscale, then-campaign manager for President Donald Trump, speaks during a campaign rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been hospitalized after he threatened to harm himself, according to Florida police and campaign officials. Police officers talked Parscale out of his Fort Lauderdale home after his wife called police to say that he had multiple firearms and was threatening to hurt himself when he was hospitalized Sunday under the state’s Baker Act. That act allows anyone deemed to be a threat to themselves or others to be detained for 72 hours for psychiatric evaluation. “Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we love him,” said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. “We are ready to support him and his family in any way possible.” Parscale was demoted from the campaign manager's post in July but remained part of the campaign, helping run its digital operation. Standing 6’8” and with a distinctive beard, Parscale had become a celebrity to Trump supporters and would frequently pose for photos and sign autographs ahead of campaign rallies. But Trump had begun to sour on him earlier this year as Parscale attracted a wave of media attention that included a focus on his seemingly glitzy lifestyle on the Florida coast that kept him far from campaign headquarters in Virginia. Over the summer, he hyped a million ticket requests for the president’s comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that ended up drawing just 6,000 people. A furious Trump was left staring at a sea of empty seats and, weeks later, promoted Bill Stepien to campaign manager. Parscale was originally hired to run Trump’s 2016 campaign by Jared Kushner, the president’s powerful son-in-law. While the Republican National Committee owns most of the campaign’s data, voter modelling and outreach tools, Parscale ran most of the microtargeted online advertising that Trump aides believe was key to his victory four years ago. Under the state's Red Flag Law, officials could ask a judge to bar Parscale from possessing any weapons for up to a year.

Jamie Vardy notched a hat-trick in Leicester City's 5-2 win over Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday

Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick as Leicester City whipped Manchester City on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium. Former Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez put City ahead in the 4th minute, before Vardy led Leicester's stunning reply. He equalized with a penalty in the 37th minute before putting Leicester ahead in the 53rd. Vardy completed his hat-trick with another penalty in the 58th minute to put the Foxes ahead 3-1. Nathan Ake scored his first goal for City in the 84th minute, before Youri Tielemans rounded off scoring with an 88th minute penalty--Leicester's third of the afternoon. Leicester have now won their first three matches for the first time in history, while Pep Guardiola suffered his heaviest defeat at home as City manager. At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Callum WIlson converted a controversial penalty in the seventh minute of injury time to earn a 1-1 against Tottenham Hotspur. Lucas Moura scored in the 25th minute from a Harry Kane cross and that seemed enough to claim the points until late in time added on. AndyCarroll headed a cross against the arm of Spurs defender Eric Dier and the penalty was awarded after consultation with the video assistant referee. At the London Stadium, Jared Bowen scored a double as West Ham United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0. Bowen scored in the 17th and 57th minutes to put the Hammers 2-0 ahead. A Raul Jiminez own goal in the 66th minute and a late Sebastian Haller goal gave West Ham a much-needed win to lift them from 18th to 10th in the table. Hammers' manager David Moyes is recovering from COVID-19 at home, after testing positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. Finally, Leeds United edged Sheffield United 1-0 with a late goal from Patrick Bamford. The Leeds striker headed in a Jack Harrison cross in the 88th minute to win the first meeting between the two Yorkshire teams in 26 years. Sheffield are still yet to register a point for the season, while Leeds register their second win of the 2020-21 season. On Monday, Fulham host Aston Villa, while champions Liverpool take on Arsenal at Anfield.

 Jhaniele Fowler (left) of the West Coast Fever and Samantha Wallace (right) of the NSW Swifts will face off in the semi-finals of the Suncorp Netball Super League next weekend. (Photos courtesy the Suncorp Netball Super League)

Samantha Wallace scored 56 points in the NSW 77-77 draw with rivals GIANTS Netball at Nissan Arena, Brisbane on Saturday night. The T&T international notched 50 goals in the shooting circle and six from Suncorp Super Shot range to for 56 points (94%) on the night. However, the GIANTS fought back from a 10-point deficit to earn the draw, outscoring the Swifts 23-15 in the final quarter. GIANTshooter Jo Harten shotsix Suncorp Super Shots in the last quarter alone to earn the draw for her team. The draw means the Swifts will play next week's minor semi-finals against the West Coast Fever. Wallace will come up against Jamaican Jhanieil Fowler in the minor semi-final next week. Fowler hit 54 of 58 shots in her West Coast Fever's narrow loss to the Adelaide Thunderbirds 64-63. Underthe tournament rules, the Swifts will have to win the minor semifinal and then defeat the losing team of the major final to get into the grand final of the tournament. NSW Swifts are the defending champions. They beat the Sunshine Coast Lightning 64-47 in the finals last year, with Wallace winning the MVP award for her 40 goals in 44 attempts. The Melbourne Vixens will play the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the major semi-finals next week. The Vixens beat the Lightning 58-54 on Saturday in Round 14 of the Super Netball League. Jamaica's Romelda Aiken scored 47 goals from 52 attempts as her team the Queensland Firebirds defeated the Collingwood Magpies 65-63. However, the Firebirds are out of contention for a place in the semi-finals, after a fifth-place finish.