THE EDITOR: The recent accident involving a student while on a pedestrian crossing should have triggered an educational campaign, especially from the mainstream media. If the mainstream media still thinks that there is a responsibility to educate the public. Especially when most of the comments have displayed their ignorance and lack of knowledge about the law and the Highway Code. However, I also add that the Ministry of Works and Transport needs to educate its traffic wardens, licensing officers, etc. Same for the police service. The Ministry of Education needs to educate its principals and by extension students and parents. Let us hope that parents will stop parking and double parking within the limits of the pedestrian crossing. PHILIP AYOUNG-CHEE via e-mail
THE EDITOR: I write on behalf of many of our senior citizens in the El Socorro area who have tried countless times to contact the El Socorro Health Centre by telephone, but no one ever answers. Asked the reason for this, the head nurse said the telephone is in a different room and they don’t hear when it rings. I am therefore asking Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to kindly put things in place so that the senior citizens and, more so, the residents of El Socorro and environs can access the health centre by telephone to avoid wasting time. SUMINTRA SAMAROO via e-mail
Maxwell Adeyemi OVARIAN cancer can be very stealthy in its “attack” on women. Notwithstanding this fact, ovarian cancer gives signs and shows symptoms which most people clearly miss until it is too late. Evidence suggests that this cancer begins in the fallopian tubes and moves to the ovaries, the twin organs that produce a woman’s eggs and the main source of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer symptoms The symptoms of the disease include: bloating or pressure in the belly; pain in the abdomen or pelvis, feeling full too quickly during meals and urinating more frequently. These symptoms can be caused by many conditions that are not cancer. If they occur persistently for more than a few weeks, seek a medical opinion. Major predisposing risk factors Family history: A woman’s odds of developing ovarian cancer are higher if a close relative has had cancer of the ovaries, breast, or colon. Researchers believe that inherited genetic changes account for ten per cent of ovarian cancers. This includes the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, which are linked to breast cancer. Women with a strong family history should talk with a doctor to see whether closer medical follow-up could be helpful. Age: The strongest risk factor for ovarian cancer is age. It’s most likely to develop after a woman goes through menopause. Using postmenopausal hormone therapy may increase the risk. The link seems strongest in women who take estrogen without progesterone for at least five to ten years. Obesity: Obese women have a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer than other women. And the death rates for ovarian cancer are higher for obese women too, compared with non-obese women. The heaviest women appear to have the greatest risk. Ovarian cancer screening tests There is no easy or reliable way to test for ovarian cancer if a woman has no symptoms. However, there are two ways to screen for ovarian cancer during a routine gynaecologic exam. 1. One is a blood test for elevated levels of a protein called CA-125. 2. The other is an ultrasound of the ovaries. Unfortunately, neither technique has been shown to save lives when used in women of average risk. For this reason, screening is only recommended for women with strong risk factors. Diagnosing ovarian cancer Imaging tests, such as ultrasound or CT scans, can help reveal an ovarian mass. But these scans cannot determine whether the abnormality is cancer. If cancer is suspected, the next step is usually surgery to remove suspicious tissues. A sample is then sent to the laboratory for further examination. This is called a biopsy which indicates the stage of the cancer. Stages of ovarian cancer The initial surgery for ovarian cancer also helps determine how far the cancer has spread, described by the following stages: Stage I: Confined to one or both ovaries Stage II: Spread to the uterus or other nearby organs Stage III: Spread to the lymph nodes or abdominal lining Stage IV: Spread to distant organs, such as the lungs or liver Treatment Surgery Surgery is used to diagnose ovarian cancer and determine its stage, but it is also the first phase of treatment. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible. This may include a single ovary and nearby tissue in stage I. In more advanced stages, it may be necessary to remove both ovaries, along with the uterus and surrounding tissues. Chemotherapy In all stages of ovarian cancer, chemotherapy is usually given after surgery. This phase of treatment uses drugs to target and kill any remaining cancer in the body. Targeted therapies Researchers are working on therapies that target the way ovarian cancer grows. A process called angiogenesis involves the formation of new blood vessels to feed tumours. A drug called Avastin blocks this process, causing tumours to shrink or stop growing. When women have both ovaries removed, they can no longer produce their own estrogen. This triggers early menopause, no matter how young the patient. The drop in hormone levels can also raise the risk for certain medical conditions, including osteoporosis. It’s vital that women have regular follow-up care after being treated for ovarian cancer. After some women have been fully treated for ovarian cancer, they may discover that it takes a long time for their energy to return. Fatigue is a very common problem after treatment for cancer. Beginning a gentle exercise programme is one of the most effective ways to restore energy and improve emotional well-being. Reduction of ovarian cancer risk Pregnancy: Women who have biological children are less likely to get ovarian cancer than women who have never given birth. The risk appears to decrease with every pregnancy, and breastfeeding may offer added protection. Contraceptive pills: Ovarian cancer is also less common in women who have taken birth control pills. Women who have used the pill for at least five years have about half the risk of women who never took the pill. Like pregnancy, birth control pills prevent ovulation. Ovulating less often may protect against ovarian cancer. Tubal ligation: Getting your tubes tied, medically known as tubal ligation, may offer some protection against ovarian cancer. The same goes for having a hysterectomy, which is a surgical removal of the uterus. Removal of ovaries: For women with genetic mutations that put them at high risk for ovarian cancer, removing the ovaries is an option. This can also be considered in women over 40 getting a hysterectomy. Low-fat diet: While there is no definitive diet to prevent ovarian cancer, there is evidence that what you eat can make a difference. Some studies have shown that women who stuck to a low-fat diet for at least four years were less likely to develop ovarian cancer. The cancer is also less common in women who eat a lot of vegetables, but more studies are needed. Contact Dr Maxwell on 3631807 or 7575411
Marva Newton & Kairi Kaiso will launch off the second year of Anthony’s Cari-Jazz @ Kafe Blue concert series on February 29. Anthony’s Cari-Jazz (ACJ) is a nine-month jazz concert series featuring popular local jazz artistes, invited musicians and university music students, a media release said. It allows local artistes to explore Caribbean jazz sounds, rhythms, styles, and genres. The featured artistes will work with a trio of musicians provided by ACJ for an hour of performance time. Special guest jazz saxophonist Jamie Ghany will open for Newton & Kairi Kaiso – an acoustic quartet that performs traditional calypso music through the ages. Formed in 2011, the group continues to build a steady following with its organic vocals, vibe and melodies. Its mission is to keep indigenous calypso music alive, while paying homage to the legends of the art form, the release said. The quartet will feature Newton on guitar and lead vocals, Michelle Marfan-Urquhart on flute and backing vocal, Nicole Carter vocal and percussion, and James Fenton – cajon and percussion. The release said Anthony’s Cari-Jazz is a private, not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to find, support, and promote Caribbean jazz and its jazz artistes worldwide. It said it produces daily and weekly features on social media such as Artiste of the Day, Panjazz Tuesday, Kaisojazz Saturday, Artistes of the Week, and This Week in Caribbean Jazz. The platforms have garnered over 14,700 viewers and listeners worldwide, the release said. Part proceeds from Anthony’s Cari-Jazz @ Kafe Blue goes to supporting the annual ACJ Student Award programme. Showtime is 8 pm at Kafe Blue, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain. For more info: 477-2242.
WAYNE KUBLALSINGH AND NOBODY knows. In local parlance, a big macco barge, towed by a big macco tug, with a big macco cable, bifurcates the aquamarine waters between Trinidad and Tobago, with a big macco cargo of, who knows, lumber, sand, “oil-like substance,” sinks off the south-eastern shore of Tobago; and nobody knows the culprits. And was the kilogram of cocaine found near the spill part of the cargo? On the balance of probabilities, it appears, not necessarily related, still under investigation. Nobody knows. This “nobody knows” story is typical of our narcotic interdiction practices in TT. Here are five factors which put the narcotics trade in TT into context: The narcotic supply chain Narcotic cartels in the coca-growing Andean chain, Colombia and Peru, which supply cocaine to the world market, are more equipped to supply, defend and sustain their cartels than some national governments are prepared to disrupt and defeat them. Such cartels source expertise from armies, the police, airport staff, shippers, launderers, bankers and in instances the US Drug Enforcement Agency; who provide sophisticated intelligence, surveillance, financial services, transport and arms support. One route is from Colombia to the eastern border of Venezuela. Another is from Colombia or Central America, along the Caribbean coastline, plying TT waters to Guyana. Like Venezuela and Guyana, Trinidad is a transfer point in the Gulfstream of the narcotics economy. Between 2000 and 2005, murders in Trinidad increased at rates of 25.24 per cent, 25.24 per cent, 12.62 per cent, 33.17 per cent, 12.90 per cent (World Bank), coinciding with narcotics flow into Trinidad from South America (Report of UN Office on Drugs and Crime). The narcotics market The narcotics market in the Western Hemisphere is fuelled and fashioned by the demand for cocaine, crack, heroin, fentanyl, opiates and amphetamines in the US, Canada and Western Europe. According to the report of the UN office, “Market forces have already shaped the asymmetric dimensions of the drug economy; the world’s biggest consumers of the poison (the rich countries) have imposed upon the poor (the main locations of supply and trafficking) the greatest damage.” Psychological pathology and social dystopia in North America are fuelling the drug trade in the Caribbean and Central and South America. Approximately 80 per cent of the inmates in the US are afflicted with a drug problem. Fentanyl has become America’s black plague. The manufacture of fentanyl has shifted from kitchen pots in drug-torn states like California to beaker and Bunsen burner labs in Mexico. In 2021, 106,669 Americans died from drug overdose. Currently, the overdose death rate is 307 per day. This is not only an “inner city” phenomenon. The all-American heartland girl and boy, from which industrial and manufacturing bases have closed, outsourced abroad, are being mowed down like wheat thrash. The War on Drugs, Just Say No, cannot cope. In 2008, the US was the largest global market for cocaine. Narcotics, sovereignty and security In some parts of Mexico drug cartels have taken over law and order. In October 2019, the city of Culiacan spent half a day under the terror of drug cartel guns as gangs forced the government to free a drug lord’s son. The guns of the gangs exceeded that possessed by official police. In a narcocracy, the cartels have more power than official government. This industry constitutes an existential threat to our island states in the Caribbean, our entire security apparatus: police, army, coast guard, immigration officers, elements in the judiciary, legal and political officers. Punishment for narcotics In 1989, Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez, one of Fidel Castro’s most distinguished war generals and comrades, was found guilty of allowing South American drug traffickers to use Cuban waters for drop-offs and pick-ups. Castro himself appeared before the military tribunal as a witness against his comrade. He spoke out against Sanchez as he would at a political rally attacking US imperialism or sanctions. Full of sound and fury. Sanchez was executed before a firing squad. In China, if you are found with 50 grams or more of heroin or crystal methamphetamine, you could be executed. The Chinese way is swift punishment. Brisk. Cuba has one of the lowest rates of narcotic crimes in the Caribbean and Americas. China has one of the lowest on the planet. The fix-America requirement The Caribbean is being “damaged” by a problem originating in America. There are good reasons why Donald Trump vies to bring back US jobs from China, Mexico, Canada, etc; rebuild the manufacturing and industrial base of middle America; build a border wall to attack drugs/fentanyl; allow legal migrant crossings only; swiftly deport drug and gun gangs originating in Central America; bring Big Pharma to heel (overpricing and opioid addiction); and withdraw from globalisation and line-in-the-sand wars, in preference to exploiting indigenous US energy, draining the Washington swamp and MAGA. Caricom must take a stand. It must tell the US that it is damaging the Caribbean’s economy and institutional integrity. It must request that the US gets its Hotel California in order. Instead of embarking on proxy and regime-change wars globally, and imposing sanctions on our sovereign gas fields, it must fix its problem. Fix America first. Who or what were the owners, route, destination, names, business, point of origins of the vessels? Our maritime surveillance and intelligence apparatus do not know. The police caution against relating the cocaine to the spill. Who knows? When will we know? Nobody knows. Again.
IN THE ongoing national discourse on school violence, several commentators have advanced proposals, most of which are not novel, that should be considered by the authorities as a means of addressing what many have termed a national crisis. While the Ministry of Education’s cultural transformation policy acknowledges the need for the social re-engineering of the society, beginning with the school, unfortunately there’s nothing new in the translation formula that has not been mentioned or attempted before. The policy outcomes, though laudable in intent, are woefully inadequate for a problem much larger in scope and complexity, and which quite conspicuously avoids the root of the problem. At a recent public symposium on crime, one scholastic commentator renewed the call for parents to be held accountable for the crimes committed by their children, substantiating his call by a recent court decision in the US to hold the parents accountable for a gun-related offence committed by their minor. This suggestion is consistent with the view that the cultural transformation should begin in the home and community. Teachers have consistently been saying that the deviance and indiscipline displayed by children in school can be traced to the homes and communities from which these children come. Not only are teachers confronted by parents who are irate and irrational in their defence of their children’s truant ways, it has become patently evident that their parenting approach is now based on a formula emphasising rights and entitlement but devoid of responsibility. The home is one of the most important social education institutions in the development of a child. It is where fundamental principles of morality and social conduct are imparted from a tender age. It where social order is ingrained. Children learn what they live, modelling behaviours and attitudes of the significant adults in their lives from a tender age. The propensity for many adults to abdicate these parental responsibilities must be arrested. Unless radical steps are taken to hold parents accountable for the wrongul behaviours of their children, the social decay will continue with its devastating social and economic consequences. The balance between individual rights and societal responsibilities must be restored. For too long the narrative has been disproportionately focused on the right of the individual, while neglecting the good of the society at large. Teachers have been completely emasculated when it comes to disciplining children. This in turn fuels frustration and feelings of helplessness – a mental state that sadly pervades many of our schools. The cards are seemingly stacked in favour of “children’s rights,” making the current arsenal of discipline tools available to school officials completely inadequate to the task. The complete lack of respect for authority being displayed by minors has assumed unprecedented proportions. Their disregard and refusal to respond positively to verbal instructions from school officials have become the norm in many school cultures, with no means of redress for teachers. Behaviour modification strategies available to schools have been largely ineffective when dealing with students who have minimal levels of self-regulation and behaviour limits. Something drastic and radical must be done to address this avalanche of indiscipline that has taken root in many of our schools, beginning with the true empowerment of teachers and school officials to deal decisively with errant pupils. Rather than reigning in school officials (under the pressure of political correctness) over measures adopted to deal with iniquitous behaviours of students and their parents, the authorities should instead focus on truly displaying the supposedly zero tolerance position on school indiscipline. Child and parental rights cannot be championed in a vacuum; it’s a recipe for anarchy and entropy and must be counterbalanced by concomitant responsibilities, lest the long-term interest of the very child is undermined. The recent overtures by officials of the Brockton High School in Massachusetts, USA, to call in the National Guard to help address school violence, substance abuse and student indiscipline are a poignant reminder of how the situation can deteriorate if not addressed promptly. A similar and burgeoning crisis is facing many of our schools. Thanks to the children’s use of camera phones, the country has been able to gain glimpses into the daily reality of many of our schools. It underscores the dire state of discipline in many of our schools, which if not urgently addressed will cause us deep regret. The daily occurrences of classroom fights, illicit activities such as drug/alcohol use and sexual acts, gang affiliation and a general atmosphere of lawlessness have caused many teachers to even become fearful for their personal safety.
THE EDITOR: Dwayne Gibbs, the former Edmonton police superintendent and former police commissioner of TT and Jack Ewatski, former Winnipeg police chief and former TT deputy commissioner, both made strong points about the importance of community policing in the fight against crime. Both served in one of the largest countries of the world, Canada. However, it appears that community policing is now in the background of the crime fight and we are still wondering how to solve crime or to keep crime at bay. Community-oriented policing is an aspect of intelligence-led policing because it allows for working with others in the community and using those relationships and partnerships to resolve problems within the community. In other words, police can take information about the criminal environment, analyse that information and then use it to guide police strategies. Police are not clairvoyant nor are they horizon scanners or magicians. They can’t go into the mind of people to know when they are going to commit crimes. Police depend on information from the public. For the police to get information people have to trust the police. However, there is a lot of mistrust between the police and the public. The only way to repair the mistrust (apart from weeding out miscreant officers) is through a well planned community policing model. Community policing involves forming partnerships with community organisations, actively pursuing feedback and establishing programmes that allow police to engage with residents outside of the law enforcement arena. The practice allows community members to feel they are being heard, respected and empowered to help police control crime in their neighbourhoods, rather than feeling that officers are solely there to enforce laws through aggressive stopping, arresting and incarcerating. Community policing can significantly improve the ability of the police to discover criminal conduct and make arrests. Improved communication with citizens and more intimate knowledge of the geography and social environment of the beat enhance, rather than reduce, the officers’ crime-fighting capability. The community is reliant upon the police to curb disorder and help in times of emergency. The police, on the other hand, depend on relationships with the community to report crime and provide vital information that is necessary for them to solve crime and address community concerns. Police are in the relationships business and at a time of strained police relations, community-oriented policing offers a different approach – one that makes good relationships essential to police work. With a well planned community policing programme, officers are encouraged to spend considerable time and effort in developing and maintaining relationships with citizens, businesses, schools and community organisations. The community needs to embrace the police and the police can create the environment for this through a community-oriented programme. CUTHBERT SANDY Point Fortín
CARICOM HAS a lot to be worried about these days. Venezuela is threatening to annex Guyana. The climate crisis looms. And tragedy in Haiti continues. But for Dr Irfaan Ali there is another pressing matter with which regional leaders should be concerned. “We do not need lyrics that promote violence,” the Guyana President said as he addressed the 46th regular meeting of Caricom heads in Georgetown on Sunday. “As leaders of this region, we have to take this situation very seriously and ensure the lyrics of the region are the lyrics of Bob Marley, the lyrics of positivity.” Saying “tough positions” need to be taken, Dr Ali said his country has made a conscious decision to invest in culture as a unifying tool and as a means of telling a people’s story. However, investing in culture is one thing, censoring it is another. The first encourages art to soar. The second turns art into propaganda. The Guyana President did not name names, but he may have been contemplating recent cases in which law enforcement authorities have had cause to act. In June 2022, Guyana banned performances by Jamaican dancehall artiste Kevon “Skeng” Douglas. Earlier this year, St Kitts and Nevis banned Kashif Sankar, known as Kman 6ixx, following “a comprehensive security assessment.” Authorities in Grenada had also reportedly issued a similar ban in relation to the Trinibad artist who has since been charged and who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. Where there are individuals who have attracted the attention of police and who have cases to answer, such individuals should be fully prosecuted under the law. That is uncontroversial. If these individuals happen to be musicians, that is neither here nor there. But clamping down on music that seemingly glorifies violence or that conveys a message with which we are not in accord achieves little else besides shooting the messenger. Without a doubt, music can influence mood and encourage aggression. It can also do the opposite, acting as an outlet to exorcise emotions. There is a school of thought suggesting art is the result of social currents, not the other way around. Songs can bring us news of conditions on the ground. If music is the cause of violence, we could solve crime tomorrow by shutting down the airwaves. But clearly the problem would remain because there are other factors at play. To wit: even Mr Marley, whose “positive” music was cited by Dr Ali, was shot at before a concert in 1976, in an incident recounted in the recent film Bob Marley: One Love. Little has ever been achieved by banning art. Lest we forget, a decade ago Guyanese authorities banned calypsonians who sang about corruption on state airwaves. Those singers went silent, but corruption still soared.
The video of Massy All Stars’ winning performance at the 2024 Panorama competition has been making its rounds on social media, with the spotlight falling on the passion of frontline tenor player Nalo Sampson as she contributed to the band’s rendition of Olatunji’s Inventor – while wearing stilettos no less. Sampson, a devout Christian who had last performed with the band in 2016, told WMN she decided to play in this year’s competition a week before the preliminary judging. “I saw Smooth (arranger Leon Edwards) in passing in the panyard and he said the band was playing Inventor by Olatunji…I didn’t know the song as my radio is always on the gospel station 98.1,” she said with a smile. “But when I listened to it I got an energy that I get when I perform Unknown Band, my favourite Panorama arrangement. I also heard parts of Woman on the Bass in between,” – Scrunter’s song with which the band had won the Panorama title in 1980. “I also remember telling him, ‘the Lord say we’re winning Panorama this year eh’ even before I had heard a note of the song being played.” She said an urge to play, that she had not felt in the last seven years, started to build up within her. “I asked myself, ‘What is this?’ Then I said, ‘Lord, we have to talk.” She said she had a discussion with the Holy Spirit and got His “permission” to play. When the band did a mock stage performance and she took her place next to ace pannist Dane Gulston, she said, she gave the All Stars supporters who came to the panyard a big surprise. “They saw me in front and everybody started to go crazy. It was a genuine surprise to them.” But, she said, it was an even bigger surprise to her to see how so many people welcomed her back to the stage. “I thought the welcome would have only been from the people in the panyard. I never thought the video of our performance was going to reach international and people would be sending me friend requests on social media. So much so, that I can’t keep up. “There were some people who were sceptical about my ability to make it past the prelims round because I had been out of competition for so long, but I felt it was the Lord telling me, ‘There is nothing you can’t do.'” Although Sampson, a senior clerical officer at the Port of Port of Spain was forced to take a break from performing owing to a workplace injury in 2016, she said even prior to that there was an internal spiritual battle brewing about whether or not she should continue to play. “People were saying, ‘You’re serving two masters’ and I couldn’t understand what it was about because I didn’t think I was doing anything that was ungodly. But they kept saying, ‘You have a gift, you have a talent, what are you using it for? To glorify God or to encourage people to revel?'” But she continued playing until one day while working at the ferry terminal in Port of Spain, she had an accident and fractured her tibia. “And I wasn’t even wearing high heels when it happened,” she said with a chuckle. “I was at home for two years, and you know with work-related injury leave there are certain protocols you have to follow. One of them is that you can’t be seen in public, so I had to stop performing.” Sampson believes that sometimes when people can’t make a decision, the Holy Spirit makes one for them. “I’m not saying the injury was God’s intent, but probably part of the journey I had to undertake. It needed to happen in order for me to get to where I am today.” She returned to work in 2018, but during the time she was recuperating, she said, she went through a period of depression. “That was when I needed the prayers and support of the saints because my mental health was in a bad place.” Most times then, her phone used to be on silent mode and, being an introvert, she spent even more time by herself. “There was also a lot of unforgiveness in me, against people who would have wronged me in the past. But eventually, I realised I had to release it. It is unbelievable how toxic unforgiveness is to your mental and heart health. I had a lot of releasing to do, so that was a stripping and a pruning period for me.” Eventually, a friend from church noticed that she was not in a good place and he encouraged her to get involved in the everyday things that were happening at their church to keep her mind occupied. “It gave me a purpose. I assisted in any way I could. They had chickens and I fed the chickens, I helped with the children in the daycare. That was where I found joy in giving back.” By the time she had returned to work, Sampson said she had got comfortable with her new routine. “I was getting eight hours sleep, and I didn’t think I could take the night dew, that is customary when you’re a pannist, any more. I was so relaxed, and my time was more in church and in giving back to church.” But for her, the timing of her return to playing with the band in the competition was no coincidence. “In biblical terms, seven is the number of completeness. I know my journey is not complete, but there was something significant about this year. Sampson first started playing with All Stars in 1994 when she was 14 years old, having grown up in panyards. “My parents were Desperadoes die-hards…When I started to play I got so much buff from my mother because I had no coordination whatsoever. I couldn’t even tap my feet and play at the same time,” – a far cry from the player who has now set a high standard for the ability to dance while playing. “It was a joy, and always has been, to transmit how the music made me feel, to the audience. I am happy when I’m playing. The smile you see is real. “I’m not too sure when the coordination happened. I’d like to think it was when the band was going on a tour to Jamaica and we were learning the reggae song, War. “I was just clowning around in the yard and before you know it, everyone was saying, ‘Okay, so we’re doing what Nalo doing.'” As for the signature heels, “I needed a pair of black shoes to wear for a performance, and I only had one pair of heels, so I wore it. Eventually, my heels became a statement piece. I practise in sneakers but I always perform in heels.” And what makes it easier, she said is that she and Gulston have a big-brother, little-sister synergy. “We always know we have to do something when there is a stop within the performance. At the finals during the bass solo, it was a longer rest for us, so when Dane and I faced each other, he grabbed my hand and I grabbed his and we winged it. “Even before we were frontline, I’ve always admired how he played and I would say, ‘I can do that.’ People say I’m the female version of him.” She said although she also plays double seconds, tenor is her forte. “I can’t move with the double seconds the way I can on a tenor. I was born for the tenor.” And although she has no formal training in music, that doesn’t limit her ability to play. “I am a performer. Give me anything to play and I will rock it out for you. “Music is rhythm and it must have a feeling for everything. Every song has a different feeling that will bring back a different memory.” She recalled when she was a member of the band’s stage side and they were playing The Lion King, the song brought back memories of her dad who had passed. “Music is a mimic, so it brings a memory, and the memory brings an emotion, and the emotion brings a movement.” She said this year the music took her back to where she came from and brought her forward to who she is now. “It was like an evolution and I moved to that.” She said she is also making a concerted effort to live up to her 2024 mantra – quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger – and to interact more with the people around her. “I’m very shy but I’ve decided to try to get to know supporters in the panyard and the band members; to assist and encourage the junior members in any way I can. I want them to dare to be their true selves. And I’ve also started interacting on social media.” And although she is not certain about Panorama 2025, Sampson said this year’s experience has been both inspiring and humbling. “I used to think for so many years that I wasn’t enough, but this experience showed me that I am more than that and that I am loved. He (God) has shown me the definition of my name – much loved.”
Eight-year-old Tykailiah Ellie Worrell loves playing the piano and is considering doing it as a full-time career. “I love music because I get to go in my imaginary world, where I could sing dance and play the piano. I see myself continuing to play music, both as a hobby and for work, but I don’t know where yet,” she told Newsday Kids. She has been playing for two years. “I really like the piano. I like the sound it makes, and I like learning something new every Wednesday. My favourite piece to play is My Bells are Ringing.” But she hopes to expand her musical abilities to other instruments. “I might go to another instrument in the future, I like steelpan and drums. I haven’t had the opportunity to play any of them yet, I’m still on piano. Tykailiah is homeschooled, and learns the piano online with instructor Mark Anthony Peters of the Mannette Academy of Music. “I don’t attend public school. I study math, science, language arts, and creative writing at home. “I do a lot of subjects, to tell you the truth. I like science and maths a lot. My mom teaches me and if there’s something really tricky, my dad teaches me.” Tykailiah is a member of the Home Schooling Association of TT (HATT) and has performed on the piano at its annual sports and family day. When she’s not studying at home in Chaguanas, Tykailiah enjoys playing with her cousins, swimming, playing outside, swimming at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, going to the beach, learning Spanish and doing craft. She also enjoys exploring different parts of TT with her parents. One place she has visited was the mounted and canine branches of the police service, where she got to interact with the horses and the dogs. Tykailiah’s mother Tracy, who is a stay-at-home mom, said they thought it was important that they keep Tykailiah out of the public school system so she could receive individual attention. “Individualised learning makes a big difference. We tend to think that you’re wasting five years in school. There’s one teacher trying to deal with 30 something children and everybody is learning at a different level. Some teachers just don’t care. When she’s ready to go to secondary school or university we’ll consider public school.” Worrell said HATT gives guidance and support for homeschooling families. They assist with helping homeschooling families come together to socialise and educate each other through their homeschooling journey. Tykailiah said she would like to one day go to school and meet other children. She said she would encourage children to learn musical instruments.