The parish of St Joseph is known for its tropical gardens, picturesque historic sites, and beautiful seascape; last weekend its residents showed that they also had an abundance of talent at the St Bernard’s Primary School.
The Josephine Connection, an evening of Poetry and Music, was hosted by the St Joseph Independence Committee and attended by the 2019 St Joseph parish ambassadors, Asheda Howard and Justin Headley. Also making a special guest appearance at the two-and-a-half-hour show was the Director of the Commission of Pan African Affairs Dr Deryck Murray who played the Djembe, a West African drum.
The youngest performer of the night was 11-year-old poet Erica Mayers. The ‘shy’ Alleyne Secondary School student roused the audience with her emotive appeal to end the violence in Barbados. Her piece, Violence – A Threat to Our Nation, urged the youth not to stray and become involved in crime and deviant behaviour. Mayers called for locals to have the “no violence” slogan embedded in the culture.
A number of the poems and dramatic presentations addressed topical issues in Barbadian society, from challenges with the transport system to the April 1 ban on single-use plastics.
Shellaine Bourne was a crowd favourite with her dramatic and humorous presentation of serious topics. In the first half, Bourne instantaneously grasped the attention of the audience as she swayed and strutted onto the stage with at least ten canvas and cotton bags, talking about her boyfriend ‘Kirk’ and how talented he was. As she spoke of her “boyfriend” saving the blue economy, it was evident that Bourne was talking about the Minister of the Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, Kirk Humphrey. “We gine with Kirk and The Blue Economy,” Bourne chanted as she endorsed the move for a safer and greener environment.
In the second half, she had the audience in stitches with De Screen. Dressed as an elderly woman attending church, Bourne was full of Bajan-isms and colloquial language as she spoke about how technology has changed Sunday worship. She comically said the pastor can’t preach because the electricity isn’t working.
Another dramatic performance came from hilarious Hazel Charles with The Hat. With pomp and pageantry, Charles boasted about her humongous hat that she received from her family overseas. The hat was so huge, it blocked the line of sight of anyone sitting behind her. But with her colourful language, Charles said her hat was there to “offend and defend”.
Poet, Ali Sandiford had the small audience chanting “save yourself and dance” during his piece which he dedicated to the women in the audience.
Aside from the abundance of dramatic talent, the instrumentalists of the night also received rousing responses from the audience. Young saxophonist, Shokori Thompson, closed the show with a medley of popular soca, R&B, pop and reggae singles. Thompson played Machel Montano’s Fast Wine, Bruno Mars’ Treasure, Ah Feelin Ah Feelin by Leadpipe and Saddis as well as Don’t Come Back by Taurus Riley. Pastor Glenworth Joseph’s smooth interpretation of You Raise Me Up and Noel was warmly received by the audience.
Although a Josephine affair, St John Parish Ambassador Tariq Griffith joined the festive activities. He sang A Song For You by Donny Hathaway.
As the night’s chill crept in and the show closed at 10 p.m., the evidence of an entertaining and memorable evening was spread across the faces of the audience as they left the Lammings, St Joseph grounds.