Almost every Caribbean national loves a good mango and out of friendly rivalry, the theatre arts and culinary group, Mango Chronicles, was born in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a following of over 800 on Facebook, those artistes and actors use the social media group to creatively post and share content about how they eat mangoes. They hail from all over the map including Trinidad, Curaçao, Guyana, Canada, Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos.
One of the group directors, actor and singer Tulip Reid, who has been living in the US for some time told Bajan Vibes that she loves mango and gets more of them now that she’s living in South Florida. Her friend, Ian McKnight, has been living in Jamaica and so has a good chance of getting mangoes.
They capitalized on the COVID -19 period by starting the conversation about a month ago in their Facebook Walls and more people participated.
“With more people home because of the pandemic they got more involved in the mango war. A number of actors throughout the Caribbean also got involved,” Tulip said.
Ian said there is a huge sense of accomplishment that something that started out as fun between two friends has mushroomed into a worldwide movement. Some of the actors involved are Oliver Samuels, Michael Harris from the group Ashé, and actress Karen Harriott.
Tulip said the purpose of the group is to provide entertainment and education. The role of the creatives includes creating “very witty” skits to keep the Mango Chronicles community active, and they also discuss health benefits. Since the focus is on mangoes only, no content about other fruit is allowed.
This group speaks a lot about the creativity of the Caribbean community. From poetry to songs to skits, Tulip said everyone is involved, and posts are created about every hour.
“I have learnt a lot about mangoes and the different properties and vitamins that the fruit provides. I just love mangoes. Some people don’t like ripe mangoes like in Trinidad and I can’t fathom a person who can’t eat ripe mangoes.”
Mango Chronicles is just a wonderful initiative for sharing information and learning about different types of mangoes, Tulip explained.
“It is a constant thing, but I turn off my notifications when I have to work. There are normally hundreds of messages waiting for me. I would sit there and go through the messages and they are so funny and so educational but I have a day job and I am one of the essentials,” she explained.
One of the group members, Tiatu Heron, said she loves her new found group. “I enjoy it; it’s an entertaining space. A place of respite especially in these Covidian times,” she said.
Tiatu added that she is a big mango lover. “Eating mangoes is joy: the flavour, the juices flowing, the textures. They are very versatile fruits as well. You can eat them when your pocket [is] short for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I make juice, smoothies, and cereal snacks from mangoes or sauces, jams, chutneys. The options are endless. But there are mangoes and there are mangoes,” she told Bajan Vibes.
Anderson Langdon from Barbados is not a fan of mangoes. But he likes the regional comradery and the comedic efforts. “I love to see the interaction. It is good, clean fun,” he said.
The creation of the group means a lot to Anderson as well. “We know we are experiencing a challenge, a global pandemic where no one has any clear answers or solutions. As a region, we know people count us out in situations like these. However, the Mango Chronicles has risen to be a creative pot-pourri of comedic entertainment and laughter to make ourselves and others take their mind off the challenges and stresses of COVID-19.” (MR)