Letters & Opinion

Lacking Sponsorship

The Independent Eye - By Kensley Peter Charlemagne

“IT is sad indeed, I would think that government would support this effort, especially since it is an avenue by which the youth can express themselves and be engaged in something wholesome.”

Reaction from my poet friend in Barbados in regard to the non-sponsorship of the PonmDamou Poetry Slam over the past seven years. I have forgotten about government since I wrote the consultant there, two consecutive years with no response to my inquiry but I really thought Digicel would come through this year.

“Even with this programme on TV, you’re not getting sponsors?” My cousin from Canada’s lament. He served as a judge in the finals of the 2009 edition of the PonmDamou Poetry Slam. Yes because, that’s the way it is but I really thought Digicel would come through this year. They are the one company who have acknowledged my letters of request for the past seven years. I continue to acknowledge Scotia Bank who supplied the prize money in 2010 and 2011 and IGY Marina who did in 2012. Apart from them, we have had no financial sponsorship from any other company in the seven year history of the PonmDamou Poetry Slam.

I got on Digicel’s wrong side this year. Or is it they got on my wrong side? So much so, that I was accused of being unprofessional and disrespectful. “We commend you and your team on the efforts put forward to this venture in contributing to the development of the arts in Saint Lucia. (We) urge you to feel free to engage us for future possible initiatives.”

Digicel replies to me. “Wow! But I have engaged you for seven years now. Have a heart. Every year I get excuse after excuse.” I wrote back. I went on to chastise Digicel about sponsoring this Halloween Awakening party, a tradition foreign to our culture. The discussion went on till I have not gotten a reply to my last email. I am told that Digicel’s commitment for November and December is to community and charitable causes.

NEWS FLASH: I can’t think of a better community to assist than a community of youth positively engaged. And when it come to charity, for seven years of the Poem Damou Poetry Slam, Kensley Charlemagne has not been able to put a dollar in his pocket. In fact, I remember my girlfriend some years aback saying to me, “You not tired of spending your money to entertain people.” But this is more than entertainment. It is an investment in the development of our youth. I postponed the start of the slam by a week in the hope that some sponsorship would come in but so far….

See you at the poetry slam this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Arts Cafe at the Aquarius Crossing in downtown, Castries.

1 Comment

  1. Perhaps they consider it “help” the fact that you get publicity through the pages of the newspaper; but how about The VOICE picking up the financial slack this time around?

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