THIS year, I worked with a young man from Soufriere, who has a bit of a mental disorder. Like us “normal” people, he has dreams and aspirations. He wants to be a superstar. So I helped him (Glata) record the song, “All Dem Sexy Girls”, for the carnival season.
There were a lot of lessons to be learned through this experience. One is that there will always be doubters. Many never thought it would happen. Another is that we try to live life to satisfy societal expectation. One person was afraid to associate with us because that would “ruin his brand and image”.
He does not know it yet but Glata will be one of my artists for this year’s “100 Thousand Poets for Change” happening the last Saturday of this month at the Alliance Francaise. This year, we are putting the focus on people with special needs. Our theme is “A Look in the Mirror: Deference for the Differently-abled”.
“100 Thousand Poets for Change” is a global movement that encourages peaceful discussion on issues such as war, global warming, poverty, racism, gender inequality, homelessness, gun violence, police brutality, lack of affordable medical care, censorship and animal cruelty.
Individual organisers (such as Ponm Damou Kreations in Saint Lucia) are free to choose the specific topic and focus of their local event.
The event is open to poets, artist, dancers, musicians and other artists, so if you are reading this and wish to take part in or wish to sponsor this programme, call Ponm Damou Kreations at 287-8484 or email [email protected].
Disability comes in many forms: hearing, blindness, physical impairment, mental, etc. You may be born normal today and be disabled tomorrow. The way we treat our differently-abled brothers and sisters is reflective of the type of society in which we live. The injustices run through all echelons of our society — from the commoner to government.
I remember boarding a Gros Islet bus recently and the bus driver taking a rap with a man who was taking too long to get off the bus. The driver told him not to board his bus again because he (the bus driver) could have been way ahead.
Well, you know that that did not go down well with me and I could not just sit there without letting the driver have a piece of my mind.
Respect is due to people who are differently-abled and this September 30, we will put the focus on them. So my encouragement is to join with Ponm Damou Kreations in raising your voice when this date comes around.