A Look At Saint Lucia

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

THIS month we celebrate our 39th anniversary of Independence. A true reflection of who we are is symbolized by our attraction to Nobel Laureate Festival activities. We are a people who gravitate to the banal and decadent. Excellence does not appeal to us. We have a phobia for books and for intellect discussion. We are children in the school of Juke Bois, graduates with a PhD in nonesensism. No wonder the prime minister would state that 43% of us did not go past the preschool level.

As controversial as the statement may be, it is a reflection. If a person can sell us pie in the sky ideas and we fall for them, then our secondary school diplomas and tertiary school certificates are reflective of a people whose heritage is drinking rum all wrapped up in the spirit that is Bounty.

And so a society which boasts the achievement of two Nobel Laureates are now putting Dennery Segment on a pedestal just as tall, sometimes I think, even taller. Everybody is singing the hallelujahs of Lucian Kuduro. We can hardly find a dozen people to attend a Derrek Walcott Memorial Lecture, but let’s have a passapassa showdown and you will see the crowd.

These days, all the young men are strolling the streets with a loud boom box speaker, playing rubbish music, disturbing everybody else’s peace and that is the new fashion.

We move into our 39th year of Independence and we are still trying to ascertain who we are.

Nearly 40, I do not think is a time for us to be asserting who we are. That forty years down the line, we still do not know that we are Saint Lucia is downright disturbing.

At a certain point in our history, our people were happy to go out to pursue higher education and were eager to return to their homeland Saint Lucia to be of service. These days, the pursuit is a vehicle of escape.

I have never in my life thought of taking residence or citizenship in another country but the way things are going now, hmmmm….

My jaw dropped as I looked at my television to hear that there will be three private islands built as part of the “Pearl of the Caribbean” project. This Prime Minister it trying to be the incarnation of Sir John, pushing grandiose ideas down our throats and destroying a legacy that he thinks he knows.

But I never blame the administration. I blame the people who empower the administration with their silence, complaining in private. It’s like this country has died and the new fashion is to mourn in private. Saint Lucia now is not the Saint Lucia that I grew up in but if this is where lights and transportation and higher education and pipe-borne water has brought, I think it’s time we head back to the river.

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