The Story of Us

Many of my friends have told me that playing mas this year was truly unforgettable. It was a Carnival filled with incredible Kaiso and Soca music, as well as formidable mas bands, that were both fresh yet inspired by Carnivals past.

For many, Moko Somokow’s ‘Jumbies’ – inspired by Wilson Harris’ novel, ‘Palace of the Peacock’– the stained glass wings of K2K and the runaway hit song by Kes the Band, ‘Savannah Grass’, are just a few of the offerings that made this year one for the record books.

After resurfacing from 2018 with a few battle scars from a destructive earthquake, historic flooding, shifts in the job market as well as the socio-economic tremors in the global economy, for many of us, Carnival was a sort of salve for the soul. There were, of course also many milestones in 2018, but it was certainly a year of change.

So, for many, ‘Savannah Grass’ resonated. It was the result of a collaboration between Kees Dieffenthaler and Jelani ‘Pops’ Shaw, a recording that was meant to examine our history while celebrating our future as highly creative Caribbean people. It was memorable because it spoke of a national treasure that we all love, the Queen’s Park Savannah. A former cattle estate at the heart of the capital that has become a national park, where we celebrate, play mas, play games, eat and lime. It is a song about us.

The music speaks to me as a Trinidadian and Tobagonian as well as a West Indian, with a deep love for our islands and people.

Our creatives, throughout the festival, underlined that alongside talent and innovation lie discipline and an undeniable commitment to excellence. From the steelpan rehearsals, soca and pan compositions to the Carnival band designs and detailed event management, we are undoubtedly adept entrepreneurs and innovators during the season.

Similarly, those colleagues who bring out our inherent ability to innovate, plan and transform into the workplace, are the ones who are gifted with excellence. They are an asset to any organisation because of their commitment to collaboration, networking, and the sharing of new ideas. And more importantly, they enjoy what they do.

They look outside of the dreary box, welcome criticism, dismantle and rebuild if necessary. And they enjoy, if not every moment, most of all, the journey towards customer service and excellence.

These are the ones who are eager to listen to others; they also share their stories of defeat and success with us.

Human Resources and Communications are indelibly linked in every organisation. One cannot succeed without the other.

It was the poet, William Butler Yeats who said, “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”

This is what our talented singers, songwriters, composers, producers, musicians, band leaders and designers do every year for us. They know our language, our stories and they understand our trials, they hold the mirror so that we can see the truth and find our way. It’s to our benefit that we keep listening.

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