Shamfa Cudjoe

MAXIMISE POTENTIAL: Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe

“ADOPT a culture of entrepreneurship.” Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe recently challenged about 750 young people from the nation’s schools at the launch of the National Secondary Schools Entrepreneurship Competition (NSSEC), at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Keate Street, Port of Spain. Cudjoe said it was important to “move away from the culture of chalk and talk,” and “focus on wealth creation, and develop leaders and innovators.”

Among those present were Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, First Citizens deputy chief executive officer Jason Julien, Massy Foundation manager Adele Rose, Japanese Ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce CEO Gabriel Faria, 3Stone director David Stone and his brother, Dr Christian Stone, and Dr Stone’s wife, Sophia.

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“A donation from just one person could save up to three lives” – these words are stated on The UWI Blood Donor Foundation’s (UWIBDF) website and have been repeated in blood donor campaigns globally. Yet there is a lack of voluntary blood donors in Trinidad and Tobago. How could that be?

TWENTY years after Ras Shorty I drew his last breath, his legacy lives on. To mark the 20th anniversary of his passing, his children and fans will gather at the Blackman ranch in Piparo, South Trinidad today to pay tribute to the Father of Soca and jamoo music who left an indelible mark on the culture of T&T.

The first time I saw calypsonian/musician/pioneer of soca, Ras Shorty I in person was in 1987. I was walking along Frederick Street in Port of Spain, near Golden Doors Arcade, when he appeared, accompanied by his son, Eldon.

LOS Angeles is a long way from Piparo, where Avion Blackman spent most of her childhood with her parents Ras Shorty I and Claudette Blackman and their large family. Even though the award-winning artiste and bassist for the group Christafari now lives in Los Angeles, California, USA, with her husband and their eight-year-old daughter, the path which Avion’s life and career has taken would not have been possible had it not been for the strong influence of her father.