Categorized | Letters, Local, News

An Open Letter to Hon. Don Romeo (alias The Premier)

Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

By Edgar Nkosi White

“Oh Romeo, sweet, sweet Romeo, please don’t forget your Juliet.”

Dear Hon. Don,

The New Year has started with all its hope and all its beauty. You and your cadre of the Elect can’t wait to do all the miracles which you promised at election time. It was beautiful to hear you.

May I make a suggestion? Maybe you shouldn’t try to accomplish fifty projects in a single year. Try doing two things instead.

Fix the Nursing Home situation which is in dire need of change. You have the elderly sitting around waiting for Death. Let me open your eyes to some simple facts: There is nothing for the inmates to do all day long with themselves. I know this for a fact because I’ve played music (my fife) in all the nursing homes. The favourite of the elderly is “Jane and Louisa will soon come home into the beautiful garden.” They even remember the words:

“Jane and Louisa will soon come home into the beautiful Garden.

Please me darling will you dance with me, dance with me, into the beautiful garden.”

What I’m trying to say, Don, is that when the elderly are not engaged, then dementia sets in quickly, not like a roaring lion but instead more like an old fowl-cock that just topples over.

Now there are two things that Montserratians love to do. One of them is to award each other awards for obvious kindness. We like to give ourselves everything from O.B.E.’s to knighthoods. The second is to boast of the number of centenarians on island.

While it is remarkable to have eight people over a hundred living in so small a population, no one has paused to notice that they are all women. Men don’t live long in nursing homes. It might have something to do with the fact that women accept more than men and the fact that men aren’t quite as happy to enter the Pampers brigade. We fancy ourselves to still be hunters, cock’s men and lovers. Women, on the other hand, are used to peeing on themselves (after all they do it their entire lives. They get to sit down while we stand up and do it). We get to escape by use of that nice word, incontinent. No one has thought of what this situation does to a man’s dignity and image of self. There are no social workers available to work full time on this issue or to ask the simple question:

“Why bother to live if I can’t be the man I was?”

Women, on the other hand, take delight in seeing once warriors humbled:

“You can’t do you damn nastiness no more now, right Mr Man? You free paper bun. A wha you a go do now? You fart!”

It’s all well and good to give gifts of wheel-chairs and the like but the bottom line is that a chair is just a chair. It only becomes a throne when you add the human element of respect and love. Only then does a chair become Divine.

Now Galloway can build all the beautiful nursing homes he wants and fill them with beauty and light. (Bless the hands and eyes of Galloway! He can do wondrous things with lime green.) But, if no one passes love to these residents then everything is as tinkling brass.

By the way, Don, do you know why Montserratians always wear green? Not to celebrate the Emerald Isle. The smugglers always wore green to blend among the trees and hide. We never dealt with revolution but sabotage. We excel at sabotage; have always done it well:

“Not every nail ha fu drive straight.”

Now Don, I know that this will shock your Adventist mind to learn that there really are people who will do anything for their elderly parents, except visit them:

“Me can’t take the smell of urine, that’s why I don’t go visit!”

And how about those abroad in what you so lovingly call the Diaspora, who can’t wait to put their parent in nursing homes and as soon as they are safely locked away, they then proceed to take their home and property and either sell it or else become absentee landlords?

No Don, not everyone wishes well for their parents. Now as to the question of whether these wicked children could ever prosper, I leave that to your biblical imagination.

So what I’m saying is that you should try and fix this. Even you, alias “The Premier” can’t change people’s souls. But what you can do is see that each nursing home has a competent social worker who is totally engaged in planning activities daily which will make patients and clients want to live. Now this should not be too difficult to achieve given the “Wonder Team” you have surrounding you: Claude Hogan, (alias Stalin), Gregory Willock (alias Machiavelli) and Delmaude Ryan (alias Lady Macbeth).   I’m certain with clever men and women as these assisting, you can pull this off. Call it project Pampers Brigade.

The second thing which desperately needs fixing is prisoner illiteracy. There is no reason in hell why a man should emerge from Her Majesty’s Prison after ten or more years just as illiterate as he entered. The reason most people are in prison in the first place is the fact that they can neither read nor write and have no way to express their emotions except through violence and frustration.

The state of illiteracy in Montserrat’s prison system is shameful. They have one woman (the wife of a pastor) who tries to visit when she can and teach the alphabet. It’s not working. And as for the Churches, their main concern is that the prisoners get to know the Bible (not that they can read it). Just think on this for a moment: Imagine the amount of madness I would get up to if I didn’t have the escape of my writing. A very scary thought, no true?

In conclusion, it’s better to do two things well than fifty done half-assed. Keep it simple. You have the advantage in that no one expects you to succeed because everyone thinks they are brighter than you. Fine, it doesn’t matter who takes credit just as long as the job gets done and Montserrat prospers.

I remind you again of one thing: The Premier never rushes; that’s why he’s Premier. Tie a string around your finger so you never forget this fact.

Rejoice and be at peace in this year of miracles.

I love the hope of you.

Edgar Nkosi (alias Fife-Man)

 

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Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

By Edgar Nkosi White

“Oh Romeo, sweet, sweet Romeo, please don’t forget your Juliet.”

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Dear Hon. Don,

The New Year has started with all its hope and all its beauty. You and your cadre of the Elect can’t wait to do all the miracles which you promised at election time. It was beautiful to hear you.

May I make a suggestion? Maybe you shouldn’t try to accomplish fifty projects in a single year. Try doing two things instead.

Fix the Nursing Home situation which is in dire need of change. You have the elderly sitting around waiting for Death. Let me open your eyes to some simple facts: There is nothing for the inmates to do all day long with themselves. I know this for a fact because I’ve played music (my fife) in all the nursing homes. The favourite of the elderly is “Jane and Louisa will soon come home into the beautiful garden.” They even remember the words:

“Jane and Louisa will soon come home into the beautiful Garden.

Please me darling will you dance with me, dance with me, into the beautiful garden.”

What I’m trying to say, Don, is that when the elderly are not engaged, then dementia sets in quickly, not like a roaring lion but instead more like an old fowl-cock that just topples over.

Now there are two things that Montserratians love to do. One of them is to award each other awards for obvious kindness. We like to give ourselves everything from O.B.E.’s to knighthoods. The second is to boast of the number of centenarians on island.

While it is remarkable to have eight people over a hundred living in so small a population, no one has paused to notice that they are all women. Men don’t live long in nursing homes. It might have something to do with the fact that women accept more than men and the fact that men aren’t quite as happy to enter the Pampers brigade. We fancy ourselves to still be hunters, cock’s men and lovers. Women, on the other hand, are used to peeing on themselves (after all they do it their entire lives. They get to sit down while we stand up and do it). We get to escape by use of that nice word, incontinent. No one has thought of what this situation does to a man’s dignity and image of self. There are no social workers available to work full time on this issue or to ask the simple question:

“Why bother to live if I can’t be the man I was?”

Women, on the other hand, take delight in seeing once warriors humbled:

“You can’t do you damn nastiness no more now, right Mr Man? You free paper bun. A wha you a go do now? You fart!”

It’s all well and good to give gifts of wheel-chairs and the like but the bottom line is that a chair is just a chair. It only becomes a throne when you add the human element of respect and love. Only then does a chair become Divine.

Now Galloway can build all the beautiful nursing homes he wants and fill them with beauty and light. (Bless the hands and eyes of Galloway! He can do wondrous things with lime green.) But, if no one passes love to these residents then everything is as tinkling brass.

By the way, Don, do you know why Montserratians always wear green? Not to celebrate the Emerald Isle. The smugglers always wore green to blend among the trees and hide. We never dealt with revolution but sabotage. We excel at sabotage; have always done it well:

“Not every nail ha fu drive straight.”

Now Don, I know that this will shock your Adventist mind to learn that there really are people who will do anything for their elderly parents, except visit them:

“Me can’t take the smell of urine, that’s why I don’t go visit!”

And how about those abroad in what you so lovingly call the Diaspora, who can’t wait to put their parent in nursing homes and as soon as they are safely locked away, they then proceed to take their home and property and either sell it or else become absentee landlords?

No Don, not everyone wishes well for their parents. Now as to the question of whether these wicked children could ever prosper, I leave that to your biblical imagination.

So what I’m saying is that you should try and fix this. Even you, alias “The Premier” can’t change people’s souls. But what you can do is see that each nursing home has a competent social worker who is totally engaged in planning activities daily which will make patients and clients want to live. Now this should not be too difficult to achieve given the “Wonder Team” you have surrounding you: Claude Hogan, (alias Stalin), Gregory Willock (alias Machiavelli) and Delmaude Ryan (alias Lady Macbeth).   I’m certain with clever men and women as these assisting, you can pull this off. Call it project Pampers Brigade.

The second thing which desperately needs fixing is prisoner illiteracy. There is no reason in hell why a man should emerge from Her Majesty’s Prison after ten or more years just as illiterate as he entered. The reason most people are in prison in the first place is the fact that they can neither read nor write and have no way to express their emotions except through violence and frustration.

The state of illiteracy in Montserrat’s prison system is shameful. They have one woman (the wife of a pastor) who tries to visit when she can and teach the alphabet. It’s not working. And as for the Churches, their main concern is that the prisoners get to know the Bible (not that they can read it). Just think on this for a moment: Imagine the amount of madness I would get up to if I didn’t have the escape of my writing. A very scary thought, no true?

In conclusion, it’s better to do two things well than fifty done half-assed. Keep it simple. You have the advantage in that no one expects you to succeed because everyone thinks they are brighter than you. Fine, it doesn’t matter who takes credit just as long as the job gets done and Montserrat prospers.

I remind you again of one thing: The Premier never rushes; that’s why he’s Premier. Tie a string around your finger so you never forget this fact.

Rejoice and be at peace in this year of miracles.

I love the hope of you.

Edgar Nkosi (alias Fife-Man)