edge

Spike, Stan & Akkel Family

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Akel Lee Charles and I made Get Free, which BC Pires says is the best horror movie ever shot in Trinidad.

I gave myself the middle name "Lee". After two of my biggest influences, Spike Lee, the filmmaker, and Stan Lee, of Marvel Comics.

I lived three years in Tobago, because my mom is from there, but everything other than that was in the community of Laventille. Morvant, St Paul Street and Upper Wharton Street. I say the “community” of Laventille because people think we’re so disbanded. Laventille has the cuss-outs the bacchanal, the whatever, but we live so close to each other, and everybody know everybody [so] you have to be family-oriented. It easy to know when somebody is NOT from the area.

St Paul Street, where I live, is classified as one of the most dangerous areas in Trinidad. But I could tell people differently. I could leave, go where I want, when I want. I don’t have any involvement or any tie with any gangster that give me or nobody a pass. It’s where I grow, I just appreciate it.

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Trinidad Chose Me

My name is Piero Guerrini and, 28 years ago, I came to Trinidad for ten days. I’m still here.

I come from Grande Riviere but I was born in Italy. My father used to be a coal miner in Belgium and he would talk about how wonderful it was for him, as a young man, to go from Italy to a different country. My father used to go 1,000 metres below ground level to literally pickaxe coal out of the rock. He was paid by the amount of coal he was able fetch out of the mine every day. But he always passed me this idea of travelling. Since I’m 18, 19 years old, I’m saying, “Daddy, I’m not going to live in Italy. I want to travel.”

Finally, my father said to me, “Okay, I would like you to be close to me but you go ahead.” Since 20, I’ve been travelling. I became a photographer, because it combined my lifestyle and my desire very well. I travelled so much. Until I reached Trinidad and Trinidad chose me. From the first day, it was love at first sight.

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Purple Haze: Love or Confusion?

My name is Erline Andrews and I think Jimi Hendrix, the man BC Pires calls the best guitarist of all time, is overrated.

I come from John John, Laventille, where my mom and I lived with my grandparents and many aunts, uncles and cousins. I live now in Millennium Park, Trincity, with my mom. Technically I'm an only child. My father had four daughters after me with other women. My mother had two boys with my stepfather [whom] she married when I was nine. Both father and stepfather died years ago.

I don't feel any great need to have a family. I’m a unique person. This is not a boast. And its not easy for me to get along with people unless I pretend to be what I'm not, which I'm not willing to do.

At Holy Family pre-school with my cousins, they called us The Brady Bunch. At St Christopher's Preparatory [another] private school, I encountered children of all ethnic and class backgrounds. I was considered very bright. Teachers' only complaint was that I was too talkative. At St Francois College, my first all-girls experience, the student body wasn't as diverse. I would hang out with one Indian girl in my form one class and talk about rock music. [After UWI] in my early 30s I went to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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Third Time Lucky

My name is Amanda Smyth and my third novel, Fortune, will be published on 1 July.

I come from Pointe-a-Pierre. My family were in South. And then Valsayn North, where my mother now lives. But my longing forTobago, where my grandmother lived, doesn’t go away.

My dad died in 1999. My mother, uncle, cousins, people I love and hold close, still live in Trinidad. I’m half-Irish, and also feel close to family over the Irish Sea, in Sligo, Yeats’s country.

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The Salt (Nuts) of the Earth

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is the Honourable Prophet Andy and I am a nuts vendor on the road.

I’m from the Bobo Shanti order. Which I’m a man keep my Sabbath. Work six days, rest holy unto the Lord.

I’m from Laventille, born on top the Hill, which part I had all my boy days. But recently I’m living Maracas St Joseph.

Laventille people used to live as one. I coulda eat by you, you coulda eat by me. It was just a love. Until the Eighties, when the guns and the gangs start to come in. Before, you coulda go on the basketball court. People from Morvant, from all over, used to confederate and do things together. Laventille still nice. It’s just a certain bad seed does spoil the whole great bunch.

God is in my heart, God is in everybody heart. It’s just that some people let Satan take over.

Read more

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Spike, Stan & Akkel Family

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Akel Lee Charles and I made Get Free, which BC Pires says is the best horror movie ever shot in Trinidad.

I gave myself the middle name "Lee". After two of my biggest influences, Spike Lee, the filmmaker, and Stan Lee, of Marvel Comics.

I lived three years in Tobago, because my mom is from there, but everything other than that was in the community of Laventille. Morvant, St Paul Street and Upper Wharton Street. I say the “community” of Laventille because people think we’re so disbanded. Laventille has the cuss-outs the bacchanal, the whatever, but we live so close to each other, and everybody know everybody [so] you have to be family-oriented. It easy to know when somebody is NOT from the area.

St Paul Street, where I live, is classified as one of the most dangerous areas in Trinidad. But I could tell people differently. I could leave, go where I want, when I want. I don’t have any involvement or any tie with any gangster that give me or nobody a pass. It’s where I grow, I just appreciate it.

Read more

Trinidad Chose Me

My name is Piero Guerrini and, 28 years ago, I came to Trinidad for ten days. I’m still here.

I come from Grande Riviere but I was born in Italy. My father used to be a coal miner in Belgium and he would talk about how wonderful it was for him, as a young man, to go from Italy to a different country. My father used to go 1,000 metres below ground level to literally pickaxe coal out of the rock. He was paid by the amount of coal he was able fetch out of the mine every day. But he always passed me this idea of travelling. Since I’m 18, 19 years old, I’m saying, “Daddy, I’m not going to live in Italy. I want to travel.”

Finally, my father said to me, “Okay, I would like you to be close to me but you go ahead.” Since 20, I’ve been travelling. I became a photographer, because it combined my lifestyle and my desire very well. I travelled so much. Until I reached Trinidad and Trinidad chose me. From the first day, it was love at first sight.

Read more

Purple Haze: Love or Confusion?

My name is Erline Andrews and I think Jimi Hendrix, the man BC Pires calls the best guitarist of all time, is overrated.

I come from John John, Laventille, where my mom and I lived with my grandparents and many aunts, uncles and cousins. I live now in Millennium Park, Trincity, with my mom. Technically I'm an only child. My father had four daughters after me with other women. My mother had two boys with my stepfather [whom] she married when I was nine. Both father and stepfather died years ago.

I don't feel any great need to have a family. I’m a unique person. This is not a boast. And its not easy for me to get along with people unless I pretend to be what I'm not, which I'm not willing to do.

At Holy Family pre-school with my cousins, they called us The Brady Bunch. At St Christopher's Preparatory [another] private school, I encountered children of all ethnic and class backgrounds. I was considered very bright. Teachers' only complaint was that I was too talkative. At St Francois College, my first all-girls experience, the student body wasn't as diverse. I would hang out with one Indian girl in my form one class and talk about rock music. [After UWI] in my early 30s I went to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Read more

Third Time Lucky

My name is Amanda Smyth and my third novel, Fortune, will be published on 1 July.

I come from Pointe-a-Pierre. My family were in South. And then Valsayn North, where my mother now lives. But my longing forTobago, where my grandmother lived, doesn’t go away.

My dad died in 1999. My mother, uncle, cousins, people I love and hold close, still live in Trinidad. I’m half-Irish, and also feel close to family over the Irish Sea, in Sligo, Yeats’s country.

Read more

The Salt (Nuts) of the Earth

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is the Honourable Prophet Andy and I am a nuts vendor on the road.

I’m from the Bobo Shanti order. Which I’m a man keep my Sabbath. Work six days, rest holy unto the Lord.

I’m from Laventille, born on top the Hill, which part I had all my boy days. But recently I’m living Maracas St Joseph.

Laventille people used to live as one. I coulda eat by you, you coulda eat by me. It was just a love. Until the Eighties, when the guns and the gangs start to come in. Before, you coulda go on the basketball court. People from Morvant, from all over, used to confederate and do things together. Laventille still nice. It’s just a certain bad seed does spoil the whole great bunch.

God is in my heart, God is in everybody heart. It’s just that some people let Satan take over.

Read more

Show more posts