edge

All Yuh v Wunna

My name is Joel Payne and the Earth is my platform.

My major memories are more of the East-West Corridor. Anywhere between Tunapuna and Port of Spain could be home. I say I’m from Trinidad but I should say I’m from Trinidad AND Tobago. Because, although Mum was Trini, she was raised in Tobago, Calder Hall, so we’re really Tobagonians that migrated to Trinidad. So my dad was Bajan and my mum, Trinbagonian.

I went to school in Barbados but I grew up in Cinnamon Hill, Tobago. We spent all of our Easter, Christmas and summer holidays at my aunt’s home. Back then we could catch a LIAT plane straight to Tobago. We would go across to Trinidad for a little two-three days to shop.

I tell people I was born in a BeeWee plane between Trinidad and Barbados but I was really born in Barbados. And I really feel in-between Trinidad and Barbados. When I’m in Barbados, I talk about Brian Lara being the greatest thing in West Indies cricket. And, when I’m in Trinidad, I [say the same thing] about Garry Sobers!

I’m a natural contrarian and agree with BC Pires that makes me more Trini than Bajan. Because the instinct in Barbados is to conform and, in Trinidad, to ask, “Why I have to do that?”

Read more

Catching Her Ash

My name is Nadia Huggins and I can say people in St Vincent have been living in Hell since the volcano erupted on 9 April.

I couldn’t say I was living in Hell myself because, although I’ve had huge pileups of ash all around me in the Green Zone, things are much worse and people far more vulnerable in the Orange and Red Zones. Coconut branches, laden with ash, droop in the Green Zone [but] houses in the Red Zone were buried under ash. We had very heavy rain on 29 April and that helped clean off all the roofs.

I left Trinidad when I was three but I would say I was from Cascade. Trinidad left an indelible mark on my family, even after we moved to St Vincent. We were raised in a particular way, to remember that energy of Trinidad. In terms of language, behaviour, that type of thing, I grew up in St Vincent in [a very Trini way].

I moved back to Trinidad for a couple of years in 2014 and I’ve always been back-and-forth. But not since covid. Every time I land in Trinidad, that energy resonates.

We were a small family, mother, father, sister, but my mum comes from a very big one. I eventually want a family but, as a photographer, you need a level of hyper focus to get things to develop, career-wise. I live in puns.

Read more

The Novel Miss Allen Knead

My name is Lisa Allen-Agostini and my novel The Bread the Devil Knead was published last week.

I come from straight outta Morvant, no crossover. I lived in my mother's house overlooking the traffic lights at Morvant Junction from age two until my mid-20s. I live now in Backayard, a village in the rainforest high up Simeon Road, Petit Valley. We live downstairs my husband Brian McMeo's parents' house.

My mom, Dolsie, was a widow with seven children. My father had two before he had my brother Dennis and me with Dolsie. It wasn't the Brady Bunch, though. Dolsie, Allen, Philly, Patty and Tony have passed. Only Ricky, Denny and I still live in Trinidad permanently.

Brian and I have no children of our own (except the cat, Fennec, and dogs, Sassy and Hagrid) but he's step-dad to my two daughters, Ishara is 28 today – May 24, Happy Birthday, Ishara – and Najja, 21. Both live abroad. My husband's family lives upstairs.

My childhood was a triangle I walked between my father's house & muffler factory in Success Village (every afternoon after school), my home in Morvant and my grandmother's house in Barataria (every Saturday). A passionate Catholic, I sang in the St Therese’s choir, Malick, and taught confirmation classes. But I was a church girl with an un-church-ical streak. I went to mass on Saturday nights before going to [nightclubs] Chez Moi and Wall Street.

I fell so immediately in love with Town, I included my poem, "My City", in Something to Say, the book I self-published at 18. It makes me sad to see Town so empty now. The walk from Bishop's to the maxi stand at the bottom of Charlotte Street was full of all the world.

Read more

A Fella Walk Een a Comedy Club...

My name is Marc Trinidad and don’t ask me why it’s not Marc Tobago.

I’m a standup comedian and my Canadian comedy mentor Kenny Robinson christened me as Marc Trinidad. Changing anything said by the legend who gave birth to black Canadian comedy 40 years ago is like changing a Kitchener melody. You can. But why would you?

I was born in Belmont but spent my foundational years in Carenage. Creating as much havoc for my parents as their strained nerves could handle. I haven’t stopped annoying my parents [but] I have a new empathy for them. I surely wasn’t the easiest of their four children and I have my own brood of four now.

My wife is Dene. Our kids Marque Savannah 24, Maryse-Soleil 17, Melanie Schye 16 and Myles Stoane 12 are all artists. Soleil was an award winner in her first play. [But] I had a standing ovation my first time onstage too. I don’t know why I put up with them. Dene and I are happily married 27 years later. Cue Disney music.

Read more

Jamaica Farewell, Trinidad Wh'appen?

My name is Kashka Hemans and, after a real love affair with it, I have a real tabanca for Trinidad.

I lived in Trinidad in two stints, 2007-09, at Hugh Wooding Law School, and 2010-16. But my love affair with Trinidad started as a child. I read a lot and loved Trinidad because of I loved it’s literature most. VS Naipaul is my favourite author. I loved Earl Lovelace’s descriptions of landscape, Manzanilla and all kinda places.

My Trinidadian wife Tonni Brodber and I have two sons Eli, three, and Noel, one-and-a-half. My eldest son, Tunde Jamil is in his 20s and lives in Tobago now because I had him, with a Trinidadian woman student at Mona, when I was 19.

Jamaican men love the Trinidad accent. On a woman. They can’t take it seriously on a man. No man should speak in such a flowery way.

Every Trinidadian is a performer. And every Trinidadian is ALWAYS on stage. They’re such storied people, they even naturally tell tragic stories well.

  • There was a time I would not openly admit that I do love soca. Jamaican identity is a heavy burden. You’re not allowed to like everything. In Jamaica, there was a certain seeming frivolity associated with the happiness of soca. At my wedding, I allowed myself to let free with the soca. My Jamaican family looked at me kinda side-eyed. “What the HELL is going on with Kashka?”
Read more

Show more posts

All Yuh v Wunna

My name is Joel Payne and the Earth is my platform.

My major memories are more of the East-West Corridor. Anywhere between Tunapuna and Port of Spain could be home. I say I’m from Trinidad but I should say I’m from Trinidad AND Tobago. Because, although Mum was Trini, she was raised in Tobago, Calder Hall, so we’re really Tobagonians that migrated to Trinidad. So my dad was Bajan and my mum, Trinbagonian.

I went to school in Barbados but I grew up in Cinnamon Hill, Tobago. We spent all of our Easter, Christmas and summer holidays at my aunt’s home. Back then we could catch a LIAT plane straight to Tobago. We would go across to Trinidad for a little two-three days to shop.

I tell people I was born in a BeeWee plane between Trinidad and Barbados but I was really born in Barbados. And I really feel in-between Trinidad and Barbados. When I’m in Barbados, I talk about Brian Lara being the greatest thing in West Indies cricket. And, when I’m in Trinidad, I [say the same thing] about Garry Sobers!

I’m a natural contrarian and agree with BC Pires that makes me more Trini than Bajan. Because the instinct in Barbados is to conform and, in Trinidad, to ask, “Why I have to do that?”

Read more

Catching Her Ash

My name is Nadia Huggins and I can say people in St Vincent have been living in Hell since the volcano erupted on 9 April.

I couldn’t say I was living in Hell myself because, although I’ve had huge pileups of ash all around me in the Green Zone, things are much worse and people far more vulnerable in the Orange and Red Zones. Coconut branches, laden with ash, droop in the Green Zone [but] houses in the Red Zone were buried under ash. We had very heavy rain on 29 April and that helped clean off all the roofs.

I left Trinidad when I was three but I would say I was from Cascade. Trinidad left an indelible mark on my family, even after we moved to St Vincent. We were raised in a particular way, to remember that energy of Trinidad. In terms of language, behaviour, that type of thing, I grew up in St Vincent in [a very Trini way].

I moved back to Trinidad for a couple of years in 2014 and I’ve always been back-and-forth. But not since covid. Every time I land in Trinidad, that energy resonates.

We were a small family, mother, father, sister, but my mum comes from a very big one. I eventually want a family but, as a photographer, you need a level of hyper focus to get things to develop, career-wise. I live in puns.

Read more

The Novel Miss Allen Knead

My name is Lisa Allen-Agostini and my novel The Bread the Devil Knead was published last week.

I come from straight outta Morvant, no crossover. I lived in my mother's house overlooking the traffic lights at Morvant Junction from age two until my mid-20s. I live now in Backayard, a village in the rainforest high up Simeon Road, Petit Valley. We live downstairs my husband Brian McMeo's parents' house.

My mom, Dolsie, was a widow with seven children. My father had two before he had my brother Dennis and me with Dolsie. It wasn't the Brady Bunch, though. Dolsie, Allen, Philly, Patty and Tony have passed. Only Ricky, Denny and I still live in Trinidad permanently.

Brian and I have no children of our own (except the cat, Fennec, and dogs, Sassy and Hagrid) but he's step-dad to my two daughters, Ishara is 28 today – May 24, Happy Birthday, Ishara – and Najja, 21. Both live abroad. My husband's family lives upstairs.

My childhood was a triangle I walked between my father's house & muffler factory in Success Village (every afternoon after school), my home in Morvant and my grandmother's house in Barataria (every Saturday). A passionate Catholic, I sang in the St Therese’s choir, Malick, and taught confirmation classes. But I was a church girl with an un-church-ical streak. I went to mass on Saturday nights before going to [nightclubs] Chez Moi and Wall Street.

I fell so immediately in love with Town, I included my poem, "My City", in Something to Say, the book I self-published at 18. It makes me sad to see Town so empty now. The walk from Bishop's to the maxi stand at the bottom of Charlotte Street was full of all the world.

Read more

A Fella Walk Een a Comedy Club...

My name is Marc Trinidad and don’t ask me why it’s not Marc Tobago.

I’m a standup comedian and my Canadian comedy mentor Kenny Robinson christened me as Marc Trinidad. Changing anything said by the legend who gave birth to black Canadian comedy 40 years ago is like changing a Kitchener melody. You can. But why would you?

I was born in Belmont but spent my foundational years in Carenage. Creating as much havoc for my parents as their strained nerves could handle. I haven’t stopped annoying my parents [but] I have a new empathy for them. I surely wasn’t the easiest of their four children and I have my own brood of four now.

My wife is Dene. Our kids Marque Savannah 24, Maryse-Soleil 17, Melanie Schye 16 and Myles Stoane 12 are all artists. Soleil was an award winner in her first play. [But] I had a standing ovation my first time onstage too. I don’t know why I put up with them. Dene and I are happily married 27 years later. Cue Disney music.

Read more

Jamaica Farewell, Trinidad Wh'appen?

My name is Kashka Hemans and, after a real love affair with it, I have a real tabanca for Trinidad.

I lived in Trinidad in two stints, 2007-09, at Hugh Wooding Law School, and 2010-16. But my love affair with Trinidad started as a child. I read a lot and loved Trinidad because of I loved it’s literature most. VS Naipaul is my favourite author. I loved Earl Lovelace’s descriptions of landscape, Manzanilla and all kinda places.

My Trinidadian wife Tonni Brodber and I have two sons Eli, three, and Noel, one-and-a-half. My eldest son, Tunde Jamil is in his 20s and lives in Tobago now because I had him, with a Trinidadian woman student at Mona, when I was 19.

Jamaican men love the Trinidad accent. On a woman. They can’t take it seriously on a man. No man should speak in such a flowery way.

Every Trinidadian is a performer. And every Trinidadian is ALWAYS on stage. They’re such storied people, they even naturally tell tragic stories well.

  • There was a time I would not openly admit that I do love soca. Jamaican identity is a heavy burden. You’re not allowed to like everything. In Jamaica, there was a certain seeming frivolity associated with the happiness of soca. At my wedding, I allowed myself to let free with the soca. My Jamaican family looked at me kinda side-eyed. “What the HELL is going on with Kashka?”
Read more

Show more posts