Drums, songs, dance, let’s emancipate!
– as hundreds attended event to usher in Guyana’s 181st Emancipation
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 1, 2019
The Emancipation-eve festivity is without a doubt, one of the most sought-after events for Buxton villagers and residents of neighbouring communities. This was evident when scores of people, both young and old, came out in huge numbers to enjoy the celebrations.
The soiree commenced with a libation ceremony by Reverend Desiree Watts and members of the Devine Temple Saint Matthias congregation. The group reflected on the struggles their fore-parents endured and their fight from enslavement to the abolition of slavery.
Following the first session of the programme, the Buxton ‘line-top’ came alive with drama, poetry, folk songs and stories. The GBTI/Buxton Steel Orchestra also contributed to the jubilant atmosphere, with their renditions of ‘Brown skin girl’ and ‘Uncle Joe’
Joining in the celebration too were Director-General (DG) of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon and Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Nicolette Henry.
The Director-General, during his keynote address, highlighted “the coming oil and gas economy and the African Guyanese emancipation agenda.” He pointed out that the African Guyanese community must be cognisant and involved in the various ways they can benefit from the resources that will accrue from the soon established petroleum industry.
“These concerns are justified by the history of the African Guyanese people from the time of their relentless, brutal and merciless exploitation as slaves for 400 years, to their struggles which have continued from the time of physical emancipation in 1838 to the present for economic development and sustainable development of their communities.”
Harmon said it is important for all Guyanese to acquire an education to properly manage the oil and gas sector. In highlighting the government’s effort towards achieving this, the DG noted that the government had devoted the largest sum of its budget to education.
“The Minister of Public Telecommunications has authorised me to say tonight that her ministry is now equipped and ready to offer Buxton group-training in ICT and website design. All you need to do is form a group of no less than six and approach the ministry,” DG Harmon added.
He assured that the Coalition Government is committed to ensuring that all villages and rural communities reap the benefits from the oil and gas sector.
The DG also presented two students with an electronic tablet each for their outstanding performance at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
The cultural festivity ended in the wee hours on Emancipation Day (August 1), with the popular Super Cat One Man Band belting out folk songs.
The programme was organised by the Buxton First of August Movement.