Embracing Tobago's Rich History: bmobile Champions the Heritage Festival and Emancipation Parade
TSTT Corporate Communications
The Emancipation Celebration marked the grand finale of Tobago's Heritage Festival, a two-week vibrant display of the island's rich culture and traditions. The event culminated in a lively street parade through the streets of Crown Point, led by National flagman David Nelson. The procession was a jubilant display of African-inspired clothing, moko jumbies, traditional characters, and cultural groups, showcasing the joy and freedom of emancipation. As the only truly local communications solution provider, bmobile reaffirmed its commitment to preserving Trinidad and Tobago's history by proudly sponsoring the Emancipation Celebration and supporting local culture.
Onica Blackman, Manager of Tobago Operations at bmobile, expressed the company's strong commitment to highlighting the nation’s culture. According to Blackman, “bmobile remains dedicated to empowering local culture and celebrating the journey of emancipation that has shaped the nation's identity.”
She added that, “the partnership with the Tobago Heritage Festival exemplifies bmobile's dedication to fostering greater development in Tobago while preserving and celebrating the island's unique cultural identity.”
The Honourable Farley Augustine, THA Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance, Trade, and the Economy, expressed his satisfaction with the support received for the Emancipation Celebration. He emphasized the importance of the celebration going beyond the current festivities to provide support within the African diaspora, uniting people across cultures and history.
At the Emancipation Celebrations, 20 people were honoured, including late cultural stalwarts like Senate vice-president, Rawle "AxeBack" Titus, musicologist, Michael Duncan, and musician/songwriter, Sherwin Cunningham. Other honorees included notable figures such as tourism secretary, George Stanley Beard, managing director of Radio Tambrin, George Leacock, captain of the Redemption Sound Setters, Narie Toby, veteran entertainer, Michael Baker, and calypsonian, Jeffrey Thomas. The "Footprints to Freedom" concert at Store Bay Heritage Park paid tribute to these cultural icons.
Reflecting on the theme of the Tobago Heritage Festival, "homage," Tashia Burris, Secretary of the THA Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities, and Transportation, emphasized that it is not just about recognizing the elders and thanking people for their contributions, but it is also about recognizing the journey from then to now and how far one still has to go.
As a participant in the procession, Dominic Williams expressed his joy and appreciation for the event, encouraging a year-round celebration of African heritage and culture. Lyndon Lashley reflected on the significance of freedom and individuality, acknowledging the struggles of ancestors in achieving their freedom.
“To understand what our ancestors and those before us would have gone through and to understand what it is to have a kind of freedom to be able to express each individuality.”
Through its sponsorship of the Emancipation Celebration and its continuous support for the Tobago Heritage Festival, bmobile continues to stand at the forefront of preserving Trinidad and Tobago's history and promoting its rich cultural heritage.