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Guyana’s Premier Guide to Entertainment, Culture, Fashion, Beauty, Sports & Self-Confessed Bibliophiles

Travel Guyana Belongs to the Birds (800 species) GY$1,100 | US$5.99 | BD$12 | CN$5.99

ICON Yvonne Hinds Always Graceful, Always Stylish Highlights from the “Music of the World” Chutney/Filmi Show



The Guyana Cultural Association of NY Turns 10

Health Beat 6 Essential Minerals Our Body Needs

Aliann Pompey

BALANCING BOOKS, ATHLETICS & CAREER The President’s Film Endowment Project 2010 8 Short Films Premiered


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Contents GEM


Guyana's Premier Entertainment & Lifestyle Magazine August/September 2011 | Issue 46


LETTERS TO GEM What readers have to say about the last edition


PUBLISHER’S NOTES Welcome to the 46th Edition of GEM


BIRTHDAYS Personality milestone


44 26

Track Star Aliann Pompey Balancing Books, Athletics & Career

GUYANA CULTURAL ASSOCIATION, NY Folk Festival Turns 10 14 PERSONALITY Dale Hing - National Small Bore Captain


PRESIDENT'S FILM ENDOWMENT PROJECT 2010 8 Short Films Premiered 20 MISS GUYANA UNIVERSE 2011 Kara Lord is the New Queen 6 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011



The photo of Aliann Pompey was taken exclusively for GEM by Sylvester Potter

Contents II GEM


Guyana's Premier Entertainment & Lifestyle Magazine August/September 2011 | Issue 46



THE GUYANA CLASSICS LIBRARY 2 24 4 More Titles Released



HIGHLIGHTS FROM "Music of the World" Chutney Event

THE ART OF BETSY KARIM A Self-Taught Artist from Linden


FEMINITION 2011 Guyana Women's Exposition


FASHION @ Feminition 2011



RECIPES Conkie and Wheat Germ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies



TRAVEL Guyana Belongs to the Birds (800 Species)


LAST SEEN HERE Random pictures of people and events. Were you there?


ICON - YVONNE HINDS A Lifetime of Loving and Nurturing "WOTLESS" CONCERT An Evening of Soca & Chutney Music HEALTH BEAT 6 Essential Minerals We Need GEM BEAUTY Meet Rebecca, age 28 SAVVY SISTER Using Self-Esteem 8 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011





We cannot afford to forget the journey of our ancestors, and we MUST find inspiration in their example.

Now available at these fine locations: Nigel’s Supermarket – Robb Street James Texaco Service Station - Mandela Avenue Shell Service Station - Vlissengen Road Austin Book Services – Church Street German’s Restaurant – New Market Street 226.0540, 225.1738




Issue 46 | August / September 2011 FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Simeon L Corbin MANAGING EDITOR Coretta Corbin-Rival ADMINISTRATION MANAGER Tiya Peterkin LAYOUT AND DESIGN Mark James INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Pamela Corbin INTERNATIONAL SALES & MARKETING Director Coretta Corbin-Rival INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION Director Michelle Corbin CONTRIBUTORS Coretta Corbin-Rival • Michelle Corbin • Carl Croker • Naomi Wright • Tiya Peterkin • Petamber Persaud • Claire Ann Goring • June English • Edison Jefford • Tangerine Clarke • Sylvester Potter GUYANA AND THE CARIBBEAN GEM | P.O. Box 12396 | Georgetown | Guyana P: 011.592.225.1738, 011592.226.0540 or 011.592.624.2751 E: W: F: SUBSCRIPTION Guyana GYD5,500 Caribbean & North America USD40 Rest of the World USD45 DISTRIBUTION To sell GEM at your business, please email sales at INTERNATIONAL SALES AND MARKETING Corbin Media Group P.O. Box 255906 Boston, MA 02125 USA Phone: 617.833.7482 Email: MEMBER Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Guyana Press Association (GPA) Tourism Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) ISSN 181-2019 Six times a year, GEM delivers the latest trends in business, charity, art, interior design, real estate, culture, cuisine, sports, entertainment, parties, fashion, events, beauty, weddings and travel. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. The publisher and editors are not responsible for unsolicited material and it will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication subject to GEM’s rights to edit.



Letters to level. Big-up to H&J and GEM! – Onica Charles Bravo to GEM! Thank you for highlighting The Mangrove Heritage Tour on the East Coast of Demerara. This is definitely something to do on my next trip to Guyana. - Rickford Chance At a time when the music, entertainment, tourism and fashion industries are beginning to take shape, your magazine is doing a fantastic job of promoting Guyana. As young artistes, we really need as much help as we can get to promote our work internationally. – Michael Harding

We welcome comments, criticisms and ideas from you. Let us know what you think about this edition. Send comments to Letters may be edited for space and clarity. This is a great magazine for someone like me to read because I left Guyana at the young age of seven. Since tuning into Guyana on the internet I am learning so much about this beautiful country that I am excited about reading this new magazine. Congratulations! I will be subscribing to it and wish GEM many success. This is the magazine that Guyana needs. M. King Your publisher’s comments have always been worth reading, but lately they have been right to the point and quite insightful. I admire a publisher who is down—to—earth and doesn’t speak down to their readers. Keep up the good work! — Muriel Thompson I am so proud to be a big fan of GEM magazine. Your magazine continues to exceed all expectations. The glossy appearance, layout, high quality pictures and interesting features really make GEM a product of international standards. Keep up the good work. – Amanda Jaipaul Nice cover feature on the guys from Hits & Jams. They are definitely taking entertainment to the next AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 11

Publisher's Notes Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. - Henry Ford Dear Valued Reader, I feel the pain of those suffering from the heat wave gripping parts of America. Of course, we don’t have that problem here, since we always have the soothing trade winds flowing from the Atlantic Ocean to cool us down. My advice to you my friends - head down to Guyana for that much needed break. Speaking of break, coming up in the middle of August is one of the most anticipated annual events, the Jamzone Summer Break. This year the H&J guys have added some 20/20 cricket to their programme, that features local and regional players. Then later in the month, there is the fun day at Splashmin’s Resort and international pageant among other activities. That’s lots of excitement to look forward to. In this issue, writer Naomi Wright spoke with the always elegantly dressed Yvonne Hinds, wife of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds. They discussed the challenges of being a wife, mother, grandmother and Director of the Guyana Relief Council. Also in this issue, we cover the premiere of eight locally produced short films. I was there, and I was pleasantly surprised by the level of professionalism that obviously went into producing these films. The storylines, acting, sound and packaging were impressive. I really wish them well and hope they get the support needed to help create a booming film industry here. In the Diaspora, the fun continues with carnivals in the Caribbean and North America and the after parties and barbeques that follow. We hope to see you there and around town.


With the sports, fashion shows, entertainment events, restaurants, shopping and nightlife, you could say that we have it all here and more. In this issue, you will read about the people, places and events that keep things ticking. In the meantime, enjoy this latest issue of GEM, with the educated, sexy, athletic and beautiful track star Aliann Pompey gracing our cover. Enjoy yourself, Founder & Publisher GEM

A simple celebration, a gathering of friends; here is wishing you great happiness, a joy that never ends.

Desiree Edghill

Sonia Noel

AUGUST Jazz Musician Ruth Osman-Rose (3) Gospel singer Solid Youth (5) Guyana cricketer Narsingh Deonarine (8) Minister of Human Services Priya Manikchand (13) Activist / Actress Desiree Edghill (14) Marketing Manager Natheeah King - Mendonca (14) Calypso singer Young Bill Rogers aka Roger Hinds (15) Fashion Designer Sonia Noel (15) Guyana and West Indies cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul (16) Consultant Sherry Ann Dixon (25) Race car driver Ryan Rahaman (25)

Gordon Moseley

Lance Gibbs

Former Guyana and West Indies cricket great Clive Lloyd (31) SEPTEMBER Steel Pan legend Roy Geddes (3) Former Guyana and West Indies cricketer Basil Butcher (3) Singer Adrian Dutchin (4) Publisher Simeon Corbin (13) Model Riah Austin (14) Reporter Gordon Moseley (14) Singer Marlon Webster aka Malo (15) Former Miss Guyana World Alexis Glasgow (25) Former Guyana and West Indies cricketer Lance Gibbs (29)


CMG believes diversity makes good business sense. Celebrating what brings us together by respecting our differences.

48 Sandy Babb Street | Kitty | Georgetown | Guyana 011592.225.1738 / 226-0540 / 225.1455



Guyana Cultural Association, NY Folk Festival Turns 10 Text: Tangerine Clarke and Claire A. Goring.

Photography: Tangerine Clarke

Michael Smith Photo

From left, (back row) Edgar Henry, Maurice Blenman, Maurice Braithwaite, Roy Brummell, Bobby Vieira. (back Row) Dr. Juliet Emanuel, Rose October-Edun, Claire A. Goring, Verna Walcott-White and Tangerine Clarke


uyana’s Folk culture was given a huge boost in 1982, with the hosting of the first ever Guyana Folk Festival by the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation. Against the backdrop of the sweeping green landscape of the National Park in Georgetown, thousands passed through the benab, which was the entrance and the first glimpse into this exciting world of folk culture and national pride. Guyanese came from all parts of Guyana. Villagers from the East Coast brought with them some of the “bush medicines” known to cure all ailments while others from Berbice and other villages shared their knowledge of their folk games and folk songs. Airy Dory, Maypole plaiting, Nancy storytelling and hopscotch were just a few of the exciting activities of the day. 14 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

The theme: Preserve the Heritage, brought into focus the multicultural roots of Guyana’s heritage and the fusion of cultural energies which we celebrate through our religious festivals; Phagwah, Deepavali, Eid-ulAhza, Easter, Christmas and Youman Naubi; our special dishes, whether the Amerindian pepperpot, the English roast beef, the African Metemgee, the Chinese chowmein or the Indian roti and curry, which all savor of historical admixture. Dr. Vibert Cambridge, one of the initiators of the first Folk Festival organized by GBC, remembers the leadership and enthusiastic support given by then General Manager of GBC, Terry Holder. Cambridge also recalls the outstanding efforts of the GBC staff in organizing the project and commended the public and private sector, especially Solo Sounds International, for coming together to bring in participants from all of Guyana's 10 regions.

Classique Dance Troupe performs

“The day was a riot of color, folk games, delicious foods, and healthy family fun. It was a day where we saw cultural similarities and the outcome of cultural exchange. For me, it was an important moment in the efforts to preserve and celebrate Guyana's rich cultural heritage. Even the “popers”, Cambridge mused, were many. The Folk Festival went on over the years to successfully engage the Guyanese populace on August Monday. However, lately the African Emancipation Day festival at Cuffy Square in Georgetown has replaced this event. In 1999, Claire A. Goring and Maurice Blenman, members of the current Folk Festival TEAM produced the first Guyana Folk Festival in New York. This was held on the grounds of Wingate High School in Brooklyn. The Ninja Band, joined a host of other artists to put on an exciting cultural performance to the delight of Guyanese who at that time were eager to see there cultural heritage showcased in North America After a one-year hiatus the festival emerged bigger and better in 2001, at a new venue on the rooftop of the

Brooklyn Children’s Museum with exciting cultural performances and vendors from as far as Guyana. Set against the backdrop of Godfrey Chin’s rendering of the Stabroek Market, a mosaic of Guyanese culture emerged on stage, as cultural icon Billy Pilgrim, Wordsworth McAndrew and Flautist, Keith Waithe from London joined former members of the National School of Dance, Indian Dancer Rupa Presaud, Slingshot Drepaul, Terry Gagraj, and many more to give the audience stirring performances. The Tots and Teens danced around the Maypole as the late Lady Guymine, showed off her Granny Fitness. Even the rain, which threatened to end the festivities, did not deter the crowd who brought out their umbrellas and continued to wave their flags as they joined artists on the tarmac and danced to the music of the Chronicle Atlantic Steelband. This was a clear indication that this festival was a success to be repeated annually. That same year, Carol Bagot, Patricia Trim, Colin Moore and others incorporated the Guyana Cultural Association that hosted and celebrated many aspects of our culture. After a hiatus, this organization then became the official sponsor of the Guyana Folk Festival, AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 15


with Malcolm Hall as President and a new Board of cultural Directors. Author of “Nostalgia” Godfrey Chin, marvel at the thirty-seven Wordsworth McAndrew awards handed out in 2003. In true Godfrey style he said, “That takes the cake. “ “It was a star-studded galaxy” said Chin, “thirtyseven awards were handed out in one night, one for each year of Guyana’s independence.” This memorable Awards Dinner Dance went off without a hitch and saw the unveiling of the “Is we Ting” CD, the first ever compilation of Guyanese music. Guyana’s musical families the Serraos, the Paul Brothers, Art Versammy, and many other artistes came in from all parts of the Diaspora to join Terry Holder, Alan Fenty and Vic Insanally from Guyana to lend their support to this cultural first in North America. Even politicians Robert Corbin and Bharrat Jagdeo shared the podium to make that year a memorable one. Celebrating Our Youth, Preserving Our Heritage was the theme for 2003. A summer camp was also established to educate the youth of Guyanese parentage more about their culture, traditional folk and work songs, and to execute the intricate patterns of the Maypole. This was

Claire Patterson-Mohan

a memorable and a nostalgic reminder to parents and other adults present of the exciting days of their youth when they too were part of the Maypole tradition. From 2004, and onward, Guyanese continued to arrive in Brooklyn from all around the world every Labor Day weekend to enjoy music, dance and song, and to savor the foods of our historical admixture: Black pudding, Souse, Roti and curry, Pholourie, Bharrah, Channa and many other tasty Guyanese delicacies. Five years ago the popularity of the festival, forced organizers to relocated to Old Boys and Girls High School Grounds on Rutland Road, in Brooklyn. The theme that year was “Memories, - Our Villages Celebrating Our Folk Games and Folk Toys.” The festival evolved to add a Symposium that was first held at Brooklyn Manhattan Community College, in New York City, then Columbia University in Manhattan. A kwe Kwe Night, Great Drum Beats of Guyana, Performing Arts Festival, the Heritage Summer Camp, Art Exhibition, Literary Hang and a Story Telling Moonlight Night were also added to the calendar of events. The festival relocated to Meyer Levin Performing Arts School on Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn, and has since been the home base for the annual Guyana Folk Festival

Dr. Vibert Cambridge 16 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

in Brooklyn and site of an exciting array of Guyanese arts and craft, traditional foods and folk games and the hosting of artists from Guyana and around the Diaspora at the annual Family Fun Day. The Awards Ceremony, held at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall – has honored more than one hundred Guyanese artists for their outstanding contributions to the arts. With its motto, “Preserving, Promoting, Propagating Guyanese Culture” past festival themes have included: “Carifesta Revisited; Fashion, Food and Art; “Oii – Origins, Influence, Identity; Diversity in Our Villages, Harmony in Our Culture; The Guyana Cultural Association – Organizers of the Annual Folk Festival look forward to another spectacular presentation to celebrate its 10th Anniversary this year. GCA would also like to thank its patrons and sponsors for their many years of support. To learn more, or to become a member of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York Inc., sponsors of the annual Guyana Folk Festival - Log on to www.guyfolkfest. org and visit us on Face Book.

A family at the family fun day in NY

A section of crowd at the family fun day AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 17


Dale Hing Photography: Submitted

Job: National Smallbore Captain – Guyana National Rifle Association Favorite food: Curried chicken or beef with rice; prawns; spaghetti with meatballs and home -cooked fried chicken. Favourite movie: Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis Favourite entertainers: My son Daniel; Black-eyed Peas and Rihanna

GEM: How long have you been the national smallbore captain? Dale Hing: I was elected for Small-bore Captaincy in 1999 and have been re-elected every year to present. A small-bore captain must be committed, motivated and be responsible for coordinating all shooting activities and the training of all new members. I am also an NRA (U.S.A.) Certified Pistol Instructor and have been conducting certified training programs over the years. GEM: For people who don’t know, what does smallbore mean? DH: Small-bore refers to all types of handguns, airguns and rifles up to .22 calibre. GEM: Every male child grows up playing with toy guns, how and when did you start using the real thing? DH: I started shooting in 1994 after joining the Guyana NRA, after which I developed a strong flair for shooting. I won my first trophy at a falling plate elimination competition within the first two years and that motivated me. I then took up Air Rifle shooting followed by Air Pistol and Standard Pistol shooting a few years later. Then came Practical Pistol shooting, this was the most exciting since it consists of a lot of movement and requires speed and accuracy. Shooting for me then became a competitive sport and no longer a hobby. GEM: How does someone get started in a shooting hobby? DH: To get started the individual must be 18yrs or older, be of good character, be able to acquire a Police Clearance and must be recommended by a member 18 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

of the association. Therefore, you don’t need to own a firearm to become a member. GEM: What is the biggest misconception people have about firearms? DH: The fact that a firearm if not handled safely can result in a fatality has lead persons to express negative views about it. In the Guyana NRA, safety is our primary concern when handling firearms. That’s why every new member has to attend a First Steps Pistol Orientation class before attending a live firing range. In this class we teach all aspects of safety, firearm parts and operation and the fundamentals of shooting. GEM: What is the key to hitting your target every time? DH: The key is to practice, like with any other sport and focus on your shooting fundamentals. GEM: The sport doesn’t seem to attract women, why is that? DH: Actually, it does attract women but not as compared to men. I’ve found that most of the females just wanted to learn how to shoot to satisfy their desire and a few would remain to be competitive. GEM: What shooting titles do you hold? DH: Over the years I have held many shooting titles in local championships for both precision and practical shooting. Sometimes I would loose them and reclaim them again. I currently hold the title for the Trinidad & Tobago

Annual Combat Pistol Shooting Tournament. GEM: What would be the ultimate prize for a marksman? DH: I would say to achieve the highest possible level of marksmanship, and be recognized in the international shooting arena. GEM: How does a spectator arrange to attend one of the competitions? DH: Shooting is not as spectator-oriented as many other sports, but a person wishing to view can be accompanied by any member to the range. GEM: What would you like to see happen as far as advancement for the sport? DH: For the sport of shooting to become more recognized by the relevant authorities and the approval and much needed assistance to construct a shooting range and club house. GEM: Which high school did you attend and what was that experience like? DH: I attended the Richard Ishmael Secondary School and had quite an experience throughout the years. I received my first broken arm in the first year during

lunch break while running from a “Ramgoat”. I received my first fall from a bicycle while riding home from school one afternoon after I decided to hold onto a truck to go faster but the speed was underestimated for my turn after I let go(not recommended). Then I had a fall off a motorcycle later on in the final year not far from school and that really hurt. I tried cricket in school but wasn’t patient enough and always had a problem catching the ball so I quit. Then I enrolled in karate for a few years and eventually got bored because it wasn’t anything like the martial arts that I saw in the movies. All this time shooting and guns was far from my imagination. GEM: What are some of your other hobbies? DH: My other hobbies are playing paintball and riding my motorcycles, but my preference is riding since I like adventure riding especially to very distant places. GEM: What are your views on life? DH: I believe that one should live life to its fullest and don’t be afraid to take chances. Always be assertive, honest and responsible.


The President’s Film Endowment Project 2010

8 Short Films Premiered

L-r: President Bharrat Jagdeo, Director of the Project Dr Paloma Mohamed and Odinga Lumumba


n July 7, 2011, eight local short films premiered at the Theatre Guild Playhouse on Parade Street in Kingston as part of a plan to ignite a professional film industry in Guyana.

The production of the films was made possible under President Bharrat Jagdeo’s Film Endowment Project 2010, the University of Guyana, Ministry Culture, Youth and Sport, the University of Ohio, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Theatre Guild of Guyana and other private entities. The project was financed by a grant of $10M (US$50k) that covered most expenses over a four month period. Brian Zahm, from Ohio University was hired to provide training on the art of producing films to approximately 188 aspiring directors, actors, videographers and other support staff of a production team. Participants learned the basics on acting, sound, script writing, cinematography, lighting, art direction, production and other


Brian Zahm

The Kross Kolor Crew

aspects of the industry. Each film was about 10 minutes in length and covered drama, romance, comedy and horror. The list included Hope, The Backyard, Three Cards, Firebrand Masquerade, Beached, Luck Beat Handsome, The Encounter, and The Bottle.

Guest speaker at the event, President Bharrat Jagdeo pledged an additional $30M to the project to further help with guaranteeing that when the initial grant runs out, the industry will not fizzle. The films will make their rounds at various festivals in New York, Washington DC, Dominica and Trinidad before return to Guyana for public viewing.


Miss Guyana Universe 2011 Kara Lord is the New Queen Photography: Carl Croker

L-r: Roshini Boodhoo, Judith Sullivan, Kara Lord, Derek Moore (Pageant Coordinator), Seromanie Choomanlall and Iyanna Harris.


uly 9, 2011, was d-day for the nine candidates competing for the Miss Guyana Universe crown and a chance to represent Guyana at the Miss Universe 2011 pageant in Sao Paola Brazil on September 12. After a late start at the Princess Hotel poolside in Providence, the nine young delegates were introduced to patrons before being put through their paces in the swimsuit, evening gown and final question segments. Scores from the special Intelligence segment which was aired live on NCN on July 6, were also included before the final question segment. All scores were then erased and the winner of the pageant was selected solely on her response to the question of “If you were to become the president of Guyana, what is one thing you would 22 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

change?” When the results were finally announced, there was mixed reaction of support and displeasure as 23-yearold Kara Lord was declared the winner. Her first runnerup was Seromanie Choomanlall, the second runner-up was Judith Sullivan, the third runner-up was Ayana Harris and the fourth runner-up was Roshini Boodhoo. Madonna Ghanie won the Best Gown, Best Smile and Miss Body Beautiful prizes while Anesha Benjamin won the Miss Congeniality title. Kara Lord, is a former student of St. Joseph’s High School and she holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of the West Indies. Her platform in the pageant was cervical cancer.


1 1. Classique Dance Company 2. Iyanna Harris 3. Roshini Boodhoo

4. Judith Sullivan 5. Christopher Martin 6. Ravi B.

7. Renaldo




6 Other entertainment was provided by Classique Dance Troupe, Jamaican reggae singer Christopher Martin and members of the Karma Band out of Trinidad and Tobago.


Sitting in the judges chair were Chief Judge Dr. Paloma Mohamed, Stanford Sullivan, Richard Young, Joel Ghansham, Steve Ninvalle, Shamaine Joseph, Sita Saw-Roach and Basil Joseph. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 23

The Guyana Classics Library Text: Petamber Persaud


earing Slaves Speak’ by Trevor Burnard was launched in 2011, heralding The Year for People of African Descent, Guyana’s bequest to the world on the subject of enslaved people. The book contains first hand accounts of complaints by enslaved Africans in the county of Berbice, Guyana. Previous to the ending of the Atlantic slave trade which was a softening of the tribulations of enslaved people that eventually led to abolition of slavery, the enslaved people had no voice as they were viewed and treated as chattel. So this publication fills that gap in information. ‘Hearing Slaves Speak’ is one of a projected thirty six titles befitting the inclusion in The Guyana Classics Library Series. The Guyana Classics Library Series was initiated by the Government of Guyana to reprint rare and out-of-print books via the newly established The Caribbean Press. The idea of The Caribbean Press surfaced during Guyana’s hosting of the highly successful Carifesta X in 2008. The idea was later fleshed out by President Bharrat Jagdeo and Professor David Dabydeen. The idea is now manifested in the printing of twenty of the projected target of thirty six titles. The twenty books reprinted in the twenty months since the press was established include ‘The Discovery of Guiana’ by Sir Walter Ralegh first published in 1595, ‘The Coolie, his right and wrongs’ by John Edward Jenkins, ‘Canoe and Camp Life in British Guiana’ by Charles Barrington Brown, ‘The Chinese in British Guiana’ by Sir Cecil Clementi, ‘The Asylum Journal’ by Robert Grieve, ‘Guianese Poetry: covering the hundred years’ period, 1831-1931’ by N. E. Cameron and a novel, ‘The Shadow Bride’ by Roy Heath, ‘The Demerara Martyr’ by Edwin Angel Wallbridge, ‘Indian Notices’ by William Hilhouse, ‘The Portuguese of Guyana’ by Sister Menezes, a collection of poems, ‘Mercy Ward’, by Ian McDonald and a novel, ‘The Intended’ by David Dabydeen. Each title comes with a series preface and its own scholarly introduction written by a panel of international academics. The introduction of the first book on Guyana, ‘The


Discovery of Guyana’, was done by Jonathan Morley. His opening gambit coincides with and extends the opening pitch of the series preface. Compare those specific words of the preface, ‘Modern Guyana came into being, in the Western imagination, through the travelogue of Sir Walter Ralegh, The Discoverie of Guiana (1595). Ralegh was as beguiled by Guiana’s landscape as he was by the prospect of plunder’ with those in the introduction, ‘Sir Walter Ralegh, soldier, sea-captain, courtier and poet, was not alone in his dreams of El Dorado, for the idea of the Americas gripped the Elizabethan imaginary’. The series preface written by the President of Guyana, H. E. Bharrat Jagdeo and is instructive and informative, obviously giving an insight into the publication of The Guyana Classics Library. This preface fittingly discusses the first book on Guyana, going on to give an outline of Guyanese Literature to present day. This preface reveals that ‘The Guyana Classics Library will republish out-of-print poetry, novels and travelogues so as to remind us of our literary heritage, and it will also remind us of our reputation for scholarship in the fields of history, anthropology, sociology and politics, through the reprinting of seminal works in these subjects. The Series builds upon previous Guyanese endeavours, like the institution of CARIFESTA, and the Guyana Prize. I am delighted that my government has originated the project and has pledged that every library in the land will be furnished with titles from the Series, so that all Guyanese can appreciate our monumental achievement in moving from Exploitation to Expression…’

X Prize for Poetry in 1985. This significant piece of literature was too good to stay out of print for too long and so in 2011 it was reissued by The Caribbean Press ascending to the highly acclaimed position in The Guyana Classics Library. ‘Mama Dot’ was first published Chatto & Windus in 1985. ‘The Animism and Folklore of the Guiana Indians’ by Walter E. Roth was first published in June 1913. It was the result, according to the author’s preface, of a determination to devoting ‘all my spare time – and there has been plenty of it – to an ethnographical survey of the native tribes of British Guiana, somewhat on the lines I had already followed in the case of North Queensland’ [Australia]. He further stated, ‘In the course of my ethnographical work, I collected sufficient material in the way of myth, legend, and fable to warrant the publication of a separate volume on Animism and Folk-lore, and so the following pages have come to be written’. In 1970, it was reissued by Johnson Reprint Corporation.

Books released by The Caribbean Press for the year 2011 include ‘Hearing Slaves Speak’ by Trevor Burnard, ‘Mama Dot’ by Fred D’Aguiar and ‘The Animism and Folklore of the Guiana Indians’ by Walter E. Roth.

This 2011 reissue by The Caribbean Press is accompanied by a scholarly introduction written by Janette Bulkan. Listing the merits of the book, Bulkan writes, ‘is the scrupulous care which Roth characteristically brought to the task of recording the words of his interlocutors’ and ‘Roth’s separation of his comments from the text,... permits each reader to experience a story directly’. Further, Bulkan states, that we can read these narratives on different levels. ‘Firstly, as a window into the fascinating neotropical world, with its endemic profusion of plant and animal life forms. We, to like the European explorers and naturalists, can immerse ourselves into this biodiversity through the medium of these stories. Secondly, we can also marvel at this glimpse into the sophisticated cosmology and complex world views of Guyana’s first peoples’.

‘Mama Dot’ is a first collection of poems by Fred D’Aguiar. This book is a multiple winner, taking the Guyana Prize for Literature in 1987 and Malcolm

Twenty books in twenty months – that is quite a record for a newly established press, a remarkable achieve for the people of Guyana.


Track Star Balancing Books, Athletics & Career Text: Edison Jefford Photography: Sylvester Potter



liann Pompey had long cultivated the essentials of success. Her innovative methods of creating a solid life and healthy future, on and off the track, leaves much for imitation in a generation that constantly needs to be reminded that Guyana has produced role models. From childhood, Pompey had an affiliation to academia, which, as she puts it, ranged from being her personal librarian aback her yard at Bee Hive on the East Coast of Demerara where she grew up, to later enrolling at Manhattan College where her career as a distinguished Guyanese athlete and student was really initiated. “When I was a student at Bush Lot Secondary... the librarian took away my privileges because I took out

some books and returned them about two days later. She wouldn’t let me sign out with them anymore because she didn’t think I was reading them,” Pompey says. “Some time after that, I started my own library in Bee Hive. I built shelves in our backyard, I made up library cards, and I would lend out books to anyone in the neighbourhood, who wanted to borrow them,” she continued in an interview with GEM. The self-confessed bibliophile said that she closed her library when books went missing because members chose not to return them. Pompey informed that her backyard library has since become a uniformed and established wall at her home in the United States of America.


Track Star

Balancing Books, Athletics & Career

Her favourite book remains Chinua Achebe’s classic “Things Fall Apart” and though her affinity to books did not become her ultimate course of study, much aspiration to academia is in one who thought it necessary to open their own library at just about 11 years old. The now world renowned Guyanese 400m sprinter did not have a schools’ athletic career prior to departing Guyana. She indicated that she was much more focused on being the leading student in her classroom rather than on track and field. She attended Bush Lot Secondary School before she migrated to the United States. “I played games fairly often, but I did not run for school. My sister was much better at that and I found that it (running in school) took me away from my reading... I did race a few times at Inter-House, but I’ve never won,” she recalled, adding that she wanted to become a “big-time librarian”. But that dream evaporated with migration. Pompey left Guyana when she was about 13 years old and life in the Big Apple took her down a different course. She was not immediately prepared for her orientation as an immigrant, which affected her emotionally. “I think the hardest part was a timing thing. At 13/14 years, you are at that age where your peers play a big part of your life. Being able to relate to people around you is huge for your self-esteem at that time. I was faced with people not understanding my accent, being bored in school because I’d done much of the work before, missing my friends and family,” she told GEM. However, her father, Leon Eric, who obviously had more experience being a foreigner, mentored Pompey in her pre-teens. She related that her father was principally responsible for strengthening her identity and restoring some amount of her confidence in the United States. “I spent hours daydreaming, I brought my school books when I left Guyana and would read them every night. Daddy finally sat me down and explained to me that I have an opportunity that I am not taking much advantage of,” Pompey continued in our interview. The prominent athlete is one of four children of Leon and Deborah, and she told GEM that if there was any time of her transition from Guyana to the United States that she would undo if there was an opportunity for her not to experience her High School years. “High School in the US was the hardest thing to-date 28 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

that I have ever experienced. If I was told I could go back in time to redo that part of my life, I would. I learnt a lot about life and people and most of it I learned the hard way. I had to deal with different levels of racism and sexism, which I just wasn’t prepared for,” Pompey said. The athlete battled through those tough years of High School and went on to Manhattan College where she received her Bachelors and Masters’ Degrees in Finance. Her introduction to athletics was quite an interesting one, however. It was not her first exposure to sports neither was the process ad hoc; athletics came like a sort of by-product from a previous vocation in High School, which happened to be, interestingly, field hockey. “My gym teacher saw me run and since she was the field hockey coach, she put me on the team. I did that for half of the season, the season was almost over when I joined. I didn’t do track until the end of High School,” she recalled, adding that she improved rapidly after taking track as one of the means to pay for her education at Manhattan College. Pompey told this magazine that her sole motivation on the track in College was the fact that she could train and compete while being qualified. She revealed that

once she had locked her psyche into accomplishing a specific task, the devotion followed and so did the success. Her first taste of international recognition came in 2002 when she won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in Manchester England. She was awarded the ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ Award for her outstanding performance at what is considered a blue-ribbon event. It was timely success for someone who had become the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion over 400m at the end of college. “I was a little shocked at how quickly I was improving,” Pompey said. She easily became one of Guyana’s premier athletes. One year after her 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medal, Pompey went on to capture bronze at the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic, making her a favourite to do well at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, the following year. She continued a campaign to get Guyana the only medal in track and field that has eluded its coffers time immemorial.

Pompey has been to three Olympics thus far, including Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and the Beijing Games in 2008. She has also competed at five IAAF World Championships dating from 2001-2009 and four IAAF World Indoor Championships in a marathon career. In the 2010 World Indoor Championships, in Doha, Qatar, Pompey placed fifth in the 400m in a time of 52.75 seconds, earning her a fifth place ranking in the world, which she went on to credit with her silver medal performance at the Commonwealth Games in India. Pompey became the only Guyanese athlete in any sport with two Commonwealth Games medals after her performance in New Delhi, India. That, along with her stellar representation for Guyana over the years, helped the conference of the National Medal of Service Award. Born on March 9, 1978, Pompey is an Assistant Director of Educational Services for the Armory Foundation and is also a Development Manager at PowerPlay. She still competes and is expected to represent Guyana at the upcoming World Championships in August. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 29

Highlights from the “Music of the World” Chutney / Filmi Event

Photography: Carl Croker


n July 2, 2011, who’s who of local, regional and international chutney and filmi artistes converged at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence as the Caribbean Fire Fest Productions staged one of the biggest chutney events so far in Guyana. Entertaining the mammoth crowd were Devindra Pooran, Anil Bheem, Sally Sagram, Avinash Maraj, Rick Ramotar, Mahendra Ramkellawan, Babla and his daughter Neesa, KI and the 3Vani Band, Dax New Generation Band and the Clarity Band.


Ki on-stage Mahendra Ramkellawan

Back-up dancers

Dancing Girls

WR Reaz, Dimple Mendonca, Ki and a fan

KI, Avinash Maraj and Anil Bheem

Sally Sagram Babla and Neesa



Yvonne Hinds

Naomi Wright Photo

Yvonne with her grandson Marcus

A lifetime of Loving and Nurturing

Text: Naomi Wright Photography: Submitted


“Those who give sunshine can’t keep it away from themselves” - Yvonne Hinds

omen simultaneously perform diverse roles in their lifetimes, but some are exceptionally good at them. It is not every day that you meet a woman who is the wife of a Prime Minister, a home maker, a mother and grandmother yet still finds time to help other people. For Yvonne Hinds the nurturing of others has always been at the forefront of her life. The mother of four and the grandmother of four grandchildren under the age of four, she has chaired the Guyana Relief Council 32 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

(GRC) since 1994 and was recently awarded a Medal of Service for her hard work and dedication to the cause of helping others. She strongly believes that children exhibit behaviour that they learn in their homes. Herein then may lie the key to her winning personality. Yvonne was born in Bartica, but from as early as five started moving to different parts of the country including Saxakalli, Caria Caria, Mahdia and

Christiansburg due to her father’s job. She attributes this moving around to giving her a broadened view of people of different cultures and backgrounds. Eventually she ended up in the capital and became a teacher herself after graduating from Tutorial High School. Ever grateful to her parents for their contribution to her as an individual, Yvonne says that they should come in for special mention. “They taught you honesty and integrity, and lived it”. She recalls how people would come to her parents home because of her father’s standing in the community to get letters of recommendations written. As a rule her mom always cooked extra because you never know who could drop in. Furthermore, they always had someone staying as her mother would always offer to keep other people’s children for a while if she saw them going through a rough time in their home. Some of them remember the kindness of her mother to this day she says, like the case of one woman now a nurse in the USA who still keeps in touch. She recalls that because of her similar habits her grandson Marcus (who calls her Boo Boo) asked someone recently “You hungry? Boo Boo give you food”. Yvonne admitted that as a teenager, taking care of others could be inconvenient. “You ask your mom why she picking up all these people. Why you have to leave what you’re doing and get some old man a cup of tea”. She emphasises that you have to respect people regardless of their station. “Those who give sunshine can’t keep it away from themselves”. Marriage and family Inevitably then, it was only natural that Yvonne would have a family of her own to take care of someday. She and her husband met at the home of the Canadian High Commissioner at the time, where Yvonne was having tea with his wife. It was this day that Sam who was attending Brunswick University of Canada on a scholarship, dropped in to say goodbye as he would soon be returning to Canada. Yvonne in a sari

At that time she was not interested, says Yvonne. But her suitor proved to be a determined one: “She (the High Commissioners wife) was giving me some books and she took my address, he AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 33

ICON Yvonne with husband Prime Minister Samuel Hinds Yvonne in a 1970's photo

Yvonne with her daughters Simone and Sonja

not to notice. When he came home he wanted to get married immediately, she said smiling but confided that she managed to hold him off for another six months. They got married in December of 1967, and their first daughter, Simone was born in January of 1970. Three years later, in September of 1973, second daughter, Sonja, was born, with son Nikolai coming in 1981. Not long after another son Vernon joined the family. Her take on motherhood is “Once a mother, always a mother.” She explains: “I used to think when your children grew up your job is finished”. But she has learned this is not so: “A woman should not only reach out to her own children but other children. Your children might be gone but you might have other children reaching out to you”.

memorised it and presented himself at my gate). In those times couples had to rely on letters for communication, and so they wrote each other. Yvonne says that at some point in the letters which was full of talk about his courses, he implied that he wanted to get married when he came home but she pretended 34 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

She notes that after she got married she stopped teaching and decided to concentrate on learning to cook and taking care of her family. Yvonne believes that if the economic situation permits, a woman should stay home for the first five years of her child’s life. Her husband was very supportive and understanding of her efforts: “If I cook something and it didn’t come out well he would say ‘Leave it I’ll eat it’.” At the time her family was living in McKenzie (Linden) where the now Prime Minister, fully qualified as a

Yvonne with her sons Nikolai and Vernon

Chemical Engineer at the Aluminum Company of Canada (ALCAN) Bauxite Company was “one of the few Guyanese non-white managers of the time. Those were the good old days, she reminisces. “The bauxite company made it easier there was transportation, healthcare, a maid and a gardener all provided by the company. They worked hard and played hard – golf, tennis and parties – it was all very upscale and cosmopolitan”. Thus it was not that hard a transition for Yvonne and the children when they moved to Georgetown. Their daughters were already at University, one son was in high school and another had just finished writing S.S.E.E (Secondary School Entrance Examinations). She remembers her husband touring the country with Late former President Dr. Cheddi Jagan. “It was a time travelling, meeting new people and entertaining.” In 1992 her husband became Prime Minister following the October 1992 election. Ever since assuming Chairmanship of the GRC, she brought her special brand of compassion and nurturing to those who are most vulnerable and in need. One of her proudest accomplishments is the building of a shelter to round out the work of the organisation in 2000, which she personally designed with the privacy and well being of fire and disaster victims in mind. Her motto: “Treat people as you would want to be treated.”

Yvonne and husband in a Christmas photo AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 35

“WOTLESS” Concert Photography: Carl Croker Text: Darshanie Yussuf


n CARICOM evening, July 4, 2011, thousands graced the Pegasus Parking Lot for the “WOTLESS” Concert which was filled with energetic and ingenious soca and chutney music. This entertainment event hosted by ANSA McAL Trading Ltd was the conclusion of the Carib Domination Promotion which saw the five grand winners of the promotion walking away with fabulous prizes.

Shelly G

Robert Callendar of Thomas Street, Kitty was the luckiest man of the night when he won the Toyota Allion Car while Meenawattie Ramlall won herself a motor scooter, Bridgelall Monilall won a laptop computer, Dorwin Holder won the LCD flatscreen television and Karen Rampersaud won an Apple iPod. Needless to say Mr. Callendar, who has been a loyal Carib supporter for over 15 years, was ecstatic with his prize and assured the “Carib was the best reason for beer!” So while some people dreams came true, others Kes and Adesh Samaroo


participated in the mad frenzy that KES the Band created on CARICOM evening! Kees gave an explosive performance at which the patrons showed their appreciation. Opening the show were Shelly G performing her raunchy songs, Mahendra Ramkellawan and his dancers; Ramlellawan had the crowd singing to his many hits including “dem a watch me” and Trinidadian Adesh Samaroo who reminded the crowd of his many hits. These acts were amazing on in their own right as they all gave great performances and got the crowd hyped and ready for the main performance. The concert proved to be one of the most energy-charged from start to finish as KES the Band ensured that the crowd had a blast and many lost their inhibitions when Kees sang “Ah Wotless”. Thousands will remember CARICOM Day 2011 for the fun they had at “Wotless” and the Beer of the Caribbean – CARIB for making their dreams come true!

KES back-up dancers

Managing Director of Ansa McAl Beverley Harper (3rd from left), Padma Prashad (4th from left)and TV show host Mondale Smith(3rd from right) pose with The Carib Girls

Beverley Harper and Tracey Vieira

Adesh Samaroo, Mahendra Ramkellawan and WR Reaz Robert Callendar of Kitty, poses with the grand prize AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 37


Essential Minerals We Need Text: Coretta Corbin-Rival

Potassium An important mineral that controls blood pressure, helps with muscles and nerve function, potassium can be found in many fish, meats, fruits and vegetables. These include banana, orange, bok choy, spinach, avocado, cucumber, cabbage and tomato. Excessive fluid elimination from the body due to sweating, diarrhea, vomiting and frequent urination could cause a reduction in potassium levels in the body. And low levels of potassium or hypokelimia could cause irregular heart beat, weakness, lack of energy, muscle cramp and stomach irritation. The recommended daily intake for potassium is 2,000 mg for adults. Magnesium Also an important element that helps with the healthy contraction and relaxation of muscles, and with blood clotting, the daily recommended intake of this mineral is 400 mg for men and 300 mg for women. Foods that include magnesium are green beans, peas, banana, and avocado. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can range from insomnia, low blood pressure, poor nail growth, irritability, confusion, nausea, vomiting to irregular heart beat, muscle spasm and weakness. Calcium It is vital for healthy bones and teeth, and necessary for muscle and blood vessel contraction. This mineral can be found in food sources such as low fat milk, yogurt, cheese and green leafy vegetables. The recommended daily dose for adults is 1,000 mg. A sign of calcium deficiency is brittle bones or osteoporosis, which is often found in older women. Chromium Chromium is essential in the metabolism of insulin and the reduction of the glucose levels in the body. Good sources of chromium are liver, tomato, onion, potato and whole grains. Symptoms of chromium deficiency are high blood pressure, blood sugar and high cholesterol. The daily required dose of this mineral for adult men are 35 mg and for women 2025 mg.


Zinc Helps to keep immune system healthy and supports cell function and wound healing. Zinc can be found in beef, chicken, eggs, grains, fruits and vegetables. The suggested daily allowance for men is 11 mg and 8 mg for women. Hair loss, white spots or lines in the fingernails, diarrhea and skin lesions can be evidence of zinc deficiency. Iron This mineral helps promote healthy blood and muscle cells. Good food sources for iron include liver, beef, black eye peas, green leafy vegetables and kidney beans. Signs of low iron are anemia, brittle nails, craving for ice, swelling or soreness of the tongue, pale skin, headache and shortness of breath. It is recommended that we take 15 mg of iron on a daily basis. Note: Always consult your health care provider before taking supplements, especially if you take medications for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Over use of these supplements can be toxic.


Rebecca Age: 28 Sign: Cancer Favourite Food: Vegetable Biryani Rice with baked fish Favourite Colour: Turquoise Hobbies: Reading and Cooking Location: Georgetown

Think you have what it takes to be a GEM Beauty? Then send us a professional quality photo of yourself with the required information to: Please include a phone number so we can contact you. YOU MUST BE 18 YEARS OR OLDER. 40 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011


Women’s Health 101: Using Self-Esteem to Empower Ourselves and Daughters Text: Coretta Corbin-Rival


n the spirit of our continued efforts to promote good holistic health and well-being within ourselves, let us take a look at self-esteem and how it can affect our lives. Low self-esteem and the lack of self-esteem are some of the issues I come across often in many of the young women I work with in my profession as a mental health clinician. Self-esteem is something that affects many areas of our lives such as the way we act, our self-confidence, self-image, self-concept, our success in our professional, personal and interpersonal relationships. People who lack self-esteem usually have low self-concept and may feel worthless. Our self-esteem is one of the areas of our emotional health which we continue to ignore and take for granted. But part of having healthy emotions means developing and fostering positive self-esteem within ourselves and daughters. Remember that our daughters are the women of tomorrow and the development of self-esteem begins in childhood. Having a high selfesteem helps us develop good coping and social skills and the ability to overcome disappointments, failures and mistakes when they occur. As mothers, teachers, mentors, sisters, aunts and daughters, we must remember that our daughters look up to us for guidance and from infancy they are constantly bombarded with messages that could either lower or improve their self-esteem and self-worth. Children tend to internalize the negative messages they receive as they are vulnerable and not yet able to reject and evaluate negative criticism. Many times, we as women allow ourselves to be victimized by others such as our spouse, and do not realize the impact this has on our girls. Research done on domestic violence, shows that girls who witness the abuse of their mothers are more likely to choose abusive partners when they become adults.

To begin the process of evaluating our own selfesteem, we have to ask ourselves what were the messages we received as young children, and what are the messages that we send to our own daughters in return. Promoting positive self-esteem takes our ability to identify the negative messages we have internalized about ourselves throughout the years, and being able to replace them with positive self talk. Fostering high self-esteem in children comes through encouragement from adults like parents and teachers and from positive feedback which builds their self-confidence. People who have high self-esteem and self-regard are able to live to their full potential and empower themselves and others too. This is because they are able to feel confident within themselves and not be afraid of being rejected by others. High self-esteem is also an important part in helping to build unconditional love and acceptance within ourselves, faults and all. No one is perfect, and we all may have insecurities at times, but if your insecurities control your life and hinder you from succeeding in your personal and professional life then, it is cause for concern. You should try to understand where your insecurities are coming from and find the things that will help build your selfesteem. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 41


Item Rings





Wedding dress and veil $











Hair and makeup



Groom’s attire



Ceremony venue



Reception venue



Catering and drinks









Wedding album









Wedding night hotel






Flower arrangements






When creating the wedding of your dreams, it is most important to make sure you can afford it. Once you and your fiancé have discussed your priorities, the budget can be drawn up accordingly.

Ceremony music



Reception music



Other entertainment



The best way to work it out is to sit down with pencil, paper, and calculator and figure out what you really want and can afford. Keep in mind that informal weddings are usually smaller (and therefore cheaper), and formal weddings tend to be larger (and therefore more expensive).







Seating and place cards $


Your I


n 2011, the rules have changed as far as who finances the entire wedding and certain people have to pay for certain things. The bride's parents need not take out a loan to pay for the wedding, and the groom's parents are not exempted. The couple might even be covering most of the expenses themselves.

These days, the cost of a wedding makes four years at UG look affordable. How are you going to get the money to have a memorable occasion? Don’t despair, you have options. We spoke to a few wedding planners who gave us a list including some unexpected costs you might run into. Keep in mind that a combination of two or more may be how you end up getting your wedding paid for. 42 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011


$ $

Postage stamps



Wedding dress alterations $



$ $

Plates, cups, forks



Grand total




Artist Betsy Karim poses in front Godzilla (2011). The many headed monster is a 'Hydra' and is an analogy for political tyranny in this painting. The people in the painting represent the uprising masses, and Godzilla is the good guy fighting for the masses.


ossessing an innate compassion and respect for the non- human inhabitants of the earth, local Artist Betsy Karim, has expressed her feelings in her latest collection of art work which is titled “Hold Back the Dawn: A future shared by man and Animals.” For her, the title is a significant one as “Hold Back the Dawn”, refers not only to the dawn of time but to a new and frightening “dawn” that would occur if current patterns of existence do not change. “If one day we wake up and don’t see any animals then the rest of the world wouldn’t last long”, is her stance. Karim, who was born on March 10, 1955 in Linden, is a self taught artist who has been drawing since childhood, graduating from slate, to crayon to watercolour. Though she disclaims being religious, she describes her ability as a “gift from God” and religion is a prominent feature in her work and how she describes the importance of her subjects. Quoting Genesis 6:19-20 where Noah was commanded


Photography: Naomi Wright

to fill the ark with all the earth’s creatures, two by two, she points out that there is only one species of human but innumerable species of animals in the world. Even the book of revelation features animals, she states. She therefore ties in animals with deities such as in ‘Durga 2011’, who depicted on a tiger, represents the power of good over evil or she shows them as important participants in religious worship and ritual in ‘Qurbani’ (sacrifice) a reference to the slaughter of cows and distribution of food at Eid-ul-Lada by Muslims. Pieces such as ‘Harpy Eagle,’ ‘Canje Pheasant’ and imagined works such as ‘The Huskies’ and ‘No Retreat, No Surrender’, show animals for their own attributes. When encountering Karim it is apparent that she has an extensive knowledge of culture and world history, gleaned through years of research in the pieces on display. This is shown in pieces such as ‘Blood and Sand’ which shows the drama of bullfighting in Spain

One of her pieces ‘Huskies’ which was on display at the ‘Hold Back the Dawn: A future shared by man and animals’ exhibition at Castellani House ‘Harpy Eagle’ ‘Laika, dog in space’

and Mexico, ‘Bull leaping’ is a reference to the early competitions of Ancient Crete, ‘Sleeping Dragon’ show how Chinese adapted the movements of animals in martial arts. Pieces such as ‘Alexander vs. Rajah Poros’ tell of actual factual events and show how Alexander the Great used elephants in war. ‘Laika, the Dog in space’, was done in honour of the Soviet spacedog who was sent to space in 1957, paving the way for human orbit. One of the most eye catching features of the exhibit is her sizeable collection of turtle painting which show the diverse array of turtles in this part of the world such as the ‘Giant Amazonia Turtle’, ‘Green Marine Turtle’, ‘Leatherback Marine Turle’,the ‘Olive Ridley Turtle and others. This part is timely as only a short while before, a current affairs event focused on the preservation of sea turtles in turn guaranteeing the preservation of their eco systems. Karim thinks turtles are special; firstly they are prehistoric, some 1.5 million years old she explained. Going on she notes that wise men of Ancient China would heat the back of the turtle and predict the future from the cracks in the shell. In ‘Seismograph’, she shows an instrument of Ancient China built in the shape of the turtle. She points out that the turtle is even present in ‘Godzilla’, a large and complex piece which is one of her favourite pieces and a political analogy.

It should be noted that she can claim to be ‘the only artist in Guyana who paints on glass. And beginning in the 1980s has been showing her reverse paintings on glass. She has on exhibit, two of her reverse paintings from her personal collection; ‘Dawn’ and ‘Dusk, red and black themed pieces that depict silhouetted animal forms grazing. The artist has participated in many previous exhibitions, including at the National Museum (1986), Freedom House (1990), Castellani House (1995), State House (1999), National Library (2003), Fruits of thy Labour, Castellani House (2004), Carifesta X Guyanese Artists Exhibition, 2008, ‘Image and Identity: Guyanese Art Now’, Independence Anniversary group exhibition, Castellani House 2009. With her latest venture, she is hoping to reach out to other persons to further the cause of animals. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 45

FEMINITION 2011 The Definition of a Woman Photography: Carl Croker


ay 27 -29, 2011, marked a historical period for women in Guyana as the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security hosted the first ever Women’s Exposition entitled, "Feminition" – the Definition of a Woman at the Guyana National Stadium. The aim of the expo was to empower women, promote positive self-image and self esteem. The exposition provided the environment where patrons were able to learn about the achievements of Guyanese women and showcase their creative and artistic talents. The event also allowed organisations from across the country to create awareness for women and girls by providing information to help them make healthy lifestyle choices in their day to day activities. There were also various workshops for entrepreneurs interested in starting their own businesses and for others who are already in business but needed additional guidance to move to the next level. Many arts and crafts producers, jewellers, hair salons and beauty parlours and other enterprises got a chance to display their goods and services to the thousands of patrons that pass through exposition.


Publisher Simeon Corbin presents President Bharrat Jagdeo and Minister Priya Manikchand with a framed copy of the FEMINITION magazine cover. Jamaican Queen Ifrica performs

Each night of the exposition had its own entertainment. After the launching of the FEMINITION magazine and speeches by officials and other guest speakers, the audience saw a dramatic / musical presentation and dance by the National School of Dance, the Apsara Dancers and renditions by singer Lisa Punch.

Trinidadian Fay-Ann Lyons on stage

On night two, an all-female mega concert was held that featured Queen Ifrica from Jamaica, Fay-Ann Lyons and her husband Bungie Garlin from Trinidad, Timeka Marshall, Big Red, Fiona and Shelly G. Bringing the curtains down on this three-day event was a grand fashion extravaganza featuring some of the country’s top designers and models.



Photography: Simeon Corbin

@ FEMINITION 2011 N o event dedicated to women could be complete without a fashion show. Such was the case on the evening of May 29, 2011, the work of nine local designers showcased their creations in front of an appreciative crowd at an outdoor setting at the Guyana National Stadium. The two plus hour show, showcased eye catching pieces in various categories. From casual, to African, to cocktail dresses, Indian, and sportswear, the attention of fashion fans was on stage as over seventy pieces were displayed. Designers whose work was on show included Anetha Daniels, Randy Mandray, Pamela Fox, Sonia Noel, Chandini Ramdarain, Keisa Edwards, Carol Fraser, Derek Moore and D'Nàtálie Smith.


Donna Shortt-Gill and Minister Priya Manikchand


Fashion @ FEMINITION 2011

Carl Croker Photo



Photography: Simeon Corbin


1 lb cornmeal 1 lb pumpkin 1 oz lard 1 tsp black pepper ½ pt water 1 grated coconut 1 oz margarine 2 tsp salt Sugar to taste 4 oz dried fruit Twine Banana leaves


• Grate the coconut and pumpkin, and add all the other ingredients. • Stir in enough water to make a mixture of dropping consistency. • Wipe the banana leaves clean and heat them to make them pliable. Cut them into 8 x 8 inch squares, and wrap around lumps of filling, tying the bundles with the twine. • Place in boiling water and boil for about 20 - 30 minutes. Note: If banana leaves are not available, mixture may be steamed in a greased bowl instead.

Wheat Germ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Text & photography: NAMILCO

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • • •

2 sticks / 8oz butter 1 cup white sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups Thunderbolt All Purpose Flour 1/2 cup Maid Marian Wheat Germ 1 teaspoon salt (Can cut to 3/4 tsp.) 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups Quick Cooking oats 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup chopped or ground walnuts (opt.)


Cream butter, white sugar & brown sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs and mix well. Add Thunderbolt Flour, Maid Marian Wheat Germ , salt & baking soda. Mix well. Stir in oats, then stir in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Shape into 1" balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. (10-12 min. makes 66-70 cookies.)




Guyana Belongs to the Birds

800 Species of Them

Snail Kite

Photography: Simeon Corbin


uyana, known as the “Land of Many Waters,” is fast becoming known as a birding destination for birdwatchers from around the world. With 800 species of birds from 72 different families and counting, it is hard to ignore the presence of our feathered friends in all ten regions of the country. This 83,000 square mile country with a diverse habitat, provides the ideal environment for resident birds or migratory groups from North America, and southern South America. The coastal plain, mountainous regions, savannahs and tropical lowland rainforests is perfect for macaws, hordes of ducks, the Hoatzin or Canje "Pheasant", the national bird of Guyana, the Harpey Eagle - the world’s largest eagle and hundreds of other species to reside here. 54 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011


Gray-winged Trumpeter

House Wren

Harpy Eagle

Turkey Vulture

The extensiveness of the bird species reaches into subgroups for practically every group there is. For instance, there are at least 36 subspecies of eagles, 20 subspecies of woodpecker, 29 subspecies of parrots, 38 subspecies of hummingbirds and 15 species of falcons / caracaras just to name a few. Most resident bird species can be seen year round in many areas, while others like the Guianan Cockof-the-Rock are seen only in remote locations in the rainforest.

Scarlet Ibis

In the city of Georgetown alone, there are an estimated 200 species from 39 families. There are two main reasons why the city is so bird-rich. One is it's unique geographic position, right at where the Demerara River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The other reason is that it has an important migratory corridor used by Caribbean and North American birds. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 GEM | 55


Guyana Belongs to the Birds 800 Species It is not unusual to see ant birds, blackbirds, flycatchers, tanagers, pigeons, doves, herons and other birds perched on fences, electrical wires, roof tops, in canals and just about any spot where a food source is available. Birds diets vary, but insects, snails, snakes, fruits, weeds, fish and road kills are quiet popular.


Other areas known for concentrated bird life are the Iwokrama International Centre, the Botanical Gardens, Promenade Gardens, National Park, along the coast Atlantic coast and the Linden / Soesdyke Highway. Birds in Guyana are quite popular among locals also, as parrots, macaws, towa towas and domesticated fowls, ducks and turkeys are kept as pets, for food or for the wildlife exporting business.

Yellow Oriole

As stakeholders in the tourism industry continue to aggressively market Guyana as a birding destination, birding enthusiasts are expected to flock here to try and get glimpses of some of the rarest and most beautiful birds on the planet.



Egret nesting Crested Caracara


Last seen here Last seen here Last seen here Last seen here



GTTA 2011 Caribbean Championships Photography: Edison Jefford


n July 4, 2011, the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) officially launched the 53rd Senior Caribbean Championships to be held in Guyana from August 12 – 20, 2011. Approximately 12 teams are expected to arrive for the Championships.

GTTA President, Commissioner Henry Greene, briefs the media while seated l-r are Director of Sport, Neil Kumar, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, GTTA Vice-President, Harold Hopkinson and sponsor, Maxwell Thom

Kings Jewellery World Duck Curry Competition

Photography: Carl Croker

The Annual Kings Jewellery World Annual Duck Curry Competition on June 10, 2011.

Mortimer Stewart of Banks DIH Limited (right) hands over a sponsorship cheque to Looknauth Persaud, Managing Director of Kings, while competition coordinator Shameer Shahib looks on. 58 | GEM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011


Soca King Machel Montano @ the Stadium Photography: Carl Croker

On June 19, 2011 Hits and Jams Group brought in soca king Trinidadian Machel Montano, Patrice Roberts and their band as a treat for local soca fans. Montano and Patrice Roberts on stage

Montano's back-up dancers


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Photography: Carl Croker

The annual open Championships sponsored Guyana Bank of Industry and Commerce (GBTI) was held under the auspices of the Guyana Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA) at the bank’s sports club in Bel Air. The event which ran from June 11 to July 1 included players from every division and skill levels.

The winners pose with their hardware.

Miss Jamzone Guyana 2011 Pageant Photography: Carl Croker

On May 26, 2011, six beauties competed in the local segment of the Miss Jamzone Pageant to vie for the crown and the honour of representing Guyana at the International version of the pageant in August at the National Culture Centre. Newly crowned Jevon Wilson (C) poses with the runners-up


GEM 46 August / September 2011  

Guyana's premier bi-monthly lifestyle & entertainment magazine since 2004.