Saturday, June 3, 2023

Choir of Press Secretary Replaces National Youth Choir in Dubai

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Former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Iram Lewis criticized the government, demanding an account of a culture trip to Dubai, where nearly 160 delegates, including Prime Minister Philip Davis traveled for the World Expo 2020.

Lewis asked the government to reveal a list of expenditures, how many people were a part of the delegation, and the criteria to determine which artist made up the delegation.

He says the government is “careless” and “negligent” in its decision since the pandemic has adversely affected the economy and health of the country.

Lewis believes the delegation should have been smaller “to participate in a more targetted way for a more desired impact.”

Shaback Choir, a religious group directed by Press Secretary Clint Watson was also a part of the contigent.

Some people have questioned why the country’s national youth choir was not invited to attend the expo. Instead, Shaback seemed to take that place as it is seen singing the Bahamian cultural songs on the stage while dressed in island-style fabric.

A delegate of Bahamians to Dubai at the World Expo 2020 has spurred public debate, as some argue that the contingent was too big and the cost was too high.

Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister Latrae Rahming when pressed by reporters last week said the government spent $1 million for the trip, while the government of Dubai contributed $3 million for the Bahamas’ representation at the World Expo.

He justified the spending by stating that the event was planned about five years in advance and the former administration intended to spend more but the Davis administration cut back on spending.

The trip is meant to be a cultural event comprising Bahamian bands, musicians, and cultural artisans. Among those who traveled were the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, a Junkanoo Group and the Bahamas All-Stars Band.

A local performer, The Mighty Pencil, was not invited to the event but took to social media to voice his displeasure and questioned why others were not asked to attend.

Many of the delegates when they arrived in Dubai took to social media to show off their living arrangements and share their experiences in the mega city located in the middle east.

Seen in many of the pictures and videos are Watson’s cousin also known as a local sensation, Dynamite Daisy, who dramatizes an intoxicated woman with ugly makeup, disheveled hair, and shabby clothing. Some questioned whether or not her act would meaningfully contribute to the expo since it may not translate to people in that part of the world.

One Bahamian living in Dubai, Aaronp Moss asked, “What is she coming to do? Public intoxication is a jailable offense in this country.  No one will understand her…”


Watson’s sister Nicole Watson and another cousin Pastor Trent Davis, are also seen on the trip,  Their role has not been explained.


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