The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture are bearing the brunt of public scrutiny after producing a virtual version of the country’s Junkanoo celebration on New Years Day.
Some people took to social media to air their frustrations describing the event as a low-budget production, prompting the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to remove the link to the Junkanoo event from social media.
Social media users who did not get a chance to view the virtual event lamented that they could not find the link. When CSJ Report searched the ministry’s page and ZNS’s page on Facebook, the link could not be found.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg has since apologized for the poor production and made public the spending that accounted for the virtual event.
To abscond blame, he clarified the ministry’s dealings with the production, stating that it was a private contractor who won the bid to record and produce the event which was aired on ZNS and Facebook.
He stated that the total spending for New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Family Islands accounted for $300,000, adding that a $126,000 stipend was given to Junkanoo groups– $11,000 to seven Category A groups and $7,000 to seven Category B groups.
He said $24,000 was spent on production and advertising while $200 was spent on audio advertising.
The remaining balance of the $300,000 will be spent on the virtual parades for Grand Bahama and the Family Islands, the statement read.
The big story
For the second time, in-person Junkanoo which is held twice a year, has been canceled due to the pandemic. Last year, the ministry hosted a virtual recording of the parades. There were no cash prize awards, but winners were announced.
Valley Boys won the virtual event; Saxons Superstar took 2nd place; One Family came third and Roots was fourth place.