Junkanoo fans just want to have fun

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

JUNKANOO groups rushed on Bay Street last night in an event billed as a rebuke of Youth, Sports & Culture Minister Lanisha Rolle.

However, many of the 400-or so performers and spectators said they showed up simply because it’s Junkanoo and they wanted to have fun.

The Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence had accused Mrs Rolle of trying to undermine their management agreement without consultation.

In particular, they said she tried to include a new group in the “B” category and restructure the parade management committee.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, however, announced that no changes will take place to Junkanoo ahead of the upcoming parades and that a meeting between the minister and Junkanoo officials about possible changes will take place next year instead.

JCNP President Dion Miller said last night: “We wanted to come together as a Junkanoo community, put down our group affiliation, everyone just come with their drums, their cowbells, their whistles, their horns, as one unit to show that we are together, we are not divided. Junkanoo has had a rough week and a half in our relationship with the ministry of youth sports and culture where attempts were made to change aspects of our agreement with the government. Since then the prime minister has spoken and he’s communicated that those changes will not happen and that Junkanoo will be respected and next year we’ll all come to the table and move Junkanoo forward.”Mr Miller was indirect on whether the JCNP wants Mrs Rolle’s removal as minister.

“It’s difficult to have a higher level of trust when there doesn’t seem to be any willingness to compromise, and that’s our difficult with the minister,” he said. “Like I said, the prime minister reasoned with us, we weren’t getting that with the minister. The prime minister would have to say if the minister stays or if the minister goes but we want someone who’s willing to work with Junkanoo, who is willing to respect us as men and women, if that’s this minister, that’s this minister, if that’s someone else, then it’s someone else.