Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 24th 2014 Contents A11
Monday, November 24, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
My name is Princess Simone
Donelan and the film I co-produced,
Dubois, won the last Trinidad & Tobago
Film Festival Best Local Short Film Jury
I was born in Trinidad but, my parents
being Grenadian, I lived in the Spice Isle
from three years old. I returned when I
was 17, to follow dreams of being in film.
My father really did name me,
"Princess". He named one brother Prince
and another, Leroy, "king" in French.
Before he could name my youngest
brother Duke, my mother finally woke
up and sent someone to register a normal
name for him.
My friends always give me picong
about coming off the boat from Grenada
like it s a bad thing. But anytime I go
back to visit family, I travel on the Cari-
com (cargo) boats. Fifteen hours on the
sea beats the two thou absurd fee to
travel 40 mins away!
I live on the Lady Young Road. People
abandon dogs there often. I have had to
get two strays euthanized since living
here, both from people-cruelty, half of
one s head chopped off. My neighbor
when he drinks, walks down our hill,
stones my adopted strays. He drinks a
lot. I wait til he walks past and pelt eggs
at his head. In his drunken stupor, he
looks up in the trees and curses his chick-
ens resting there.
I wear red suspenders almost every
day, and a bowler hat on occasion. It s
not a fashion statement. Say someone
in Foreign is recommending you for a
job, but they forget your name: they may
say, "the lady in the red suspenders and
I m in pre-production for a documen-
tary that follows five persons with various
mental illnesses, over a six-month period.
This is very important to me, as I once
spent a holiday in the pink walls as a
teenager, and saw firsthand how people
treat those they consider mad with dis-
dain. I was lucky, I never gave a f---
what people thought, and my family had
the means to get me through; but, when
I walk through town and talk to those
we consider lost causes, I connect to
them more than I do normal people;
cause I know how thin that line is
In my job it s a requirement to be
around many people and, in work mode,
I relish in this. Out of work situations,
I prefer the company of my dog Soldier.
He s my emotional seeing-eye dog,
I ve worked in a bank as proof-teller,
checked containers for a shipping com-
pany at night whilst half-heartedly doing
marketing at day and managed a bar. All
decent-paying gigs that made me groan
to wake up for; I wake up thankful every
I don t want kids although my bio
clock ticks periodically. I pick up another
stray dog when it does.
I believe that God, whoever it, she or
he is, is in all of us. I don t believe in
religion at all. I d like to think there s an
afterlife, though. But, since we ve kinda
f---ed up this Earth enough, maybe we
don t deserve second chances at it.
Pedro Almodovar is my favourite film-
maker. Ayn Rand was a favourite author
until I learnt she thinks God doesn t exist
I played the part of Maya on the local
TV soap opera, Westwood Park. It made
me realize I wasn t cut out to be an actor.
Too slow-paced, waiting for makeup,
lights, etc. But I m very grateful for that
experience which led me into produc-
Executive producer Annabelle Alcazar
hired me as co-producer of Dubois. I
had to hire local crew, source equipment,
production companies to rent and barter
with, source catering, some locations
(one was my house), transport, and trou-
bleshoot on the ground when we started
The best thing about co-producing
Dubois was working in a production that
the work is uppermost, not the egos. The
story resonated and [director] Kaz [Ové]
treated it with such brilliance and care.
The worst thing was the last day of film-
ing.This family you ve spent time with,
no longer exists.
God might be a Trini but a Trini is
not God. Any God sanctions basic kind-
ness and humanity to our fellow man
but we aren t too kind to the fragile.
Somewhere on our path to being First
World, we stopped seeing the ones strug-
gling to keep afloat.
Trinidad and Tobago means to me
unity. Or at least a hope for it.
Read a longer version of this feature
Local Government Minister
Marlene Coudray has advised San
Fernando mayor Kazim Hosein to
take a tough stance against San
Fernandians who refuse to clean
up their surroundings.
Speaking at the corporation s 13th
annual public health lecture hosted
in conjunction with the Anthony
Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excel-
lence Foundation last week, Coudray
said it was important for the cor-
poration to take a firm lead in the
fight against the chikungunya and
dengue fever viruses.
However, she said the process of
filing court action is tedious, so filing
clean-up notices under the Public
Health Ordinance may be more
She explained that Chapter 12
No. 4 of the Public Health Ordi-
nance authorises health inspectors
to take action against delinquent
landowners who fail to maintain
"The corporation must show zero
tolerance to these owners, and
depending on location and who it
is affecting, you can give notice to
them to clean up between 24 to 48
"If they fail, they will be charged
by the corporation," Coudray said.
She challenged the health inspec-
tors to do their jobs diligently so as
to reduce influenza in the poorer
regions of the city.
Hosein said the corporation has
been involved in a number of ini-
tiatives to keep the city clean and
safe, but has met challenges with
unco-operative home owners when
trying to get rid of dilapidated build-
ings and derelict vehicles.
"We have embarked on a pro-
gramme to clear overgrown lots,
remove bulk waste, spray affected
areas and address the issue of dilap-
idated and ruinous structures,"
He urged the public to play their
role in cleaning their immediate
"It is the only way we can control
breeding spaces for mosquitoes," he
Programme director of the
Anthony Sabga Caribbean Awards
for Excellence Maria Superville-
Neilson said the foundation was
committed to awarding outstanding
Caribbean men and women who
have contributed to development
in various academic fields. She said
the foundation is the only privately
funded programme in the English-
speaking Caribbean which recog-
nises and rewards excellence in arts
and letters, public and civic con-
tributions, science and technology.
To date, 23 laureates have been hon-
oured. • See editorial on Page A24
Coudray tells Sando Mayor...
Take action against delinquent land owners
Princess Simone Donelan
THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY
The Lady in Red
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