Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 10th 2016 Contents news
www.tobagotoday.co.tt AUGUST 10 - 16, 2016
Daaga, born Geddes Granger, died on Mon-
day at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
Daaga, as he is popularly known, suffered a
seizure while at his home in Laventille and was
taken to the hospital for treatment. However,
he died a short while later, at about 1.35 pm.
Daaga was the father of four children. On Sat-
urday he would have celebrated his 81st birth-
NJAC political leader, Brother Wasim Mutema,
described Daaga as a humanitarian.
"He was one who fought for the rights of the
people. His heart went out to the people. He
wasn t the type to think about status or edu-
A close friend of the family said Daaga recently
contracted a virus but was said to be fighting
it and in good spirits.
"He never was flat down in bed and he was
walking, talking and doing everything as normal
so we are just shock and saddened as to how
sudden he left us," the family friend said.
In 2013, Daaga received the nation s highest
national award---the Order of the Republic of
T&T---for work in the sphere of national serv-
In 2010, Daaga was one of five political leaders
who signed the Fyzabad Accord leading up to
the 2010 General Election which saw the birth
of the People s Partnership.
In the party s 14-month performance review,
during an interview with the T&T Guardian,
Daaga threatened to walk from the People s Part-
nership government if he felt that his people
were being betrayed.
He was bestowed with the position of Cultural
Ambassador to Caricom by then prime minister
Persad-Bissessar, in a release Monday, extended
condolences to Daaga s family and friends. She
described Daaga s journey as a monument to
service, determination and fortitude.
"When in April 2010 he said, my dreams have
come true... never again would you be servants
in your own country, this land is yours, it was
the fulfilment of a long-held vision for a nation
that could stand together as one people, above
all other differences celebrated by our diversity,"
"He was one of those elders whose advice I
always treasured, as one who was already a sea-
soned veteran by the time I entered politics many
Reminiscing, Persad-Bissessar said one of
Daaga s most timeless philosophies was "the
people is the government," which, she added,
was the talk he walked in his long march to
political power, and in his time as ambassador
"What it meant to me was that true power
resides in the men, women and young people
whose lives we influence when we hold power,
and therefore a vision for the future and mode
of government must come from those very peo-
ple," Persad-Bissessar said.
"As a pioneering politician, a social activist,
a political elder and a statesman, his forthright
wisdom and boundless energy will be missed,
and will never be forgotten. His fight was for
the people, and in his lifetime, he was able to
win power and indeed, did all he could to govern
for the people. We are deeply saddened and send
our hope for his family for God s hand in this
time of tragedy," Persad-Bissessar said.
Daaga had described himself as the "shadow
minister" for Laventille, a community in which
he spent his entire life.
In a release, the Congress of the People leader
Dr. Anirudh Mahabir extended condolences to
Daaga s wife Liseli and family.
"May you all turn grief into strength to con-
tinue the fight for a better Trinidad and Tobago,"
the party said.
It noted that his immense contribution as
NJAC leader spanned the years from the 1970
Black Power movement to his role in the building
of the grand consensus and later the People s
Partnership coalition and government.
"Makandal was a friend and ally of the Con-
gress of the People in the building of the coalition.
He was a giant contributor to the progress of
our people and nation. His role as a national
leader for over 40 years is a lasting example to
our people, young and old of service to the inter-
est of the development of our nation and of the
African community in our country," Mahabir
"The COP has lost a good friend. Our nation
has lost a great leader and builder. We extend
our deepest condolences to Liseli Daaga, their
children and the rest of the family. We say farewell
to a loyal Chief Servant of Trinidad and Toba-
Around Independence 1962, Daaga formed an
organisation called Pegasus, which attracted
some of the most prominent and influential per-
sons of the day. It was the first body to give
national awards. It took the lead in honouring
citizens long before any government national
awards were introduced. It also took the lead in
honouring national heroes, the first two being
Arthur H. Mc Shine, who was responsible for
the Trinidad Cooperative Bank (the Penny Bank)
and Captain Arthur Andrew Cipriani.
Five years after founding Pegasus, Daaga
entered the University of the West Indies, St
Augustine, and became president of the Guild
With an equal concern for national develop-
ment, he inspired the university toward a hitherto
unseen type of student activism that ranged
from teaching voluntarily in the more depressed
areas to providing assistance in solving all types
of communal problems.
In 1974 he was made leader of the Caribbean
Steering Committee for the Sixth Pan African
Conference that was held in Tanzania. This
organisation had included the leadership of most,
if not all progressive political organisations in
the Caribbean, and included persons like Ray-
mond Charlotte of Cayenne, Tim Hector of
Antigua, Bobby Clarke of Barbados, Eusi
Kwayana of Guyana, and Maurice Bishop of
Grenada. (Trinidad Guardian)
Musa John Jen, left,
NJAC political leader
Makandal Daaga and his
wife Liseli Daaga chat
during an Emancipation
Dinner hosted by the
National Action Cultural
Committee (NACC) at
Centre of Excellence,
Tunapuna, in 2013.
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