Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 18th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray, centre, went to the aid of
Denielle de Gourville, 23, on Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, after the woman
claimed she was thrown out of her Diego Martin home with her children and
belongings yesterday morning. The family last night was residing with
relatives as Government agencies moved to provide her with temporary
accommodation and other social benefits. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
It should have been a time of
joy for British citizen Umar
Mohammed as he was supposed
to marry his fiancée Abigail Agard
However, the hand that fate dealt
was a tragic one as Agard and his
relatives spent yesterday combing
the shores of Mayaro, searching for
his body after he went missing at
sea on Sunday.
Mohammed, 34, and Agard, 30,
from Cedros, were sea bathing
around 11.30 am when Mohammed
decided to take a dive.
Agard said they were in the rough
waters, which reached them at waist
height, when a strong wave came
rushing toward them and they both
dipped under the water. When she
resurfaced, Mohammed was
nowhere to be found.
"The water was rough, I was
jumping in the waves and he said
he was going for a little swim. A
wave came and I dived under to
break the wave.
"When I came up, I was looking
around for him but I could not see
him. I came out and I started to
scan the beach but I still could not
see him at all," Agard said.
Now panicking, she said she
alerted other sea bathers and within
minutes, police and coast guards-
men were on the scene. The search
continued until nightfall on Sunday
and resumed yesterday with no
Recalling their final moments
while on the shore, she said: "We
were talking about how happy we
were going to live. We were planning
to go to Tobago for the honeymoon
and we wanted to go back to Tobago
for the Jazz Festival."
It was just six months ago after
Mohammed came to Trinidad that
the two became a couple.
Mohammed was staying at his
deceased grandmother s home at
Gangaram Branch Road, New Grant.
His aunt Zorina Mohammed said
tomorrow would have been the
Nikah (wedding) but now she was
prayerful that his body would be
recovered so that they can have his
She said: "All of us are making
duah for him and begging Allah to
make him surface so we can have
a proper burial for him. As you
know, in Islam, the Janazah is very
"He was a very religious person
and he would not want to be
involved in a relationship if he is
not married so he wanted to marry
"His father was here last week
from England and they talked. He
met her (Agard) and her parents. I
know her very well she is a really
"They were very good together.
They were always laughing, going
out together and they were always
happy. They really loved each other
and he also told me that he loved
her a lot."
Zorina said Mohammed had also
planned to fulfil the Islamic pil-
grimage of Hajj and was also learn-
ing to read the Qur an.
After the wedding, he was plan-
ning to host a Walimah (marriage
banquet) later this month before
celebrating his February 24 birthday
by cooking bharani and sharing it
with family and friends.
She said Mohammed s father,
Assif Mohammed, was expected
back in the country this week.
Man feared drowned
on eve of marriage
The Mighty Sparrow began
his musical journey as a choir-
boy at Newtown Boys RC, a
foundation which led him to
his "anointed" duty as the hero
of the "lower class" in a post-
Sparrow s calypsoes, according
to literary icon Earl Lovelace s esti-
mation yesterday, made him the
champion of the masses struggling
to find an identity as T&T tried
to find its own identity as a nation,
Yesterday students from 17 sec-
ondary schools, including Bishop s
Trinity East, Tabaquite Secondary,
Barrackpore West Secondary,
Naparima Girls High School and
St Francois Girls College, were
treated to an academic analysis of
Sparrow s work by Lovelace at the
second installment of the UWI
Distinguished Lecture Series, If
Sparrow Say So: A tribute to the
Might Sparrow. It was held at the
Rudranath Capildeo Learning
Resource Centre, Couva.
Lovelace s presentation, titled
"Leaving Royal Jail", was accom-
panied by Lord Relator. Yesterday s
lecture was chaired by Victor
Edwards, who said the series was
a "celebration" of love and good-
The series has been organised
by Canboulay Productions. Tomor-
row David Rudder will deliver his
lecture on Sparrow at Naparima
Bowl, San Fernando, at 7 pm.
Guardian Media Ltd is the exclu-
sive media partner in the series
honouring the Mighty Sparrow,
the world s most eminent calyp-
Sparrow, speaking with the T&T
Guardian yesterday at the lecture,
said he was honoured to be fea-
tured and the series had given
calypsonians a prominence which
had been lacking.
"We are very thankful and grate-
ful, I mean if this is just part of
what is going to happen, we are
on the way to success, definitely,"
For most of Lovelace s discourse
Sparrow was absent but as Relator
began singing Carnival Woman,
he entered the amphitheatre
singing his popular hit.
Although there was a technical
hiccup with the microphone, Spar-
row did not let that deter him as
he sang over the thunderous
applause of the audience, who rose
to their feet to welcome him.
He treated students to his mega
hit Congo Man and the auditorium
erupted in cheers as they sang
along with Sparrow.
After the lecture he was mobbed
by eager students who clamoured
for his autograph and photos with
He sang his advice to the young
students, the opening verse of Edu-
"Children go to school and learn
well, otherwise later on in life you
will ketch real hell. Without an
education in your head your whole
life will be misery, you better look
well. For there is simply no room
in this whole wide world for an
uneducated little boy or girl. Doh
follow idle companions or you will
get burn to earn, to earn you got
to learn," he sang.
Sparrow assured his health is in
good stead as he told students:
"Don t mind I am walking with a
cane, I am still the king."
Lovelace, in his hour-long "per-
formance lecture", hailed Sparrow
as the hero of the lower class
whose music showed T&T the
reality of its society.
He said Sparrow s purpose in
calypso was "anointed" because
when he stood up against the Car-
nival committee in the late 1950s
over the "50 cents" prize money
he became the voice of the down-
trodden --- the panmen and the
calypsonians --- all of whom had
become part of the "jammette"
class he referred to in his music.
"Sparrow has been our
chantwell and the expression of
our confidence, swagger, irrever-
ence and hard work," Lovelace con-
He said Sparrow s contribution
to the T&T identity and masculin-
ity of the black man in the post-
independence era made him a giant
Sparrow s lyrical prowess made
him the Anansi of T&T, a "master
trickster," who could be both a hero
and a villain and he used his music
to reflect the reality of society as
he saw it.
Sparrow hailed as hero of lower class
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