Home / View Point / Guest Columns / NAKHID TRUTH: Life in the Fourth World, sport, LifeSport and political ghosts in the Savannah

NAKHID TRUTH: Life in the Fourth World, sport, LifeSport and political ghosts in the Savannah

Like many football enthusiasts, I look forward to the Wired 868 match reports on the youth football tournament being played at many venues around the country, including the “largest roundabout in the world.”

Sometimes, though, the pictures have a story of their own to tell.

Photo: Harvard SC attacker Josh Miguel tries to find the path to goal against QPCC ‘2’ during RBNYL North Zone U-11 action at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain on 27 May 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

And speaking of pictures, it never ceases to amaze me the trivia that we as a people give credit to while the bigger picture looks back at us, staring us in the face, waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to put into words the obvious idea that can jolt into action the complementary political willpower to implement that which any but the authorities of another Fourth World country would see.

You think I’m being hard? You think that, given the existing level of raping and pillaging of our country and its resources by the political classes, we still qualify as Third World?

Then hear me out on this one, meh brethren.

Football in “de Savannah” is a tradition as old as CIC beating QRC almost every year in Intercol. It’s something nostalgic that gives–or maybe used to give–our citizens a certain comfort, being able to sit around the Savannah and just hear–not even watch–ball kicking on the different, poorly marked and bumpy fields while we slurp a sno cone, eat a doubles or sip a coconut water on any given day of the week.

Indeed, what an asset we have been blessed with in the form of “de Savannah.”

Photo: Queen’s Royal College (QR) attacker Demetri Dunkley (left) bustles past St Mary’s College and defender Jerome Dempster-Babb during 2015 SSFL action at St Mary’s College grounds in St Clair.
QRC won 3-0.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

But because of apathy, lack of vision and the obsession with attending to personal enrichment in one form or the other, our past and present politicians continue not to see what a wonderful opportunity “de Savannah” presents.

What does our corrupt political class have to do with youth football in the Savannah, you may not ask. Well, everything!  First of all, at its core youth football implies development; there can be no proper, uniform development in any sport without the appropriate infrastructure, which is to say facilities. Facilities, where youth football is concerned, means first and foremost good playing fields,

Ah could talk about dressing rooms, warm-up areas, qualified coaches, etc. but ah keeping it simple; ah doh want to hot nobody head. All we need is the assurance of good playing surfaces that can facilitate proper technique and thus contribute to an improved standard of play at youth level, otherwise called development.

And that is all all yuh getting fuh free from me as far as the football side of things is concerned.

Seriously, though, what a brilliant concept to have these youth teams of different ages competing in the most representative of places on the most multi-cultural island in the Western Hemisphere. Hyperbole, maybe, but wait. You would have to be a complete football illiterate to have this not just annual but seminal event take place on these absolutely horrendous fields, not only endangering the health of the players but their and the country’s football development as well!

Photo: Ste Madeleine Strikers player Malique King (right) and San Fernando SA player Asime Walker contest the ball during RBNYL action in La Brea on 21 May 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

And no, doh try to tell me that CIC or QRC or Fatigirls grounds are the answer; they can’t be! Check the records. These prestige schools have had their day but that’s now history. Today’s answer, tomorrow’s security lies right where all these youth players were giving their all during the course of the tournament Wired868 was reporting on recently.

Yes, “de Savannah!”

As far as I know from my youth days of playing with “de government side,” otherwise known as Maple Football Club, there are six, seven, eight or more football fields spread out across the Savannah. Suppose one of these days, rather than someone’s hand-picked lackey, we had a serious, caring Sport Minister with hands-on sport experience rather than someone with a big fat spliff in his hand or with his hand in the cookie jar or with his hand on someone else’s ass?

Someone who might, for instance, in a Eureka moment, say, “Buh wait nah, gyal,” (speaking to wife, mistress or South American prostitute, tek yuh pick! But I digress.)

“Gyal, what if we turned three or four of those fields in the Savannah into 4G state-of-the-art, all-weather fields so the youth players, boys and girls, could play all year round? And yuh know what, Lola? Daiz yuh name, right?”

“Yes. Lola.”

“Yes, Lola, yuh know what? We go rotate the responsibility for taking care of the fields among the clubs that have been serving the communities over the years: St Ann’s Rangers, Trendsetter Hawks, Maple, St Francois, Belmont United, Rudolph Charles FC, Caledonia Utd, Colts, QPCC…”

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) takes a hands-on approach and communications officer Kate Balthazar has a firm grip on the Sport Ministry’s assets.

“Nah, nah,” Lola interjects, “forget dem! Dem rich people have dey own field.”

“We will give the clubs a stipend to look after the fields, generating some employment and eternal goodwill while actually contributing to the overall development of youth in the country.”

I imagine a pause here where the minister goes to Google to see how much it might cost while he waits for the blue pill and the spliff to kick in.

“Weeeeyyyy, gyal!! You know what it go be like to have a 4G all-weather field with lights so ball kicking day and night and people doh have to be running outta de Savannah once sun gone down? We could even play men and women football in de night so people doh have to worry about missing work. And we could turn some of the wayward youth around with something positive come night time.

“Because is de Savannah, not some nondescript field in some village somewhere behind God back that we just drop some lights on to say that we do something and score political points.

“Yuh know how much it cost, Lola? Fuh four field? With lights? Weeeeyyy, gyal, in one month we paying the AG family more in rent fuh dat building on the end ah Alexandra Street dan it go cost we to pay fuh four field fuh a year!”

“A year?”

“Yeah, yeah! A year!”

Photo: Central FC chairman and ex-Sport Minister and Brent Sancho (second from right) is flanked by ex-Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) and former World Cup 2006 star and Central coach Stern John during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia in 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

No. Don’t expect me to tell you readers how much it will cost; I want you to do some heavy lifting yourselves. What I will tell you is that you can be sure that the social, sporting and cultural benefits will far outweigh any and all costs.

Well, perhaps not. We have to remember that what any schoolboy or schoolgirl could have got for free on WhatsApp, Government pay $59,000 for.

And what three people could have done in a night and a day, 12 people– well, 11 people and a minister–took almost three nights and four days for and then sent taxpayers a bill for $92,000.

Not forgetting that a basketball tournament that made no impact on national development rang up expenses of $36m and counting of taxpayers’ money.

So the estimated cost that may be put in the hands of the politicians is almost NEVER the final cost that comes out of the Treasury.

Because in the Fourth World, if the government in your hands, you don’t have to add any value to what you are handed; all you have to add is about ten zeroes!

Lord, put a hand!

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, trying to shoot a hoop, gets a helping hand from former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.
(Courtesy Newsday)

AboutDavid Nakhid

David Nakhid
David Nakhid is the founder and director of the David Nakhid International Football Academy in Beirut, Lebanon and was the first Trinidad and Tobago international to play professionally in Europe. The two-time Caribbean and T&T Player of the Year and cerebral midfielder once represented FC Grasshopper (Switzerland), Waregem (Belgium), POAK (Greece), New England Revolution (US), Al Emirates (UAE) and Al Ansar (Lebanon).

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45 comments

  1. Call in the Police who are good at burning ;grass’

  2. “De Savannah” Nostalgia

    A wistful affection for the past, typically for a period and place with happy personal associations.
    I was overcomed with acute nostalgia for my days in “De Savannah” as Nakid penned it.
    A feeling of pleasure and also slight sadness when you think about things that happened in my life experiences.
    The queens park Savanah, better known as “De Savannah” was the birth place of the large majority of the National Sports Hall of Famers.
    A happy feeling and also slightly sad, when you think about things that happened in the “De Savannah” : football, cricket, rugby, hockey, track& field ,horse racing, kite flying , coconut water ,social liming in the gully and the big tree across from the five furlongs starting post.The self imposing Double Palm trees.Finish at the Palms in track.The Muscle strengthening race horse sand track still carries the bone of horse racing .
    I experienced a contemplative desire to return in thought and in fact to a former time in my life when I played soccer for Progressive Educational Institution with my team mates in the persons of: Carlton Franco. Kelvin Barassa , Ken Henry , Clive Niles, Ossie Richards, “Moppa” from St.Joseph ,Clyde Cummings, Merit Anatol, Geoffrey Achille , Hewitt from Barataria , Mr. Reynold Andrews ,Clive Samuels .Coaches Mr. Reid and Mr. Geoff Chambers and Reggie Holder Manager ,etc.
    This is a reflective or excessively sentimental yearning for the resurrection of or the return of the “De Savannah” to the people. The park is still not in irrecoverable condition. The horse racing economic resource is a lost case.
    Do not allow the Savannah to become less than Dinosaur experience!
    “De Savannah” Nostalgia

    A wistful affection for the past, typically for a period and place with happy personal associations.
    I was overcomed with acute nostalgia for my days in “De Savannah” as Nakid penned it.
    A feeling of pleasure and also slight sadness when you think about things that happened in my life experiences.
    The queens park Savanah, better known as “De Savannah” was the birth place of the large majority of the National Sports Hall of Famers.
    A happy feeling and also slightly sad, when you think about things that happened in the “De Savannah” : football, cricket, rugby, hockey, track& field ,horse racing, kite flying , coconut water ,social liming in the gully and the big tree across from the five furlongs starting post.The self imposing Double Palm trees.Finish at the Palms in track.The Muscle strengthening race horse sand track still carries the bone of horse racing .
    I experienced a contemplative desire to return in thought and in fact to a former time in my life when I played soccer for Progressive Educational Institution with my team mates in the persons of: Carlton Franco. Kelvin Barassa , Ken Henry , Clive Niles, Ossie Richards, “Moppa” from St.Joseph ,Clyde Cummings, Merit Anatol, Geoffrey Achille , Hewitt from Barataria , Mr. Reynold Andrews ,Clive Samuels .Coaches Mr. Reid and Mr. Geoff Chambers and Reggie Holder Manager ,etc.
    This is a reflective or excessively sentimental yearning for the resurrection of or the return of the “De Savannah” to the people. The park is still not in irrecoverable condition. The horse racing economic resource is a lost case.
    Do not allow the Savannah to become less than Dinosaur experience!
    “De Savannah” Nostalgia

    A wistful affection for the past, typically for a period and place with happy personal associations.
    I was overcomed with acute nostalgia for my days in “De Savannah” as Nakhid penned it.
    A feeling of pleasure and also slight sadness when you think about things that happened in my life experiences.
    The queens park Savanah, better known as “De Savannah” was the birth place of the large majority of the National Sports Hall of Famers.
    A happy feeling and also slightly sad, when you think about things that happened in the “De Savannah” : football, cricket, rugby, hockey, track& field ,horse racing, kite flying , coconut water ,social liming in the gully and the big tree across from the five furlongs starting post.The self imposing Double Palm trees.Finish at the Palms in track.The Muscle strengthening race horse sand track still carries the bone of horse racing .
    I experienced a contemplative desire to return in thought and in fact to a former time in my life when I played soccer for Progressive Educational Institution with my team mates in the persons of: Carlton Franco. Kelvin Barassa , Ken Henry , Clive Niles, Ossie Richards, “Moppa” from St.Joseph ,Clyde Cummings, Merit Anatol, Geoffrey Achille , Hewitt from Barataria , Mr. Reynold Andrews ,Clive Samuels .Coaches Mr. Reid and Mr. Geoff Chambers and Reggie Holder Manager ,etc.
    This is a reflective or excessively sentimental yearning for the resurrection of or the return of the “De Savannah” to the people. The park is still not in irrecoverable condition. The horse racing economic resource is a lost case.
    Do not allow the Savannah to become less than Dinosaur experience!

  3. I agree no attention is paid to infrastructure and fields but if you check a lot of money passes for very poor work, unsuitable materials and unscientific maintenece programs .

  4. Just imagine $65. 3m wasted on rent eh and the Morvant and San Juan community fields for the professional football cannot be fixed . Them really good yes. steeuuppsss

  5. But I said this when u posted the article on the competition and got no reply lol

  6. Saw the piece on the rugby club last eeek. The grass and gounds were simply horrible. I do not think its entirely like this all over Trinidad though. Yhere are many well kept feilds and ‘grounds’ at least where i live.

  7. CLASSIC!!!!!!!!! In 1 month we paying the AG FAR family more in rent than it would cost to maintain four fields in the QPS! TAKE a bow!

  8. Brilliant!!
    Yeah I saw that pic last week with the tall grass and didn’t even know what to say

  9. But Brian Harry why isn’t the real football people getting involve to do the right things for the beautiful sport and our players in our sweet country I mean it was thirty years I ago that I said all the same things that Nahkid is saying eh when I returned to our sweet country to join our police service eh and I was shocked to see the madness that was taking place with the fields and other things eh and all this madness is still taking place man, so when will somebody or somebodies will finall get it right man. Them really good yes.

  10. Because this is a show to say “look you see things happening “. No proper preparation (fields etc) no proper marketing et This couldn’t be serious!

  11. Alyuh see why ah does always be referring to all of them as bootleg eh and they want to beat up my second sweetest country eh, and poor them and they all will continue to be delusional eh about returning to another World Cup any time soon especially Coach Dennis eh. Them really good yes hahahahahahaha

  12. I am so fedop of these clowns in this country eh !! Nakid is right

  13. For the record, this week end at the H.C stadium..NACAC the regional arm of the IAAF will be holding a development for 11 and 12 yr. old..SEE NACAN website..These meets are designed to orient young athletes, much like Carifta and other age grade meets..This is one of the reasons we now we have 19 yr. elite athletes at the highest level…P.S. I always remember the initial opposition from the local track and field administration in 2002/3 to the N.G.C. sponsored and run Right on Track programme..

  14. A very north centric take on the situation. I guess things like Naps versus Pres never factored in his consciousness.

    • Seriously….what is a Naps? 🙂

    • Well, the National Youth League quarterfinals are on Saturday and all but three games are at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Those three are in Tobago.
      So the Savannah does still seem to be the “Mecca” for national youth football here.

    • Because it still is doesn’t mean that it should be Lasana. Far too many things are centred in the north to our detriment.

      • Earl Best

        Kendall, Modesty prevents Lasana from telling you that he is only too well aware of that problem and has railed against it in his time at the local dailies. If Wired868 had the manpower – even without the other – resources that the Express and the Guardian have, we would certainly correct that imbalance. Witness our coverage of the SSFL. Would you say South gets a raw deal from us?

    • Well, I’d agree but I’m not sure the column suggests that the Savannah ought to be the only venue. It’s normal that you would have one or two venues for the big finals or what have you.
      That’s your Wembley or Maracana. I thought that is what he meant.

  15. ” Nakhid truth”. Take fus’, seccunt, an’ turd.

  16. Oho! Kiddie Bushball! This following on the heels of the other variants, like Futsal etc?

  17. And that is why he only had a small stint at the express newspapers eh Gerard Johnson. hahahahaha

    • Lol. I did about two years at the Guardian and about 15 at the Express… Not so short nah.

    • Well meh Father God had a different plan for you eh, because when I use to read your stories when you first came on the scene I told my then writer Gregory Trujillo (R.I.P.) that you will be the one to finally expose meh corrupted uncle Jack Warner eh, he said to me Mango how you know that and I said I knelt down and prayed ah long time for meh Father God to raise up a writer in our sweet country in order to do so eh, so you will be doing your thing for plenty more years to come and I think that I going and kneel down and say one last prayer for you to finally have your own TV program the same like Steve David and George Scoreboard Mathison “Field of dreams” eh because you will be a great sports interviewer eh Them really good yes hahahahaha

  18. With a headline like that LL you should be working at the Express. haha

  19. Earl Best

    Buh, eh eh! Somebody reading yuh mind, David? I see the newspapers saying that Govament trying to get back the $30+ million that Anil give what’s-his-face fuh LifeSport.

    Like yuh send yuh article to the Ministry fuh approval before yuh send it to Wired868?