It turns out politicians are not the only ones in Trinidad and Tobago who are happy to exploit a corpse for personal gain.
At Presentation College in San Fernando, the past pupils’ association president Steven Samlalsingh set up a memorial, which included a photograph, candles and flowers, for former student and “Soca Warrior” Akeem Adams, who died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack in Budapest, Hungary.
The memorial was constructed at the school’s car park on December 31; but, within 24 hours, the car park was empty once more.
“It was placed there (on) Old Year’s Day,” Samlalsingh told the Trinidad Guardian. “They first stole the flowers and candles. Then (on New Year’s Day), I discovered the picture missing.”
One man’s catastrophe is, according to British comic John Oliver, another man’s catasr-ortunity.
Arguably, it would take a twisted mind to see tangible value in used candles and flowers that were either plastic or dying. Or, perhaps, someone in San Fernando just made the most bizarre romantic gesture since Basdeo Panday offered to bed the devil to give the PNM the shaft, which probably was not what the French had in mind when they coined the phrase “ménage à trois.”
Has Trinidad and Tobago sunk so low that the country now has no respect for life and even less for death?
The irony is that while the San Fernando “sweet-man”, who probably never met Adams or professed to care for him, might get over a year in jail for his sick misdemeanour. Native Spirit and the TTFA expected public adoration after the two bodies raised $255,750 from the public in Adams’ name, through jerseys and ticket sales, but only passed on $72,300 to the stricken player.
It is the way of our two-island nation. Do a small crime and people despise you for it; pull off a big scheme and you can run for political office.
Mr Live Wire thinks the person who desecrated the Presentation College memorial should be made to clean and paint every cemetery in the country. And all politicians and football officials should pay a $100,000 fine to a humanitarian fund whenever they mention the words “grassroots”, “sacrifice”, “holistic” and “Akeem Adams”; or say things like “it is perfectly fine to live in the midst of the biggest oil spill that the country has ever seen.”
Perhaps it is time Trinidad and Tobago replaced the hummingbird on its coat of arms with a vampire bat. Mr Live Wire is off to smoke the chalice with Black Stalin.
Related story: Lasana Liburd pens a commentary on the undignified rush to pay lip service to Akeem Adams by people who did little to nothing while the 22-year-old man was fighting for his life in Hungary. Read it here.