“As a taxpayer, I’d like to issue a call to all who were present at the show, the State sponsors, his supporters, enablers and also the Minister of Trade and the Prime Minister, to insist that Mr [Andrew] Ramroop publicly state what has happened to the ‘part proceeds’ pledged to the Hibiscus Foundation in his advertising.
“Where is the accounting and transparency for this event, which was largely funded by the taxpayers of this country?”
The following Letter to the Editor, which deals with a possible oversight by the organisers of last November’s Fame Caribbean On Stage show, was submitted to Wired868 by James B Solomon of Goodwood Gardens, Diego Martin:
April 25th marks five months since Andrew M Ramroop, OBE held his Fame Caribbean On Stage fashion show literally on NAPA’s Lord Kitchener Auditorium stage on 25 November 2017.
According to the Trinidad Guardian of 18 November 2017, a release from Fame Caribbean stated that “a fundamental focus of Fame Caribbean 2017 is to give back to socio-economic development and address youth empowerment so as ensure more holistic life chance for future generations.” Against this backdrop, part proceeds were to be donated to the Hibiscus Foundation to service paediatric HIV/AIDS care.
It is very disheartening to learn that, to date, no monies have been received by the Hibiscus Foundation. Further it’s disturbing to contemplate that the immensely successful Ramroop, recipient of a Chaconia medal and winner of London’s Best Black Businessman of the Year 2017, might merely have used the name of the Hibiscus Foundation to secure support for his On Stage Fashion Extravaganza.
The move to “benefit” the Hibiscus Foundation came after Ramroop ditched The Green Runway Benefit under the patronage of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica a mere two weeks before his rebranded On Stage show.
Ramroop was the recipient of State support for On Stage, no doubt granted because of the altruistic nature of the event. Co-incidentally (or maybe not), mere days before On Stage, Ramroop signed a State-funded multi-million-dollar contract with the Ministry of Trade and CreativeTT for the establishment of his Savile Row Tailoring Academy in a location in his hometown of Tunapuna.
As the son of Steve Solomon, the man who built the Cyril Ross Nursery which was the catalyst for the founding of the Hibiscus Foundation, and as a taxpayer, I’d like to issue a call to all who were present at the show, the State sponsors, his supporters, enablers and also the Minister of Trade and the Prime Minister, to insist that Mr Ramroop publicly state what has happened to the “part proceeds” pledged to the Hibiscus Foundation in his advertising.
Where is the accounting and transparency for this event, which was largely funded by the taxpayers of this country?
This is not Ramroop’s first bite of the taxpayers’ cherry. Under PM Manning, he was made Chairman of UTT’s Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design (CAFD) and was provided with travel to and from the UK, a Priority Bus Route pass, a car and a generous board allowance for his troubles. Yet no one can point to any significant successes of CAFD during his tenure.
One would hope that we are not having our own little “Windrush” experience, where taxpayers’ funds and children afflicted with HIV/AIDS were used for the glory and fame of this London-based Ultra Bespoke Master Tailor and Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire only for T&T to get the stiff boot once his purpose had been served.
Editor’s Note: Wired868 contacted Sir Andrew Ramroop for comment on his financial commitment to the Hibiscus Foundation. There was no response up to the time of publication.