Up until de late 1970’s, ah was neither “bought nor sold” on de significance of one’s ROOTS, until de airing of de popular television series “Roots,” The Saga of an Ameican Family, based on Alex Haley’s novel dat tells de skin-till-late-ting story of Kunta Kinte, the 18th-century African youth who was captured and sold into slavery. As foh me, my ROOTS are untraceable.
Ah Grand-father was African born on de Argyle Estate, de other ah Dorsetshire Hill white, originally English via Bo-bid-us. My Jah-mek-her Grand-mother was half German Ah gave up tracing her ROOTS when ah met ah 96-year-ole Jah-mek-her lady in Canada, she was from Hanover, my Granny’s home Parish. Proudly ah told her dat Zincke was my German family name, but sadly she said: “ Bredda all dem Zincke ah Yard done dead out or gone far-rain.
Intent on finding some part ah dis Plant, whether Roots, Branch or Tree, ah remembered my Paternal Grand-mother uses to tell me dat if ever ah get stumped, head foh Ground Zero, check de Holy Bible way Truth and Knowledge abound.
So armed wid my Concordance Bible ah began way it all Begun, Genesis chapter 2 vs 7: “ Then the LORD God formed a man from the ‘Dust of the Ground’ and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man (Adam) became a living being.”
So ah tell Lie-Za ah going let Adam be my Roots, how ah read way de Lord told Adam to dwell wid all things originated from de ‘Dust of de Ground’. She said ah will dead from Mal-nutrition and all de communicable and non-communicable diseases. Den she asked me to tell her way ah plan to get me Vitamins A,B C to Zee;, Proteins, Carbs etc.
Is like she raise me Jumbie, ah told her in SVG de soils produce everything, de list is laboriously Long. Ground Provision spoiling in de land: Yams, Potatoes, Eddoes, Dash-een, de Ginger family of Turmeric, Cassava, Our-root, Carrot, Beet-root. Nuts-Coconut, Breadnut, Ground nuts.
Is Bread-fruit, Banana, Pumpkin. Doh talk bout fruits: Mangoes, Citrus, Golden Apples, Plums, Paw Paw, Legumes, Spices like Garlic, onions, Thyme, Pepper. Herbs: Marie Warn-her, Mints, Sorrel, Coffee, Cocoa, Mini Root, Kojo Root foh Pass-Straight and Die-or-be-tease; Tambrand, Garlic, Bay-leaf and Say-nah-man foh sugar and pressure. Sour.. she shouted: “ Sour Sop yes, stop! Ah hear enough!”
Ah told her is painful to listen to de Ministry Officials come-plain bout non-communicable diseases like Pressure and Sugar, and de high number of amputees, but dey’s ah lack ah energy thru-out de Nay-shun wid dis Calm-Pain. Nothing close to when de Poli-trick-hands running foh Office. Hell’t Issues should be ah slogan in Kingstown Market. Pastors and Preachers must incorporate de Hell’t and Health messages on de Pulpit, teach it daily in de Class-rooms. In Par-liar-mint and Opening of Projects, each speaker must be allocated ah slot in his/her presentation to address dis cron-ache Hell’t sit-yuh-here-shun.
Dey’s lots ah medicinal value in our local foods produced from de Dust of de Ground. Ah read way foods like Turmeric and Ginger may be a most effective nutritional supplement in existence to help things like Alzheimers, Arthritis, Depression. Prevention better dan cure, while eating these foods will not necessarily cure but will help greatly in alleviation. People fighting Gluten in Flour, Our-root is Gluten Free! All dem “Roots-Food” contain Fibre, and most if not All ah dem help lower Bad-cholesterol, Sugar and Pressure. Yuh can’t ask foh ah more tasty and nutritious drink dan Mauby, Sorrel, citrus. Ginger Beer and Coconut Water. No wonder people long ago uses to live up to 900 years.
At four score and one, ah will give de Lord Praise and Thanks foh my allotted one day at ah time. Come-Red doh be wicked to yo-self and stain yuh hands wid innocent family Blood and tears, give back dem Teachers dey wuk. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.