August 27, 2004
Celebrate, tomorrow belongs to us

This week saw this country welcome home one of our own, in a big way recognizing this boy-next-door turned international superstar Kevin Lyttle.
For all Vincentians, Kevin’s success is cause for celebration. It represents the culmination of a process that was begun a long time ago. {{more}} He is today walking on the foundations laid down by musicians he grew up admiring, even as he dreamed, by his own admission, of someday becoming a big international star.
Many local artistes have had these same dreams before Kevin; many have experimented before with the eclectic mix of elements of calypso, rhythm and blues/soul, that came to be fused into what we now know as Soca. It was not their time, but the world was being prepared for what St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been quietly brewing. The unique Vincy sound was unleashed in the music of the Slumates/Gratitude of the seventies, in the infectious rhythms of X-A-Dus and Touch of the 80s, and in the music of Adrian Bailey and his Blaksand. Yes, there is a distinctive Vincy feel in our music. Our volcano has been simmering and has now exploded onto the international stage through the brilliance of Kevin Lyttle, whom we all celebrate today.
But Kevin was being prepared for this by his uncle Angus Martin who, with the Creation Culture Club, literally demanded national attention, providing entertainment throughout the length and breadth of this country. The lesson here is that success only comes with hard work.
It is this hard work which is today reaping success for Caribbean athletes on that large theatre which is the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games has rightly returned to its birthplace, Athens, where today, athletes from several small, poor Caribbean nations -one blockaded economically during more than forty years, the others struggling on the uneven playing field we have been given to play our game- have been competing toe to toe against the most economically powerful nations in the world. And we have been winning!
The successes of our athletes in Athens is a tremendous tribute to the resolve of our people to fight and survive against the odds. Even though our athletes, such as Kim Collins of St. Kitts/Nevis and Alleyene Francique of Grenada did not win medals, their performances make us all proud. We have made the world stand still, take a look at our efforts and re-evaluate. The Caribbean’s performance in Athens is that of a proud people who, with sheer determination and hard work, have been able to compete alongside the mega-spoiled and sponsored athletes from powerful nations where either major corporations are willing to throw money behind their athletes’ efforts via endorsements, or the state puts its ample resources to work. Notwithstanding our disadvantages, we have been showing the world that we are capable of performing at the highest levels.
This is, indeed, a time for us to stand proudly and salute the results of honest endeavour. Today it is Kevin Lyttle, Tonique Williams, Asafa Powell, Alleyne Francique, Ivan Pedroso, Barry Forde or Obadele Thompson. Tomorrow belongs to us.