November 6, 2012
Wade ‘Kojo’ Williams passes

An outstanding Vincentian human rights activist, well known for his controversial contributions to print, broadcast and social media died last Saturday in Canada.{{more}}

T. Wade “Kojo” Williams, 63, formerly of Calliaqua, died in a Winnipeg, Manitoba hospital, about one month after he suffered a stroke, SEARCHLIGHT understands.

He was a senator and deputy speaker of the House of Assembly in the late 1970s, former Minister of Culture and Tourism Rene Baptiste told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.

Baptiste said Williams was a “very active” general secretary of the St Vincent Labour Party (SVLP) and the Editor of the Star Newspaper, a publication of the SVLP.

He was a prolific writer and in his last years, penned several articles, some of which were published in SEARCHLIGHT, but most of which he published on social networking site Facebook. He was also a regular caller to the Shake Up programme, broadcast on We FM.

On his Facebook page, Williams described himself as “Not on the ground, but by the ground and always for the ground; A Jack of all trades Master of none.”

Beginning Sunday morning, when news of his death spread, hundreds of persons have been posting messages of condolence on his Facebook page.

A former student of the St Vincent Grammar School, schoolteacher, police officer, Williams migrated to Canada in the early 1980s. His educational background included studies in Law Enforcement, Journalism, Political Science and Community Development.

In Canada, he operated a Human Rights and Community Development Consulting business and was a youth worker. He also founded numerous human and minority rights organizations in the city, including the Manitoba Coalition of Organizations Against Apartheid and Racism, the Forum for the Awareness of the Minority Electorate, Students Against Apartheid and the Calypso Association of Winnipeg.

In the area of entertainment, Williams was an accomplished song writer, calypsonian and reggae artist, having won several calypso crowns both in SVG and in Canada. He was also the host and producer of Caribbean radio and television shows in Winnipeg.

Williams was also the Editor of several Black and Caribbean publications in Canada. At the time of his death, he was the Editor/Publisher of the Black and Caribbean Network News (Newspaper).

He was well known in Winnipeg for coordinating the Annual Black History Month Celebrations, something he did for 26 consecutive years. He was the recipient of numerous community awards, including: the National Black Community Service Award (Toronto, 1990), Manitoba Award for Sports Excellence and the Vincentian-Canadian National Community Service Award.

Williams was listed among 100 Outstanding Black Canadians (Pride Magazine, Toronto, Winter 1990).

He leaves to mourn several relatives and friends, including his wife, children, sisters Beverly-Ann Jacobs and Donna Trotman. Wade was the brother of the late Winfield “Mighty Rey” Williams, former Headmaster of the St Vincent Grammar School.