No night-life for mature folks
Well Reader, if you are 45 years old or older, then life has almost come to an end with regards to entertainment in Dominica. It was this niche that Wadix, Mr. Mixx and Dr. Labadie recognized when they launched their "Oldie Goldie party" some years ago.
I can confess personally from its initial activity held at Krazy Kokonuts that it was clean mature fun. The clientele catered for were obviously starved and so they turned out in droves ; some confessed that they could not remember the last time they went out and held a loved one, their partner and danced- face-to-face; not prance or gyrate butt to groin. There is a market to be tapped as mature audiences have responded favorably to calypsonians Baron, Sparrow and Jamaicans Jimmy Cliff, Third World and recently Eric Donaldson.
These moments are far and in between for mature audiences. It is a shame on our society when hard-working folks can't find a movie-house, a dance hall, a pub or even a park in the evening where they can unwind, date or share some quiet and of course intimate moments.
Mature people are forced to be creative; they go for drives, go to the beach or Screws, stay home, watch TV, and go play dominos or attend, once or twice a year, a sporting activity at the Windsor Park Stadium.
Ironically, their hard-earned cash is spent by their children who tax them weekly as there is no shortage of activities for youth even if it's more and more of the same- Sewo. Thanks to Kubuli beer and their weekly promotions and well as many other buy-one-get-one-free alcoholic beverages promotions who ironically and comically advise you to drink responsibly. Of course no one's listening; it's just something they are supposed to say as "responsible good corporate citizens."
So where do adults go? He or she can't even take out the family in the day far less the night. If one does not have a vehicle then "crapaud smoke your pipe"- you are confined to a voluntary jailhouse of no night life- boredom! You can't even take your children out to an amusement park where there are slides, swings and the like. Some folks at one time ventured to O.D. Brisbane in Canefield where children "played at their own risk". Right now limited space and activity can be had in Goodwill opposite the Pentecostal Church, but that's about all!
Gone are the days when the three basic needs of man were food, clothing and shelter. Entertainment is a requirement for a healthy nation and it does not necessarily have to be a diet of "rum and de party" which has filled the void created by a lack of youth groups and other youth organizations such as Guides, Brownies, Boys Brigade, Cubs, Scouts, theatre clubs, dance troupes etc.
I am, however, optimistic when I see the dynamism of this current crop of the National Youth Council with their Radio and TV programmes and their engagement in a number of other activities to keep the youth on a positive path. The Glee Club of the Dominica State College, Sisserou Singers, music bands, are all fabulous representations of what youth is about.
Certainly the elders once charted a course and benefitted from Merry-Go-Round, Carib and Arawak cinemas, pool Board houses, bingo nights, boat race , donkey derby, pubs as opposed to bars were one could reminisce and share a drink with a friend in comfortable surroundings, Strolls in the Botanic Gardens. Praise God for New Dimension's Theatre and Teyat Pawol. Were it not for these two theatrical companies mature adults and senior citizens would be house bound; they can't even enjoy their pensions and so feel they must leave the country every year because in DA there is nothing to do.
I see them trying to pass the time in the Gardens- pounding beff (or some would say exchanging ideas), talking politics, going to church, waiting for the day they will reach 65 to retire , hoping it is not shifted to 70 by the time they get there…before God calls.
I think for persons who have contributed and continue to contribute, so much to society and have laid the ground work and established the society we now enjoy, we could find ways of making life more meaningful. The private sector and government could invest in providing to in social capital and entertainment amenities that could make the lives of our elders more meaningful.
Of course, the youth may not share these sentiments. Because in Dominica you are old by the time you are 30. You are written off and people get 'fed up' with your continued presence on football or cricket teams saying "your time pass" when all you are really trying to do is, pass the time. But their time too is fast approaching! Probably it is time we mature folks do something and invest in our selves instead of talking about it and creating more SEWO opportunities for the youth who have more than enough…yes may be that's it.