Garvey & The Abolition Commemoration Farce

Garvey & The Abolition Commemoration Farce

By N Oji Mzilikazi

August 23, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 16)

Mr. Hits told me about the Marcus Garvey discussion taking place at the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) on August 17, 2012 – the date of his birthday. Never mind I had no details apart from the date, and was disappointed in their 2011 Emancipation and Garvey’s birthday celebrations; I informed others about the event.

I scoured The Community Contact looking for an article or advert about the upcoming symposium for more information, but to no avail. I called Mr. Peter Francis. Luckily, he had a flyer that he read to me.

Given Garvey’s message and philosophy, given that the UNIA is the upholder of Garvey’s legacy, and given the steadily increasing educational failures of Black youth in Canada, the United Kingdom, the West Indies and America, how could the UNIA decide to present something as important as “A Critical Discussion of the Garvey Model of Education and Development of the Black Community” and not get it in our West Indian/Black newspaper?

I was sixteen when I met the Rt. Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. I was introduced to him by a dashiki clad, afro-wearing professor – a revolutionary sight among the teaching faculty, who from unverified reports was supposedly expelled from his teaching job in Jamaica because of his “extreme revolutionary and pro-Black politics.”

We – a group of students would go to his home to read, discuss and critique things from “Garvey and Garveyism” – what we considered the “Black Bible.” He was the only person we knew with a copy. It wasn’t available in any bookstores – so all the more precious. Though he had other “Garvey” papers and books; that compilation by Garvey’s wife Amy was the Holy Grail.

I had cut my teeth on the likes of Malcolm X, Herskovits, Black Panther ideology and Maurice Cornforth – Dialectical Materialism. I knew Mao’s little “Red Book” by heart. Garvey blew my mind. It’s as if he spoke directly to me. I wanted to walk in his shoes.

Garvey opened a whole new world of thinking, being and living. Garvey centered my politics. On account of Garvey, my socialist/communist leanings were replaced by Pan-Africanism. And though spiritual and religious philosophies were to shape my politics – making me the person I am today, Garvey holds a special place in my heart.

The event started an hour late – waiting for people to show. How can one attract people; consumers and/or participants to anything, if the marketing strategy for the product isn’t properly conceptualised or well-executed?

The seminar failed to deliver. There was no critical discussion. There were no nuggets of educational information for someone with children or family attending school to take away and apply. There was no conjuring of Garvey’s spirit or transmission of his light and electricity for inspiration and fortification.

As if the speakers were ignorant of the stated subject, lazy in their preparation, and depending to wing it from accumulated knowledge; they were short on being on point and presenting well thought out constructs.

Though a question period was slated after the three speakers, I interrupted the proceedings upon completion of the first speaker remarks. I wanted to know if I was in the right place. The esteemed doctor’s dissertation was nothing but intellectual masturbation and 360 degrees removed from the designated subject.

The master of ceremonies/moderator coolly shut me down with, “the doctor was setting the stage for the next two speakers.” The other two speakers never took the stage. They meandered as well.

Cliquishness and cronyism is of such that quite a few times the second speaker referenced comments made by the first, to try and imbue credibility to him, given my stinging remarks.

How can the UNIA execute their mandate and keep the spirit of Garvey alive when he is remembered once a year? How can the UNIA birth Garveyites, when its existence is kept secret and they remain a tight-knit clique of folks who have no fight left in them – a malaise that afflict many Black organizations?

A storied association like the UNIA ought to have monthly discussions on Garvey and Garveyism. Marcus Garvey is their raison d’être. They ought to bring in scholars and authorities on Garvey like the acclaimed and well-respected Tony Martin. Monthly discussions and the like would ensure when Garvey’s birthday come around, UNIA’s cup runneth over.

Thanks to the politicking by the Black Coalition of Quebec, the City of Montreal has been commemorating the Abolition of the Slave Trade for a number of years now. And while that is a good thing, it has basically remained a cliquish wine and cheese affair at City Hall.

The Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is jam-packed with stories and issues to be told and explored. It’s ripe for annual conferences that could bring scholars, authors and brilliant minds from all over the world, including Latin America to our fair city – to share, elucidate, teach, inform, motivate and inspire.

The Black Coalition of Quebec need to have a committee in place, and working year round to ensure there is substance in their annual observances. And, of course the committee would liaison with those in other countries who take Emancipation and the Abolition of Slavery seriously, and have a history of intellectual discourse and reflecting diverse voices.

While the first thing opposition will utter is what about the funding? Where there is will, there is always a way. Since the City says it is down with the program, it can put its money where its mouth is and sponsor a first class conference to get things started. Then, the organization can begin its quest for private sponsors and partnerships.

Through our negligence, our community is in retrograde mode. Yet, there are the selfishly arrogant who give no thought as to what would be their legacy. They do not groom leadership or attract skilled persons with strong personalities to help grow an organization.

Also, because of their battle scars from fighting the good fight, accolades and a sense of power, albeit empty, and the small change that come their way, they believe they’re owed a free pass or dispensation, and are entitled to sit at the head table, even when they’re tired, have no fight left in them, and have become an obstacle to progress.

We cannot continue to tread water. If leadership is too tired to get things done they need to step aside. Let those with the requisite knowledge, skills, passion, and loads of energy revitalize our stagnant to dying organizations. Give them the opportunity to make those organizations relevant once more, and hopefully, take them into the Promised Land.

Ungrateful Islanders

Ungrateful Islanders

By N Oji Mzilikazi

August 22, 2012

Eddie Charles is an internationally known soca artist out of the twin Islands of Trinidad and Tobago. He was in Montreal for its Carnival festivities – rocking the house at every event in which he appeared. He was also one of the thousands who attended the July 21, 2012, Vincy Day – SVG – St. Vincent and the Grenadines picnic at Brown’s Bay Provincial Park in Ontario.

Other than a gospel singer out of the U.S., the acts on the SVG stage were local. With no thoughts as to financial remuneration, Charles’ Montreal “man of business” felt Eddie performing on their stage would be a boon and boost. He was rebuffed three times. The reason – “they” didn’t want any Trini on their stage. The telling confirmed to me there and then by Eddie Charles himself.

Anti-Trini sentiments have been a constant in Montreal for the longest while now. Like a lil boy who in seeing his “pee bounce back and froth” thinks he is man; many people from smaller West Indian islands have been pissing on Trinidad and Tobago, now that they live abroad, are in numbers, and in some cases are doing well.

They act as if their country has gas and oil reserves like Trinidad and Tobago, so they’re economically on par, and they and theirs are better. And in the zealousness of their island nationalism, false sense of self, and that they run things out here, “dey doh” support events when the promoters are from the islands of the red, white and black and/or one of theirs is not on the bill.

They conveniently choose to forget that Trinbago has always been the mecca of the Caribbean. That their relatives and even parents left their island home to go to Trinidad to improve their fortunes – to “look fuh wok” and/or go to school. Some found husband, wife, man, woman, and had children. Some choose to settle there. Some used T&T as a springboard to foreign shores. Others went back home with their Trini born children or left their children in T&T.

They conveniently choose to forget that like pumpkin vine, Trins have family in every island, and every island has family in T&T. That Grenadian, Bajan and Vincy roots run deep in the soul of Trinidad and Tobago, and that many “great” Trinis have island roots.

Mr. William Munroe, the man behind “Soca Monarch”- the biggest Carnival show in T&T, is Grenadian.

They conveniently choose to forget how much Trinbago has been financially generous to other West Indian islands including theirs, especially in times of disasters.

Talk about ungrateful islanders. It is Trinidad and Tobago that gave the world pan, calypso and soca. Trinbago’s Carnival allows artists from every Caribbean country to come and “eat ah food. Many artists from other islands can attest that appearing/performing in ‘the big yard” – in Trinidad and Tobago during Carnival was the catalyst for their international success and acclaim.

Yet, a Trini, a professional exponent of soca, and someone who has performed on numerous international stage wasn’t good enough to be on that Vincy stage – “free, gratis, and for nothing.”

By all means love yuh national identity, but don’t be backwardly ignorant and stupid when it comes to the region’s history, and the common hurdles faced by people of African descent in the diaspora.

It is shameful and sad, that there are those willing to pursue – engage in island tribalism; discriminate according to island, as if that ideology elevates and empowers community, while others of the wider society including law enforcement only see our blackness and otherness.

London 2012: The Olympics White Racial Frame

London 2012: The Olympics White Racial Frame

By N Oji Mzilikazi

August 9, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 15)

It takes years of training, hard-work, sacrifices, total commitment, peaking at the right time, being on top of one’s game at the right moment, and sometimes a little bit of luck for an athlete to not just qualify for the Olympics, but to win a medal as well. Therefore, one must wonder what would possess an athlete to throw away their Olympics by engaging in racism. After all, racism is not a disease hereditary or otherwise, but a deliberate and purposeful choice.

Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked off the Greek Olympic team for a racist tweet against African immigrants in Greece. Then she had the nerve to claim being upset and bitter over the disciplinary decision.

South Korea defeated Switzerland 2-1 in a soccer match. Deep-rooted feelings of white racial superiority resulted in Swiss player Michel Morganella posting a racist tweet against South Korea. He was subsequently expelled.

16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen won the 400m individual medley in a world-record time. In no time at all, John Leonard, executive director of the USA Swimming Coaches Association openly cast aspersions on her swim.

He defended his suspicions by citing that “the Chinese have a doping history.” It’s not as if American hands are clean when it comes to doping.

Commentator and former tennis player Rennae Stubbs is a fan of Serena Williams. In her search for superlatives to describe Serena’s dominance, she referenced Serena hitting the ball to that of hitting a watermelon.

Though Stubbs is Australian, there is no way she wouldn’t be aware that “watermelon” like “fried chicken” have racial connotations – even though whites consume more of them than Blacks. Though no offence was intended, surely she could’ve invoked a basketball or football for the audience visualization. To pull watermelon out of the hat speaks volumes.

The Network TV Press Release of August 5th stated that the Serena Williams – Maria Sharapova Gold Medal Match drew 7.9 million viewers.

Given the 6-0, 6-1 drubbing, almost 8 million viewers saw “It Girl” Sharapova who recently won the French Open, and was on top of her game humiliated – and on the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon – the site of her greatest victory. It was the worst defeat in women’s Olympic singles final history.

Sharapova’s 2004 defeat of Serena at Wimbledon propelled her into stardom, landed her lucrative contracts and the biggest endorsement for a female athlete. A win over Serena would’ve given Sharapova the career Golden Slam (victories at the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open, and Olympic Gold), the #1 rank, and undoubtedly bigger and better endorsements.

Serena was the one that walked away with the Golden Slam. Serena is now the second female to have a Golden Slam. Steffi Graf achieved that feat in 1988.

Serena’s breathtaking performance, tennis clinic, and demolition of Sharapova stunned everyone.

For the first time in my life I saw tennis commentators at a loss of words and unable to unleash snide and snarky remarks about Serena.

Haters would always find reasons to hate. Serena’s few seconds of dancing celebration – doing the “Crip Walk” became a straw man. She was now endorsing the notorious Crips, even though it was a “Crip” that murdered her sister.

In the men’s tennis singles final, Andy Murray humiliated Roger Federer. The effusiveness was of such that both American and Canadian television broadcasters repeatedly ran several minutes of the match including the trophy presentation. Venus Williams and Serena Williams won Olympic Doubles Gold that very day. It brought their haul to 4 Olympic Gold medals each, and being the “winningest” Olympic tennis players ever. Compared to Andy Murray, the clip of their win was a blur.

Jordyn Wieber was the all-around gymnastic world champion and deserving the hype. Americans expected her to be the golden girl of gymnastics. Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas from Virginia, aka Gabby Douglas, African-American, and nicknamed “The flying squirrel” won the US Trials.

She qualified for more Olympic events than the other Americans on the gymnastic team, yet from the tone and commentary from the announcers, one would swear she was the weakest link.

The Olympic rule for the all-around finals is two finalists per nation. Wieber failed to qualify for the Olympic all-around finals. She was beaten by two other American – Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman.

The devastation was so unbearable to both Weiber and her coach John Geddert, he blasted the rule. In addition to calling it dumb, Geddert said, it’s a shame that the world champion doesn’t get to compete in the Olympic all around finals.”

There was so much emotional investment in Weiber; gymnastic pundits and huge numbers of gymnastic fans had no room in their hearts for 16-year-old Gabby Douglas.

Gabby won the all-around gold – the medal that defines gymnastic achievements, and the hype machine that surrounds that accomplishment at every Olympics broke down. The glowing tributes to make her name a household one wasn’t there. However, the racists got their groove on; some Americans even lamenting that Russian gymnast Victoria Komova was robbed.

Approximately 10 hours had passed when Gabby won gold and NBC aired her performance. Upon Bob Costas spouting the feel good spiel of Gabby’s gold-medal performance being inspirational to young African-American girls, the ad that followed featured a monkey doing gymnastics. And, of course, it was purely coincidental!!!

When Nigeria squared off against Lithuania in the men’s basketball match, a whole block of Lithuanian supporters had their monkey chant going on. The report qualified the racist outburst with the men “were mostly drunk.” Drunk people are known to get a pass…

UK Guardian columnist Emma John, in the article, “Gabrielle Douglas wins London 2012 gymnastics all-around gold” wrote: The US duo came here on the back of a team gold won in ruthless style and were once again were niggardly with their errors. (It has since been edited.)

While “niggardly” has nothing to do with the N-word, referencing it in regards to a Black person is in extremely poor taste. Writers/journalists know the power of words and semantics. Surely, John could’ve used the simple, more to the point and better adjective that is “stingy.”

While John supposedly meant no offence with “niggardly,” its usage points to conscious and unconscious predilection of white folks to play “coded” word games in regards to people of African descent.

Douglas was the only person on team America to compete in the 4 apparatus that comprise the team competition. She had the highest scores for the USA in the Uneven Bars and Beam. She had higher scores over Jordyn Wieber in the 3 apparatus Weiber contested.

Upon the USA winning Gold, the hype machine was of such:Jordyn Wieber finds redemption in leading Team USA to gold in women’s gymnastics” (Yahoo) Alex Kay, writing for the Bleacher Report stated: Jordyn Wieber was the star for the Americans, just two days after failing to qualify for the individual all-around finals.”

The Washington Post was honest. Its headline read, “Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber lead U.S. women’s gymnastics to gold” and featured a picture of Gabby Douglas airborne.

While Steve Almasy, CNN article, “Fab Five brings home gymnastics gold” acknowledges Gabby Douglas led the U.S. to a 183.596 score, he pointed out that “Jordyn Wieber was a key part of the victory also, placing third in the vault and fourth on the floor.” Third and fourth as key contributors?

The nature of the beast to Black accomplishment is always an elevation of the bar. The reaction to Tiger amassing wins was the “Tiger-proofing” of golf courses – making it more difficult for him to win. The Williams domination in tennis resulted in the slowing of the courts and changing of the ball.

Gabby won all-around gold. Interestingly, British Guardian writer Judith Mackrell opined that “the levels of technical ability require of today’s gymnast…come at the expense of fluency of phrasing, and grace,” and had high praise for Russian silver-medalist Victoria Komova, “the most dancerly of this year’s female competitors.” While she acknowledged Gabby Douglas won hearts and points, she equated Gabby to a show pony.

Canada’s Shameful Olympic Showing

Canada’s Shameful Olympic Showing

By N Oji Mzilikazi

August 15, 2012

Canadians are a complacent lot. The way the nation embraced its Olympic haul of 18 medals: 1 gold, 5 silver and 12 bronze, one would swear it’s an accomplishment of note. Given Canada’s size, resources and wealth, it is shameful to say the least. Canada went to London 2012 with expectations of finishing medal wise – in the Top 12. It didn’t. Canada finished 13th. When gold is the standard of placement – Canada sits in the 36 spot.

Consider the Islamic Republic of Iran: Its athletes left London with 4 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze. And what is the average Canadian view of Iran? Combined, the “Banana Republics” of the Caribbean did better than Canada – 34 medals: Cuba 5 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze, Jamaica 4 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze, Dominican Republic 1 gold and 1 silver, Trinidad and Tobago 1 gold and 3 silver, Bahamas 1 gold, and Cayman Island 1 gold.

If Canada truly wants to “own the podium,” there must be a greater investment in sports and by extension physical fitness. And it must start from the primary school level. From there one can note students with the aptitude, skills and gifts – and train and given them the kind of support financial and otherwise in order for them to be world champions. Athletic excellence brings pride to a country and spurs nationalism.

It’s a known fact that exercise prompts mental alertness and that a healthy body makes for a healthy mind. Therefore exercise is beneficial to everyone. Exercise is needed much more today given the high levels of obesity, increasing obesity rates, and technology engendering a sedentary lifestyle.

Mandatory physical education classes in primary schools cannot but contribute to a healthier nation and provide various sports with a pool of possible recruits. Canada funding for sports is woefully inadequate. If we have to do better in 2016, and excel in 2020, the federal and provincial governments together with the private sector must step up.

All Fours Blues

All Fours Blues

By N Oji Mzilikazi

August 8, 2012

I am a fan of All Fours, and I can’t play to save my life. I am also a member of Mafsoca (Montreal All Fours Social and Cultural Association) whose origins go back to the 70s.

Last August, Mafsoca launched the first annual Montreal All Fours Round Robin Tournament. In doing so, Montreal joined the Round Robin All Fours circuit of Toronto, Boston and New York.

Round Robin Tournaments attract Canadian and American All Fours teams in fiery and friendly competition.

Immediately after Mafsoca’s Round Robin debut, the club president, Mr. Henry Antoine resigned. It was followed by the club’s secretary, Ms. Lynette Edwards. Treasurer Arnold Paris simply quit. Members loyal to that clique parted ways with the club as well.

Mafsoca’s Round Robin debut was not without bacchanal, commess, administrative arrogance, the president arrogating unto himself the full powers of the executive and membership, financial improprieties, and shoddy accounting.

The departed president is one of those who suffer from prime ministeritis/presidentitis. It’s the syndrome of persons believing they are most capable leader, they must be in charge, and they know what is best for everyone.

The tact of the victims of the disease is to recruit malleable minds and ingratiate themselves to the most vulnerable. By surrounding themselves with people who cannot come up with an original thought, they have a clique of followers and toadies. Thus, when they can’t have their way in an organization, they’d take their cronies and form their own.

Once, back in the 80s, Montreal had two carnivals on the same day, and going in different directions. Our ex-president was at the helm of one. Just recently – Montreal Carnival was suspended in 2010 because two groups, one with our ex-president at its helm were contesting the rights to manage the carnival. The case went to court and our ex-president and “his people” lost.

Mafsoca’s former president has a long résumé of being president in other organizations, and can boast of business and municipal contacts. He contributed nothing to Mafsoca for the seven years he was an ordinary member – not even an idea. He regularly interrupted and undermined general meetings with jokes. The minute he was voted president, presidentitis manifested itself.

Without respect to the club’s Constitution, and without scheduling a special meeting for any amendments, he changed the fiscal year of Mafsoca. Also, he added a member-at-large position to the executive – and club members gladly went along with the changes.

The person accepted in the newly-created position was his “All Fours playing pardner.” In no time at all, that member-at-large became Mafsoca’s treasurer.

Mafsoca is a membership organisation managed by a Board of Directors. It is the president job to see to it that all decisions, orders, or resolutions coming from the floor are carried into effect.

In spite of repeated objections, the president went on to resurrect a name used by the club back in the 80s. He included it on our stationary and on the Round Robin trophies.

Membership decided against one of the trophies the president wanted for the Round Robin. On the day of the Round Robin, that trophy was most visible.

Like any organization mindful of transparency, disbursement of funds is only mandated by the Executive with the approval of the general membership. But when people bright, shenanigan is the order of the day.

Six weeks after the fact, the members of Mafsoca and some of its executives found out that the club’s bank account was raped to pay down on the venue for the Round Robin.  While the president’s John Hancock’s was not on the cheque, one of the persons who signed it was without authority.

After the Round Robin, the treasurer presented a mickey mouse financial, and promised a more detailed and an audited report. Ten months later I had to call him up to get the club books.

He didn’t have the common courtesy to return its books to us, and we have been meeting at the same place every Friday night for the past eight years. When I collected them, there was simply a cheque book, a receipt book, and Mafsoca’s stamp.

There was no detailed report or any report of the Round Robin, and no audited statement. There was not a single scrap of paper concerning the bar sales of the Round Robin. Some of the cheque stubs were devoid of information – and to know the treasurer has certification in the accounting business.

With the scarcity of financial documents pertaining to the Round Robin, how can one not conclude that financial improprieties took place – Mafsoca’s books were curried, stewed, boiled, jerked and barbequed.

The fear of impeachment led the president to resign immediately after the Round Robin. And he kept all the materials generated by Mafsoca for the Round Robin – namely, the huge banners and scoreboards. The fear of accountability led to the treasurer quitting.

The Secretary is the official custodian of the records, charter and seal. It is the secretary’s duty to ensure that all books, reports, certification, documents, and records required by law are properly kept and filed.

When the secretary resigned, she immediately gave us the Charter, but not a piece of correspondence including the contact information of all the All Fours teams in the United States and Canada that was in her possession, as well as of those who hold the Round Robin in Toronto, New York and Boston, or previously recorded minutes.

Then we discovered the Charter was in arrears. Its annual fee wasn’t paid in two years. How can we as a people make gains when those who know better – our stewards don’t care to do better?

True to form, the departed president emerged with a new All Fours club – The Montreal United Sports and Cultural Association with the expressed purpose of hijacking the Montreal Round Robin tournament from Mafsoca.

With an entrance fee of $600 per team, a winning purse of $5000, participants, team supporters and onlookers in the hundreds for the two day event, and a cash bar; the club hosting a Round Robin stands to make a couple pennies.

Since the president is empowered to manage the affairs of the organization – is the one in contact with those that count, and knowing full well that Mafsoca had no contact names and numbers for the various All Fours associations; he hijacked Mafsoca’s Round Robin and made it HIS property.

Consider: Mafsoca’s Round Robin was scheduled for 2012, and slated to be a joint venture between Renegades, a Toronto All Fours club and Mafsoca. The agreement hammered out by the executives of Renegades and Mafsoca, in a Toronto hotel room in 2010. Mafsoca held elections. In seeing the financial windfall from the Round Robin, the new president refused to honour the agreement.

He then opted to have the Round Robin in 2011 rather than 2012, though the club was still not financially prepared, and lacked the manpower to handle the task.

Since the club’s secretary and the ex-president remained executives in the new administration, the claim of ignorance cannot be made. Since the ex-president had no qualms shafting Renegades, why would he have a prick of conscience towards Mafsoca?

At Toronto’s 2011 Round Robin, I witnessed the president of Renegades being hostile to Mafsoca’s past president who was one of those that brokered the agreement, and another member. He felt cheated and betrayed. Though they told him what went down, Mafsoca’s name was the one sullied by the lack of integrity – not its then president.

The hijacking of the Round Robin by its ex-president placed Mafsoca in the same cheated and betrayed position of Renegades. To add insult to injury, Mafsoca wasn’t given an invite to the Montreal Round Robin tournament.

In the spirit of letting bygones be bygones – moving forward, I called our former president, and whispered to him that from a business perspective, it was stupid of him not to send us an invite, and he should. He said that he didn’t want to do that and be rejected by us. Who was the victim in all of this? Certainly not him.

Is only Black people “does” think that way. Is only Black people “does tote feelings” and let it come in the way of making a dollar. That sort of backwardness gets us nowhere, and then we want to complain about other ethnics who show solidarity with their own even when at odds with one another. Yes, Mafsoca can refuse to participate, but if the club decided to take part, $600 is in his pocket.

If our ex-president had an iota of integrity and any intelligence, he would not only have invited Mafsoca, but waived the entry fee as a way of making amends. Through his avarice, the club lost every penny in its bank account – monies that he repeatedly promised to repay, even if he had to take it out of his own pockets, and we having no clear knowledge and understanding of what really went down financially with the Round Robin.

In spite of my entreaties, the ex-president refused to send our club an invite unless it was officially requested.

Understanding the ego games of mental midgets as well as the concept of “stoop to conquer,” I invoked my position as the current club secretary, and asked for the invite. He made it clear to me that I must let the members of Mafsoca know I officially asked him for it.

When he emailed me the invite, his cover letter spelt out it was at my request. Childish like, he told everyone he knew, including members of Mafsoca that I asked for it. My supposed humbling was such a feather in his cap, he gloated about it to Mafsoca’s current president – and in front of my face.

Some members of Mafsoca felt I was wrong to ask for the invite – given the damage our ex-president did to the club.

My reason was simply: Our club is in the All Fours business. We have attended Round Robin in New York, Boston, and Toronto. It’s only fair that if a Round Robin is happening in our backyard, our members should be given the opportunity to participate if they want to or not. Being the bigger person and asking for the invite was no skin off my back.

Imagine, Mafsoca having to beg for an invite to something that was originally theirs. Since the time of my asking was too short to get a membership vote, and Mafsoca is in the rebuilding process, Mafsoca had no choice but to sit this Round Robin out.

Good luck to Mr. Henry Antoine and the 2012 Montreal Round Robin. Ah hope de food eh sour this year as it was last year

Update:

August 13, 2012

Both the president of Mafsoca and I were most visible at the Round Robin held this past weekend. Since the former president told our treasurer that “no one knows us,” our task was to make ourselves kown. We reconnected with old acquaintances, and gave out business cards with contact information for Mafsoca.

Interestingly, the huge banner above the table with the trophies sported Montreal All Fours Social and Cultural Association (Mafsoca) in big and bold letters. We have a supporting photograph. Our ex-president forgot to paint over it and put the name of his new club in its place.

How Stupid Can We Be?

How Stupid Can We Be?

By N Oji Mzilikazi

August 7, 2012

Olympic Gold is the epitome of athletic achievement. The fact that the Olympics occur every four years adds to the prestige of its medals.

Kim Collins, the St Kitts & Nevis flag bearer, former 100m world champion, and a national hero was axed by his team for flouting team rules and spending the night in a hotel with his wife.

In the prima donna style of entitlement, wrong but self-righteous fashion, and victimhood, he tweeted he would never represent his country again, and even conjugal visits are allowed in prison.

Given the impermanence that governs relationships; who knows if the person you are with today will be at your side five years from now, this 36-year-old man – acting as if he now discovered sex, told BBC radio they’re asking him to abandon his wife for the team, and he’s not going to do that.

Collins went to London 2012 on his country’s dime, and in its service. As a fifth time Olympian, he of all persons knows loyalty is due. Considering the occasion, it is backwardness to think that not getting together with your spouse or lover until your events are over is undue hardship. (Imagine if he was deployed to Iraq or worked on an oil rig out at sea – he would’ve been a candidate for suicide.)

Without consideration to the school of thought that advance sex before competition debilitates, the cloistering of athletes in their respective villages protects. It prevents athletes from being bribed to throw an event, consuming food or beverage that could be tampered with to produce a positive drug test or sicken, also being assaulted to lose their event(s). Kudos to the St Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee in disciplining his rass.