Capitalism in September Celebrations is Boxing Out Belizean Artists
According to Wright, support from the local business community and corporate partners has been minimal. In fact, he points to something that is much more concerning. As the spirit of the September Celebrations gives way to regional soca, reggae and dancehall artists, less financial support and resources are being allotted for Belizean performers.
Tony Wright, President, ABAF
“We do not get no big backative from none of the sponsors them. If you see our poster right on this, yoh noh wahn sih no DigiCel, no BTL, no BEL, none of that. We send them letter and sometimes dehn noh respond. None of the big corporations do not sponsor us but somehow every year we talk to our artists upfront and we tell them what we could afford to give them and they said yes. And because of that, one of the things we are proud of is that this year, eighteen years, after the show we have never heard nobody call radio or nowhere and seh dehn noh get pay and whatnot because in the thing weh dehn agree to dehn get pay and so I proud ah mi Belizean artist you know. I honestly believe that we Belizean artist noh di get the support and the correct treatment weh dehn suppose to get. How you wahn bring in some foreign artist and give them thirty thousand dollars, forty thousand dollars and I kinda believe that’s U.S. money too, but then yoh wahn look pan our Belizean artist and give dehn one thousand, you know, two thousand or give the Association for Belizean Artists First. We are working with four bands right here, you know, but what some of the big people give us, NICH and all of them, what? What do they give us? What they give us can’t even pay one of the bands them, you know. Dah noh so that fi work. I honestly believe that we first.”
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