The local rumour mill has stopped grinding with speculation about Natalee Ligoure who has moved to state-owned Trinidad and Tobago Television for the NOW morning show.
This should come as a relief to both fans and foes of the popular “rogue” Jamaican broadcaster who first came to the notice of Trinis as a radio broadcaster about 11 years ago.
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Later shifting to CNC3 for a short stint, she has now landed in TTT with the expectation that her raving audience will get a good run for their money in this exciting episode of the already very challenging life of a most courageous girl who was diagnosed as a victim of Lupus at age 15 – only to later become afflicted with kidney issues which will demand dialysis treatment for the rest of her natural life.
Ever the serious professional under her spicy humour and raunchy laughter, Ligoure has won the hearts and minds of many a Trini who had been longing for a break from the dull fare which mainly passed for morning editions on the nation’s four television stations.
Her big move also represents a scoop for TTT’s David Roberts, the newly arrived CEO who is anxious to put his personal stamp of authority on a well-heeled organization that has never been able to establish itself for any special distinguishing feature except the speed with which it could carry government speeches with no probing questions asked.
The very fact that this ground-breaking event has occurred at the state-owned station at all, may be an indicator of the willingness of its government handlers to give some leeway for the old granny of Maraval Road to exhale from the largely stifling environment it has been forced to exist in over the years.
That’s quite apart from the few times when journalists like Jones P Madeira and Gideon Hanomansingh attempted to show some mettle as independent professionals seeking to take the station to a new dimension – although for only a few fleeting moments of glory.
Yet no matter any signals given that TTT is beginning to place some measure of corporate distancing away from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s proprietary platform, observers continue to be very cautious about a political leadership which is known to be a big bully over the media, including private operators.
It’s not that Rowley and his band of guaranteed political Yes-men haven’t encountered their unfair share of problems with the local media. But it may more likely be a case of how a regime which insists on seeing itself as an accident-waiting-to-always- happen, keeps creating problems to be made available as fresh bait for media mongers quick to grab at any passing straw to try and “bring the government down”.
How else do you explain the behaviour of a supposedly rational, highly educated leader who chooses to sink deep into the gutter when under attack and resort to publicly savage the character of his Opposition Leader who is this country’s first female Prime Minister, a humble and gracious grandmother and an active member of Parliament with a very good chance of returning to the highest seat of power?
What reckless turn of mind could so suddenly afflict the latest father of a nation to whom youths and little children look up four guidance, to crudely suggest that Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s character may be bordering on that of a drunkard and a slut.
Not content with conspiring to burn the evil Indian United National Congress witch at the stake, the man who boasts about how he scaled over the walls of Mason Hall into White Hall with the help of spiritual secret Watchers of Le Coteaux Village, has also sought to scare a certain brand of women out of their breeches by waving the weaponized proverbial big black, intimidating rod of correction as a tool on offer to groom women’s golf courses and for taking up an uninvited presence in their bedrooms.
That said, attacks such as the unforgivable crime of wannabe UNC social activist Devant Maharaj who released the PM’s private telephone number on two occasions can be understandably most disturbing for its potential to seriously agitate the mind set of any leader who’s putting his most sincere effort into managing a curiously tangled society which includes imps of the very Devant style and category.
It is a real cause for wonder however that Rowley and his minions have still not been able to gain full favour with the population despite endearing himself so well with some overt media professionals who ritually practise rear smooching, bottom-feeding and political genuflecting as par for the political course.
These include highly respected professionals like the two Johns – Gill and Benwar – and the Afternoon Driver Darian Marcelle who are well known for their capacity to deftly sidle up the balisier-coated rear end of their PM with their tongues hanging out in wide-eyed wonder that they could even get so high up the feeding pole.
From this vantage point, they can be heard they can be often overheard patiently praying at the feet of God himself for the gift of a government board membership or a second and third CEPCEP contract.
So what significant difference, if any, can this brand new ball of fire called Natalee Ligoure make as she bowls her bouncers and yorkers on a very predictable, dying Trinidad wicket?
That’s the question on everyone’s lips as TTT cranks up its rusty engine in a bid to jump out with some semblance of dignity from the morning program’s starting blocks with Natalee Ligoure on NOW.
In the face of all adversity, however, there’s one sure thing on which you can bet your soon-to-be- devalued-TT Dollar during this rush to preserve scarce foreign reserves without dipping too deeply into the most vulnerable Heritage Stabilization Fund.
Our savior in this media crisis is the very Natalee who holds together the sacred elements of professionalism, integrity and passion which will make any nation proud despite the machinations of politicians who seem to inherently feel – with a fair measure of justification – that the best place to locate the media is somewhere in their back pockets.
For here’s a female giant in our midst, clearing the way for every man, woman and child to mark out a space and identify with the ever-burning dream of a Caribbean people who will never look back after all that we’ve been through.
For we are the scarred band of savage warriors of wisdom emerging from all corners of the earth to walk this little archipelago which Gold alone bequeathed to us with which we must to move forward in the spirit of Freedom and Independence despite the vacillations of our still juvenile politicians.
Who else is there help us source the power to overcome the obstacles imposed on ourselves by ourselves in this never-ending struggle to find our way through this crucible of change out of which we must evolve if we are to ever achieve that well-deserved success for one and all?
Go, Natalee! Go strong and positive, sitah! We are always with you, happy to find a front runner who’s willing to take the risk that many of us are hesitant to embrace.
As the Caribbean poet Marina Maxwell wrote in “For Dennis who was a drum”
Walk good in the drum track of hope.