On Friday 11th March, we set out from Esperanza to see Stogie Kenyatta as Paul Robeson at the UB auditorium in Belmopan. When we got to the outskirts of Roaring Creek, we came upon a First World style traffic jam. Nothing was moving. We began to think there may have been an accident at the new roundabout. Patience, nothing we could do. Finally we reached Roaring Creek: it was a Police checkpoint!
We proceeded on to the UB campus; by now we were rather late; maybe the place is full, when we reached the car park, very few vehicles were to be seen. When we got inside, very few people were to be seen. The show had not started and so we made our way to seats right near the front, surrounded by empty seats.
We were then treated to an excellent show that deserved a far larger audience than the few. It was a show that appealed to all ages and certainly enjoyed by our four-year-old until he was excluded along with other small children. Mr Kenyatta had not seemed disturbed by his young audience. He probably appreciated that these young people are the theatre audience of tomorrow if they are encouraged now.
This was one of the few things we have been able to attend as an audience apart from some excellent concerts by Aurelio Martinez, the Garifuna Collective, or occasionally a Central American dance.
Why are there not more things? Why do Belizeans not go to the few things that are offered?
A couple of years back, we wanted to go to probably the first Jon Kanu or Habinahan Wanaragua in Dagriga sponsored by NICH. I phoned NICH to find out what time it started. NICH declared that they knew nothing of it at all. I was left to find out from one of the TV channels.
It seems that we are not encouraged in any way to participate in the arts and sports, and everything is so difficult. Things at the Bliss finish too late for those of us living in the bush to get a bus home. No buses go round by UB in Belmopan for those without transport to get there if something is featured after dark.
Can the powers that be please realise that there is an audience out here who just need a little encouragement to venture out to see “somethings” that are featured all too rarely in Belize, and please bring more shows to the towns outside Belize City so that we can all enjoy theatre.
People of Belize, you missed a good show! Turn out next time even if it does take some effort!
Sally and Leonardo Caretella, Esperanza village