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Saturday, July 11, 2020
Home Letters What does Amandala mean to me?

What does Amandala mean to me?

Dear Editor,

As a suggestion, they should have suggested a word limit, but maybe I am an outlier here.  I say this because Kremandala means so much to me, and I am always grateful to the organization for giving me my first job out of 6th form. I have been singing its praises ever since.

Mr. Evan X’s demeanor on the first day I went in was a life lesson that has stayed with me. As the story goes, I became the object of ridicule because I did not recognize the man leaning against the wall in short pants and sneakers, along with other men, as the publisher of Amandala. I thought I was being punked when someone responded saying,”See the man right deh.”

Mr. Evan then took me into a rundown space with a big BTL wire reel that served as a table and we talked for my first interview. That was a life lesson — “no need for frill, suits and a tie.”

Amandala, to me is THE voice for the oppressed, and especially for the persons down-pressed by those in power. It is a refuge for those who are bold enough (or stupid enough, as some would like to call you) to speak up against corruption and injustices.

It is an open forum and nexus where many cultures meet and express themselves, and in so doing, overcome the deep-seated divisions created deliberately to keep us apart. It is a repository for Belizean culture and an archive for peoples whose history has been deliberately misrepresented, or in other cases, tossed in the ashes in an attempt to erase those facts that show that our people are strong and capable or revolting and resisting against the system.

It is where we document and rebuild our identity, an identity that is people-centric and recognizes that the environment, indigenous and African cultures are important and valued in Belize.

It is a weekly lesson and source of enlightenment for many who did not have access to books and, now, even with power of internet at their fingertips, have no clue and need suggestions on reading and credible information sources on the worldwide web.

Enlightenment and being informed put the power back in the hands of the people.
Amandla Awethu!

Roberto F. Pott

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