CULTURAL activist Junior Bisnath and his colourful group of moko jumbies created quite a stir on Harris Promenade, San Fernando, last Wednesday morning, as he invited the mayor Junia Regrello and councillors to sign a large banner in tribute to American entertainer Steve Harvey.
Bisnath also invited friends from the All Mansions of Rastafarai, the entertainment industry, including PRO of the Trinbago Unified Calypso Organisation (TUCO) Steve “Ras Kommanda” Pascall, theatre icon David Sammy, Miss San Fernando delegate to the Miss World TT, Elisheva Phillips, along with members of the public to attach their signatures.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has already affixed his signature and Bisnath is hoping within the week to get Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, COP Gary Griffith and the Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez to endorse this tribute before sending the banner to Harvey.
On the bandstand at Harris Promenade, outside of City Hall, he placed the four feet by six feet banner declaring love from TT to Harvey, guarded by the moko jumbies dressed in the national colours.
Bisnath said he wanted to pay tribute to Harvey who has inspired and motivated him with his words.
“He is inspirational and informative, a person dedicated to black consciousness who is changing people’s lives all around the world.
“I use Steve Harvey as my ‘vitamin C’. When I listen to his speeches I get that energy to move,” he said.
For many years, Bisnath who leads the Kaisoca Moko Jumbie group has been making the 20km (13 miles) trek from San Fernando to Fyzabad every Labour Day. This year the walk and marathon were cancelled because of the covid19 restrictions. Bisnath did not want to give up the tradition and decided to do the walk in honour of Harvey.
Phillips was among the moko jumbies who made the journey after a few days of learning the art of stilt walking.
This is not the first time Bisnath has fashioned art or a carving for local, regional and international icons.
He remembers presenting the largest wooden pencil to former US President Barrack Obama who was in TT for the Fifth Summit of the America in April 2009.
His name is also etched on pieces of art presented to Dionne Warwick, reggae stars Sizzla, Bunny Wailer, Lauryn Hill and local icons, the Mighty Sparrow and Black Stalin as well as the late legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and songstress Whitney Houston,
Saying he too was a big fan of Harvey, not only for his humour but his profound thoughts and expression, Regrello commended Bisnath for his thoughtfulness.
He said he hopes Harvey appreciates the thoughtful expression when he receives it.