Shabazz: Community will come first


Football coach Jamaal Shabazz withheld comments on his expectations and responsibilities as part of a government-appointed community recovery programme on Thursday.

A few days earlier, he had advocated people’s right to protest.

Shabazz together with businessman and media personality Hans Des Vignes, entrepreneur Curtis Toussaint, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and author Akosua Edwards, will make up the committee, which will assess issues of crime, violence and inequity in at-risk communities.

Contacted for comment, Shabazz said he had just left a meeting with key stakeholders and preferred not to comment on his appointment or duties until after further discussions.

But while he did not want to comment on his role and function on the committee, he insisted the community would come first.

“We had a meeting with different stakeholders in the community. So I can’t really comment yet until I’ve been fully briefed on everything regarding (the appointment), and any appointment would have had to come from my work within the community. So right now we’re just talking to the community.

“For now I don’t want to comment on it until everything has been outlined properly to us.”

Shabazz also declined to comment on comments by the Prime Minister about the Lifesport programme and its effects on at-risk communities, saying he had not heard the comments and preferred to be informed on what was said before he could respond.

“Right now I’m in the process of replaying it (the post-Cabinet media conference). It’s a little premature to say anything.

“Sometimes I appear that I like to talk, but I like to be informed before I say anything.”

Contacted for comment, Des Vignes said he is ready to serve TT as best as he can with his appointment to the committee.

Responding to Newsday’s questions via WhatsApp on Thursday, Des Vignes said he was happy to be part of the committee led by psychologist and consultant Anthony Watkins, and anticipated assisting communities in need of help.

“I am honoured and prepared to serve. This committee is charged with a task that cannot be labelled as simple. I hope to positively contribute to this country that has educated me, raised me and made me everything good that I am.”

The post Shabazz: Community will come first appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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