I News

In 1881, stick-fighters and people from the communities in an around Port of Spain confronted the British militia to ensure the continuation of Carnival celebrations.

The Eintou Springer play 'Kambule' documents and commemorates this monumental achievement by ordinary citizens against the colonial administration of the time.

The reenactment of the Kambule riots originally took place promptly at 5am on Carnival Friday morning, in front of site of original struggles against the British, the All Stars Pan Yard on Duke St. Port of Spain. Today, the crowds are too large, so the commemoration of this victory has been shifted just further East to the Piccadilly Greens, or 'Behind the Bridge' as it is called.

This staging of the play is spearheaded by the Regional Carnival Committee of the National Carnival Commission with support from the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism.

The reenactment began several years ago by cultural activist John Cupid and was kept alive with the involvement of Norvan Fullerton and Tony Hall. In 2004, the reenactment was formally scripted by playwright and poet laureate Eintou Pearl Springer and since then the commemoration has grown in significance locally and internationally. It may be said that 'Kambule' the play now unofficially begins the Carnival celebrations.

Background to the story of Kambule

The story reminds us of the roots and history of Carnival and the bitter struggle that masqueraders waged in defense of their right to cultural expression.

The British colonial administration, through its police chief Captain Baker had determined to stamp out the jammette carnival of Port of Spain’s working classes.

After a vicious attack on the masqueraders in 1880, communities across the city put their  differences aside and planned to deal with Baker and his men.
In the forefront were the stick fighters, the warriors of the mas. Their historic defeat of the Baker resulted in a commission of Enquiry and the right of the people to their celebrations.

At 5 am on Carnival Friday morning, with the very hills that were the cradle of the Carnival as a backdrop, East Dry River come alive to the sound of drums, the feared biscuit tins of the Blue Devils, the Moko Jumbie and all the traditional masquerades which still exist. It is an event not to be missed. Oh, and be on time. By 4am most seats are filled!

Eintou Springer speaks about Kambule

My play Kambule pays tribute to our warrior ancestors of The Mas and brings their achievements to the attention of the entire society. The Carnival that we now take for granted was fought for by the former enslaved of the barrack yards, not only in Port of Spain but also in the East and South of the island. The riots of 1881 in Port of Spain were however the most significant.

In the light of a school curriculum that is largely irrelevant to the selfhood of our African youth; in the light of the bombardment of all our youth with alien images and cultures, Kambule says to our young people that you have much to claim and you have much of which you can be proud!

Kambule reminds us that the African created a great deal despite enslavement. In the gayelle of existence, those ancestors fought inch by contested inch to clear a space for the manifestations of  their culture; those manifestations whether remembered or forged in the crucible of the
environment to which they had been forcibly transported.

Let us remember, as we face renewed assaults on The Mas in the form of bikini and beads and the growing trend towards the importation of costumes, that there is much to defend. Cultural resistance should not be a phenomenon of the past. The play reminds us that theatre and the arts have a seminal role to play in rekindling ancestral
memory and creating the positive self-image necessary both to deal with the now and to prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future.

I have dedicated this play to the pioneering work and research of Dr. Hollis Liverpool, the Mighty Chalkdust. It is just one of the offerings of my lifelong commitment to  promoting and protecting the culture of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. My work now finds its expression
through my family company Idakeda Group Ltd.

I hope that this production will stimulate the interest of the powers that be to making Kambule
available to our youth throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

September 20, 2010

Idakeda showcases its Cultural Intervention techniques at launch of Global Alliance on HIV Programme

The Idakeda team will share its unique Baby Doll Intervention Technique and messages against Stigma and Discrimination at the launch of the TT Red Cross Societys Global Alliance on HIV Programme The formal ceremony takes place on Monday 20th September at 10am at the Kapok hotel Stakeholders from the government and private sectors and supporters of continued improvements in the delivery of HIVAIDS services will be present
September 13, 2010

New York paper reviews Kambule

The Caribbean Lingo series of the New York Amsterdam newspaper pays tribute to Caribbean Diaspora artists and artforms of the highest standardsEnjoy a review of the Eintou Springer play Kambule and the New York Labour Day Dimanche Gras show by well known journalist Misani Special mention is also made of two of the Chibale drummers Ajani and Shomari Healy
September 6, 2010

Kambule takes on new life in New York

Kambule the Eintou Springer play which documents the 1881 Port of Spain riots that saved the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival opened on the New York stage on September 5th at the Labour Day Dimanche Gras The very successful and well received presentation was made possible through the West Indian American Day Carnival Association WIADCA the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism the Ministry of Tourism the Tourism Development Company and Caribbean Airlines
August 23, 2010

Kambule debuts in New York for Labour Day

Kambule the Eintou Springer play which documents the 1881 Port of Spain riots that saved the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival opens on the New York stage this September for Labour Day
August 23, 2010

Kambule Its History and Significance

July 26, 2010

Eintou draws on local scholars for Freedom Morning Come

Freedom Morning Come is a new historical play from Eintou Pearl Springer author of Kambule the very successful street theatre that is now recognised as an important event in our Carnival celebrations The play will premiere on Sunday August 1st Emancipation Day at 7am on the Brian Lara Promenade The customary Kambule parade will proceed to the Emancipation Village Jean Pierre Complex at the end of the play
July 19, 2010

Freedom Morning Come Eintou Springers new play premieres Emancipation Morning

In a dramatic departure from the usual start to Emancipation Day the thousands gathered on the Promenade for the traditional August 1st Parade will bear witness to Freedom Morning Come the latest historical drama by local playwright Eintou Pearl Springer
July 12, 2010

Storytelling by Eintou features at Angostura Childrens Camp

Eintou brings her gift of storytelling to the children of the Angostura Childrens Camp in Laventille this year As always her stories carry important themes lessons and values so this year she will focus on peer pressure crime safety and substance abuse
June 28, 2010

Eintou shares her poetry at HIV AIDS event hosted by Ministry of the People and Social Development

One woman deliberately seeks to infect others with the HIV AIDS virus and another asks for help with Stigma and Discrimination in the workplace These were the subjects of the poetry shared by Eintou Springer at a recent Information and Testing fair hosted by the Ministry of the People and Social Development