The readership of this newspaper will undoubtedly recall Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ lighthearted comment to the media about his desire for the Shell Saxons Superstars to win the Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade. The comment came in response to a question regarding the unprecedented industrial unrest the Free National Movement (FNM) administration was facing in early December. Minnis’ opponents took his joke completely out of context in order to make him look aloof to individuals who were uniformed of what the PM had said leading up to the supposedly controversial comment.
Well, it’s been nearly four weeks since the Minnis joke and the Boxing Day Parade has finally come and gone. Minnis’ Shell Saxons Superstars failed to win the tournament. In fact, the group placed fifth behind One Family, the Valley Boys, Roots and Genesis Warhawks. The Saxons, with its “I Love Music… Any Kind of Music” theme, scored a pedestrian 82.81 points — 4.74 points fewer than One Family, which scored 87.55, and won best off-the-shoulder costume; best choreography, best Shirley Street performance, best overall performance and best overall costume. Groups such as the Saxons, the Valley Boys and the Music Makers have been in existence for decades and have dominated the Junkanoo landscape in the A category for years. The success of One Family and Genesis Warhawks suggests that these young groups have finally caught up to the older groups. Be that as it may, I cannot help but wonder if Minnis’ comment to the press influenced some of the judges’ overall appraisal of the Saxons’ performance on Boxing Day. In fairness, it has crossed my mind that the group was jinxed by Minnis, but I have ruled that out.
I am not attempting to take away anything from One Family’s gutsy performance. The group earned the victory through sheer determination and hard work. Nor am I questioning the professionalism of all the judges. However, with politics being what it is in The Bahamas, many individuals tend to view everything with their political blinders on. Politics permeates every facet of Bahamian society, and it causes many of us to view national events — no matter how bipartisan they are — with jaundiced eyes.
The Saxons being ranked fifth place is a bit alarming for such an established group with massive financial backing from a wealthy corporate sponsor. And when one takes into account the disqualification of the Prodigal Sons and the Music Makers, you can make the argument that the Saxons really finished in last place in the A category of groups that were not disqualified.
In all things considered, it raises the question of whether this group was punished by anti-Minnis Junkanoo judges because it was publicly endorsed by Minnis. We all know that the Minnis administration has stepped on plenty toes since coming to office in 2017. There are quite a number of individuals who would relish the idea of getting back at this government for any number of reasons. Maybe the Saxons being ranked in last place was Minnis’ detractors’ way of punishing the FNM. For these people, 2022 is too far away.
— Kevin Evans