Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle urged the Valley Boys and the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) to come together and find a resolution to their recent issues.
Valley Boys Chairman Brian Adderley said that the group will no longer participate in Junkanoo parades managed by the JCNP.
However, when asked about the possibility of removing the JCNP as the organizer of the parades, Rolle said she believes the two sides can find a way to work out their problems.
“I think that the JCNP plays a pivotal role and integral role in what the Junkanoo community does,” she said.
“I do not want to dismiss the work that they’ve done over the years. I believe there is a way that we can all come together to be able to coexist and that is what is important.”
The decision by the Valley Boys followed the announcement by Parade Management Team Chairman Anthen Mortimer that the Shell Saxons Superstars were the official winners of the 2019 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade.
The nearly 62-year-old Valley Boys, who were declared the unofficial winners on Boxing Day, dropped to second place with 81.44 points, after a three-point penalty.
Rolle said while she cannot directly intervene, she will do whatever she can to help resolve the concerns of the parties involved.
“I would not say intervene,” she said.
“The Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence is a private entity and so is the Valley Boys.
“So, I wouldn’t say intervene. But certainly [I will] look to bring parties together. And in any way we can bring peace, in any way we can assist with bringing resolve, that is what the Ministry of Culture is here for, to preserve, to promote, to advance and enhance the culture of the people of The Bahamas.”
Rolle said that new ideas are sometimes needed for organizations to develop and improve and said that may be the case for the JCNP.
Though she said she was “surprised” by the recent developments, Rolle said she has faith that the issues will be resolved.
“I think this is very early to draw any sort of conclusions,” she said.
“But if I know the Junkanoo community as I’ve come to know them, these are people of passion, first of all, for their culture.”