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+  Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum
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| |-+  Poetry (Moderators: Tyehimba, leslie)
| | |-+  TRIBUTE TO D'JAMALA
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Author Topic: TRIBUTE TO D'JAMALA  (Read 4677 times)
albertwilliams
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« on: May 05, 2006, 10:39:11 AM »


 
TRIBUTE TO DíJAMALA

by Albert Williams

 
 

THE NEWS

OF THE PASSING OF THE BROTHER

 MARCEL DíJAMALA FONATAINE

WAS A SHOCK? TRUELY THIS IS A GREAT

LOSS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA!

 

DíJAMALA

WAS CULTURAL ICON, AND ONE

OF THE MOST IMPORTANT

 FIGURES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF

THE CREOLE (KWEYOL) LANGUAGE,

NOT ONLY IN DOMINCA, BUT THE ENTIRE KWEYOL-SPEAKING WORLD.

 

HIS WORK

BRGAN IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES, AND SAW HIM AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE FORMATION OF THE KOMITE POR ETUID KWEYOL (KEK) WHICH WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN GENNERATING INTEREST ACCEPTING KWEYOL, NOT AS A DIALECT, BUT AS NATIONAL LANGUAGE.

 

THROUGH

HIS STRENOUS EFFORTS, CREOLE DAY, CREOLE WEEK AND HERITAGE DAY WERE INTRODUCED AS AN INTEGRAL CALENDAR EVENT DURING THE NATIONAL AND INDEPENDENCE DAY CELELBRATIONS.

 

AMONG

HIS MANY ACHEVEMENTS WERE THE COMPILATION OF THE CREOLE\ENGLISH DICTIONARY AND ANNOU APONN KWEYOL (A HAND BOOK FOR TOURIST), OF WHICH HE PUBLISHED SEVERAL EDITIONS, A S WELL AS SEVERAL PAPERS AND ARTICLES AND RADIO PROGRAMS.

 

HIS PATRIOTISM

AND LOVE FOR THE LANGUAGE LED HIM TO RUB SHOULDERS WITH MANY OF THE TOP LANGUAGE EXPERTS IN AMERICA, ENGLAND AFRICA AND FRENCHE\ CREOLE SPEKING COUNTRIES. HE TOO, HAD HIS EYES SET ON WORKING TOWARDS HIS MASTERS DEGREE LANGUAGES

 

 

 

I FIRST

MET D JíAMALA IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES DURING THE DAYS WHEN RASTAFARIANS MADE SEVERAL CONCERTED EFFORTS TO FORM A NATIONAL ORGANISATION, SINCE THEN WE BECAME GOOD FREINDS ANAD SHARED MANY A DAYS IN REASONING.† I HAD THE PRIVILEDGE OF WRITING SEVERAL REVIEWS OF HIS BOOKS AND, AND HE ALWAYS KEPT ME ABREAST OF HIS DEVELOPMENTS

 

HOWEVER,

IT WAS IN EARLY 2004, DURING MY STINT WITH THE CHRONICLE THAT† I LEARNT OF HIS ILLNESS, WHICH AFFECT THE USE OF MUSCLES. ALTHOUGH BEST BY THIS UNFORTUNATE DISEASE, HE WAS NOT DAUNTED AND CONTINUED TO WORK AT HIS GOAL TO MAKE KWEYOL NOT ONLY A SPOKEN LANGUAGE BUT ALSO A WRITTEN ONE. HE IT WAS WHO COMPILED THE KWEYOL ALHABET.

 

DíJAMALA

LOOKED FORWARD TO THE DAY WHEN DOCTORS AND OTHER SPECIALISTS WOULD HAVE FOUND A CURE FOR THE ILLNESS, SEEKING HELP FROM HERBOLOGISTS, BOTH IN DOMINCA AND ENGLAND.

 

IN OCTOBER

2004, I RETURNED TO ENGLAND, AFTER LIVING IN DOMINCA FOR 32 YEARS .† ONE OF THE FIRST DOMINICANS THAT I VISITED WAS D JAMALA AT HIS HOME IN STRAFORD, LONDON† AS ALWAYS HE WAS JOVIAL AND CONTINUED TO SPEAK ENTHUSIATICALLY ABOUT HIS WORK. ALTHOUGH ABOUT 90 PERCENT OF THE HIS POTENTIAL TO USE HIS BODY WAS SLOWLY DEGRADING,

 

HIS MIND

WAS AGILE, AND AS SHARP AS EVER. wHEN I ARRIVED THERE, HE WAS DOODLING WITHA NEWLY-ACQUIRED LAP-TOP COMPUTER SURFING THE INTERNET; CHECKING ON THE NATIONAL NEWS ON THE CHRONICLE`S WEBSITE.

 

DíJAMALA

AND I KEPT IN CONTACT MAINLY BY PHONE AS I LIVED IN CRAWLEY SEVERAL MILES SOUTH OF LONDON. iT WAS D JAMAL THAT† I TURNED TO ASK OF NEWS FOLLOWING THE EARTH-QUAKE IN DOMINCA.

 

 

 

I HAPPENDED

TO BE LISTENING TO RADIO LONDON, WHEN THE NEWS BROKE THAT A AN EARTH-QUAKE HAD HIT THE ISLAND. SINCE MY BROTHER AND SISTER HAD NOT YET HEARD OF THE DISASTER, IT WAS D JAMALA WHO INFORMED THAT A NUMBER OF CHURCHES IN PORTSMOUTH, VIELLE CASE AND BUIDINGS AND IN THE NORTHEAST HAD BEEN AFECTED. HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT HEAVY RAINS HAD ALSO TRIGGERED LANDSLIDES.

 

HOWEVER,

THE LAST TIME THAT I SPOKE TO HIM ON THE PHONE WAS SOMEWHERE EARLY DECEMBER. HE COMPLAINED THAT HE WAS SUFFERING WITH THE FLUE AND THAT IT WAS MAKING BREATHING DIFFICULT. WE SPOKE FOR SOME TIME THOUGH. TALKING ABOUT HOME AND HOW HE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE DICTIONARY AND BOOKLET REPRODUCED ON AUDIO-TAPE AND COMPACT DISC.

 

DíJAMALA

WAS PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS WORK. HE WANTED GOOD FOR DOMINICA, AND WHEREVER HE WHENT FOR EVERY WAKING HOUR , DOMINCA WAS ALWAYS ON HIS MIND.

 

ON FEBRUARY

3RD, I MOVED TO SWEDEN TO TAKE A JOB OPPORTUNITY THERE, AND THIS WEEK, AFTER A LONG SPELL OF NOT CHECKING ME EMAÕLS, FELLOW POET AND ARTIST CARLA AMOUR THOMAS WHO LIVES IN SOUTH AFRICA WITH HER SON AND HUSBAND, BROKE THE NEWS TO ME.

 

INDEED

WE ALL KNOW THAT D JAMALA GAVE THE BEST OF HIS YOUTH TO SEREVE THIS COUNTRY IN THE ONLY WAY THAT HE HE KNEW BEST. HE WAAS ONE WITH A VISION. WHILE, SO-CALLED INTELLECTUALS SCOFFED AT HIS NOTIONA THAT KWEYAOL SHOULD BE DOMINICA SECOND, IF NOT FIRST LANGUAGE , HE KNEW THAT THE WORLD WAS CHANGING. HE WAS AHEAD OF HIS TIME. MOTIVATED BY HIS DESIRE TO TRANSFORM THE THINKING OF HIS COUNTRYMEN AND TO ENRICH THEIR LIVES, HE LED THE WAY WITH HIS EXTRAORDINARY ORGAINSATIONAL, LITERARY AND RESEARCH SKILLS.

 

AND NOW

POSTHUMOUSLY, HE MUST BE CONSIDERED FOR SOME APPROPRIATE RECOGNITION THAT ELIŕDED HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME.

 

 

 

OUR DEEPEST

SYMPATHIES AND SONDOLENCES GO OUT TO HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY,HIS BELOVED COMMUNITY OF HAGLEY, GRANDBAY, FELLOW RASTAFARIANS† AND COLLEAGES OF KEK.

 

I AM SURE

THAT D JAMALA WOULD LIKE UAS TO CONTINUE HIS† WORK, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICIALS OF THE DIVISION OF CULTURE; TO KEEP THE RESEARCH GROWING.

 

DíJAMALA

WE MISS YOU, BUT WE KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT THE END BUT JUST THE BEGINNING OF YOUR LABOUR OF LOVE Two Thumbs

 





Logged

author of Honourable Natty Dead
One Dominica-Odes For I beloved
Through the Far Eye
Haunted Heritage and Other Stories


http://www.freewebs.com/albertwilliams
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