Those who try to re-write Guyana’s History – by Francis Quamina Farrier

 Those who try to re-write Guyana’s History  – by Francis Quamina Farrier

Francis Quamina Farrier

Francis Quamina Farrier

In more recent months, the term “Fake News” has become very popular in the United States of America and other countries. I read somewhere, that “Fake News” is just another term for “LIES”, which are published by some reporters and journalists and their Media Houses. But fake news could also be those things which individuals wickedly say about others which are totally untrue.

Those of us who have read the Holy Bible, know of the fake news which was revealed in the Book of Genesis at Chapter 39, in which the wife of Potiphar announced the fake news that Joseph had sexually assaulted her. That caused Joseph to serve a period of time in prison, for a crime he did not commit. Most of us have been victims of fake news. More recently, here in Guyana, we know of a David who others stated had “blood on his hands”. Fake News closer to home.    

Now, let’s take a look at the Headline which was published on page 12 in the Kaieteur News of Sunday May 15, 2011; “Guyana to launch its first National Drama Festival”. That was Fake News, if ever there was one here in Guyana. Now to present the evidence. Let’s take a look at  another newspaper report; the Guiana Graphic of Sunday November 14, 1965. “Stars of the Festival”; That was Authentic News. It reported in detail the just concluded National Drama Festival in British Guiana of that year. To make it somewhat personal, I won the Best Actor Award in the Adult category at that National Drama Festival, so I can vouch and state without contradiction, that there were National Drama Festivals in British Guiana/Guyana, over half a century ago. I also won the second prize in the Director category that year. At that 1965 National Drama Festival in British Guiana, the St. Lucian poet and dramatist Derick Walcott was the Chief Adjudicator. He is still alive and can vouch that he was here in British Guiana at that time, and was the Chief Adjudicator.

So why do some people unabashedly present “Fake News?” No doubt, to unashamedly promote themselves among other things, as discoverers, in the same way that Christopher Columbus claimed to have ‘discovered the new world’; a world which was populated many centuries before. Fake News. I can recall the song composed by Guyanese poet and song-writer David Campbell, entitled “Columbus Lie.” There are those times when we have to state it clearly that someone has lied – has not told the truth – has published “Fake News”.

Since there were many patriotic Guyanese as well as non-Guyanese who worked tirelessly in organizing the Guyana National Drama Festivals of over half a century ago, I realized that it was very important for me to nail this “Fake News” about the Guyana National Drama Festival being first staged in 2011. So, I was very pleased that after four years, the Chief Judge of the present Guyana National Drama Festivals, Al Creighton, in addressing the audience at the opening of last year’s Finals of the Festival, openly admitted that there used to be National Drama Festivals in Guyana, over fifty years ago. The “Fake News” of 2011, as published in the Kaieteur News, and which was promoted by those with an agenda of self-promotion, was finally and officially corrected. Present in the National Cultural Centre to hear that revelation, was the Minister of Culture, Nicolette Henry.

While that Drama Festival “Fake News” in the Kaieteur News of May 12, 2011, has been officially corrected, we need to be vigilant to ensure that we are not easy victims of Fake News, even though, like the biblical story of Joseph, it is not always easy to nail fake news. There are so many other “Fake News” which need to be addressed, especially when they affect the learning of students of today. “Fake News” must be corrected wherever and whenever it is discovered.


Fake News from Sunday May 15, 2011


Genuine News from Sunday November 14, 1965


Genuine News from Sunday November 14, 1965


Farrier and Walcott standing before a “Theatre Guild of British Guiana” poster which states “National Drama Festival”. That was Genuine News back in 1965.

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  • David Fraser  On March 4, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Well, Francis, I have to ask you to send me our compatriot’s remarks.

    I first heard the Caribbean call out of the Columbus Lie in a Shadow calypso which I made sure to present to youngsters when appropriate. 

    We carry the Shadow CD. Listen to the lyrics: Shadow Columbus Lie

    | | | | | |


    | | | | Shadow Columbus Lie Mighty Shadow singing about Christopher Columbus telling lies | |



    BTW – The original sdon’t lie… I recall that man teaching me how to act in a play at GTI  –  you had nuff hair; me too – LOL

    Ronald | guyaneseonline posted: ” Those who try to re-write Guyana’s History  – by Francis Quamina FarrierIn more recent months, the term “Fake News” has become very popular in the United States of America and other countries. I read somewhere, that “Fake News” is just another te” | |

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On March 4, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you Francis Quamina Farrier for your contribution to drama in our then young nation. I enjoyed every show I attended at the Theatre Guild.

  • C A.Griffith  On March 4, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Uncle Francis: God bless you for exposing those fakers and rotten scoundrels. As you so aptly stated, one has to be vigilant and have the courage to challenge those revisionists and self promoters of all stripes. Thanks for an excellent rebuttal with the attached authentic documentation.

    BTW, your remarks in your last sentence of Paragraph 2 pertaining to “blood on his hands” fake news was first published on May 4,2011 by Leslie Ramsammy, a Government Minister whose name was called in in a New York Court as having received a telephone call from the infamous Roger Khan shortly after one Ronald Waddell was murdered.

    Peace & Love

  • Clifford  On March 4, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Great piece Francis. We dont have journalist today like we had yesteryear. They dont research, dont check and double check the authenticity of the article before supporting . To say they are gullible is putting it mildly. Reporters yes journalist no. Thank you Francis.


  • Clifford  On March 4, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Francis, I wondered how many of them were born before 1965.


    • Albert  On March 5, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Fake News” must be corrected wherever and whenever it is discovered.

      Sometimes “truth” could also be a dangerous thing. It is difficult for someone who has spent a lifetime of emotional investment with a certain belief to accept information which shows his beliefs are untrue. Reality often does not allow this luxury.
      Could the ardent religious person accept “untruth” about his religion.

  • demerwater  On March 5, 2017 at 4:48 am

    I have tended to lean more toward ‘Science’ than ‘Art’ in school, work and life. I remember that first “Literature” period at Saints – Fr. Scannell in control.
    Poetry – rhyme, rhythm & repetition – for sissies!
    Fr. Scannell invited us to walk down Lombard St. any evening and observe the little children moving and shaking in time to the latest popular music from the ubiquitous “juke box”.
    “Don’t tell me that you don’t have rhythm; you were born with it!”
    I did enjoy “After Midnight, before Dawn” – presented by the Head Office Staff of BSE Ltd. I have to confess that my motivation for attending was a feeling of loyalty and the camaraderie of the group I was with; but the experience turned out to be enriching.
    And yes, some past events are outside our memory and / or experience.
    It reminds me of the story of a little boy whose mother wanted to know what he “learned in school today”.
    He related the story of “that great general – Moses; leading his army, hotly pursued by the Egyptians”. He regaled his mother of tanks, Moses directing his Construction unit to build a bridge across the Red Sea; the Demolition squad laying down explosives; and at that crucial moment when all those Egyptians were on the bridge, Moses pushed down on the plunger and blew up the bridge with all the Egyptians on it.
    “Johnny”, his mother gently rebuked, “that’s not what teacher said, is it?”
    “Well, no mom!” he admitted contritely; “but if I told you what teacher told us, you would not believe one word!”

    • Ron Saywack  On March 9, 2017 at 6:04 am

      “Could the ardent religious person accept “untruth” about his religion(?)”, asks Albert.

      A significant question, Al! … highly unlikely would be my guess. But should he answer in the affirmative, it would be synonymous to witnessing an epiphanic moment followed by a thudding body blow on a hard surface; and that would not be a pretty sight.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On March 5, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Hello Francis: A friend, Keith Fernandes, directed me to your article. You may remember me (variously referred to as Vidynauth, Vidnauth, Vadenath..,etc). I can attest to your prolific drama career.
    I started with Georgetown Dramatic Society (Thomas Lands) and then was co-opted to Theatre Guild in the first ‘On the Brink’ (before Independence) show playing a satirical depiction of Dr. Cheddi Jagan and was in such shows as Ian Carew’s (written & directed) University of Hunger and Sheila King’s ‘For Bettin ForWorse’ (see pics) and my last two in 1968: played Laertes in Hamlet (with international cast) and Slade Hopkinson’s ‘Spawning of Eels’.
    I also travelled with you group to such places as Bartica, Demba, New Amsterdam, etc. I recognize Jerrick Rayside (far right of you in on of the photos). He and Mathew Allen played a couple of drunks that had the audience rolling with laughter, I can affirm your solid background in the theatre . Glad to see you are still very active. I have pics of my involvement. If I can upload I’ll post.
    So, Best wishes & Keep Well.

    Veda Nath Mohabir (proper spelling)

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On March 5, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Demba is now Linden. I used the name at the time.

    Veda Nath Mohabir

  • Dhanpaul Narine  On March 6, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I was first introduced to the works of Uncle Francis in his play ‘ The Tides of Susanburg’ featuring ‘Danny King’ and others. Over the years Uncle Francis has impressed me as a true son of the soil that prizes inclusion. He is a true gentleman and that smile is worth a million dollars!

  • Fitz Alert  On March 6, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Yes; all well sad and completely true. Francis and I worked on so many things in so many committees cultural, ethnic, political, including the Guyana Commemoration Commission. He is certainly among the humble, able and capable, honourable, nationalists of this great country, Guyana.Oh, that we could deliberately search and research to identify and properly honour our truly worthy, indefatigable patriots, of this time, of that place. I recall your apt and worthwhile contribution to the debate amongst Esther, Tom Dalgety and me. Your excellent piece literally closed the debate.Thanks, my friend, my brother.Regards to your family, please.
    Fitz Alert

  • Ron Saywack  On March 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Reality may sometimes be shockingly uncomfortable to bear:

    The greatest “Fake News” in all of recorded history is the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. The woman, created as an afterthought, was ‘instructed’ to be the matriarchal progenitor of all mankind. The biblical god then ‘wisely’ instructed the first couple to bear children, who will then be the parents of the next generation, incestuously, ad infinitum.

    When it comes to bull…., religion takes the cake. There are hundreds of millions of seemingly rational people all over the world who sincerely believe in the existence of these fictional characters and in an Earth that is a mere 6000 years old — and that may include some of you reading this.

    Methodical, calculated indoctrination over the centuries has convinced people (with blinders on) that a biblical man in the sky is continuously watching your every move and monitoring your every thought, and he also has ten selected things he doesn’t want you to do. But if you screwed up, he’s got a special place for you where you will burn and scream in anguish for all of eternity: but he ‘loves’ you!

    The evil slave masters heartlessly overworked the slaves, ill or not, for 18 to to 20 hours a day, especially so during the sugarcane harvest season in the West Indies. They showed absolutely no mercy in their unrivalled, reprehensible cruelty and criminality.

    The introduction of Christianity would serve to provide a source of solace, comfort and hope for the hapless, unfortunate slaves, who were told at Sunday mass that when their hard, miserable existence was finally over, a blissful, happy (fictional) place called heaven awaited them.

    Talk about Fake News, how about ‘Fake Hope’ extraordinaire?

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