Friday, November 27, 2015

Why T&T Loves Japanese Soca Artist - Minmi

Her Performance Was Spellbinding

Is it because she's Japanese?

Exactly, it is a long journey from Japan to Trinidad and Tobago. Crossing the seas, crossing cultures and language barriers, it is indeed a long journey.

It is an honor, maybe not in the traditional Japanese sense but then again maybe, to be chosen by anyone in any foreign speaking country to take the journey to come to Trinidad and present themself in a was that everything resonates with the people.

The audience reaction to her soca musical presentation expressed that honor in the only way we know how, we get on bad, wine and misbehave. .

It is amazing that a foreign singer, and one that speak a language that only about 10 people in the entire population of T&T can speak could get such a reaction from a crowd of soca lovers. .

My conclusion is that people like anything that's different,  There are literally hundreds of soca artists in T&T, many have not commanded such excitement.  It validates that when you are different you stand out of the crowd.

Minmi, comes with a difference a big difference. She has captured the rythem of soca and expresses it in Japanese and English,

Listen to her rock the local Trinidad crowd, she will did not win a title but she deserve big ups for her performance here

Check the Japanese Soca video.

Who is Minmi?

According to an excerpt of an article posted on wikipedia..

Japanese singer in Soca Monarch.

By Joan Rampersad (Newsday).

Minmi, a 29-year-old Osaka-born Japanese hip-hop, reggae and soca singer, is among the 107 entrants for the Groovy Soca Monarch competition, and also one of the 110 artistes registered for the International Soca Monarch competition.

Locals will remember Minmi when she mesmerised the crowd while performing her 2006 soca hit “Summertime” at Machel Montano’s Alternative Concept 4 concert last year.

Patrons didn’t know what the exact lyrics were whether it was jump, wave, wine, in Japanese but the performance was one of high energy and when shouted to the crowd to “Put your hands in the air”, patrons went wild.

She started her career back in 1996 at clubs in Osaka performing both hip hop and reggae. She then released her first album in August 2003 and has since released four albums and eight singles. 

She has a big following in Japan as well as in Jamaica and here in Trinidad Tobago.

For 2007, she has recorded “Shanananana Japanese Wine” featuring Machel Montano, and on her own, “Step By Step”. The latter song is currently enjoying heavy rotation on local cable stations.

So what do you think?  

Did the fusion work for her?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gender Abuse is the Culture of the Caribbean Man

You Don't Have To Be Female To Hate Gender Abuse

Shame.  Ashamed is what I felt when I wrote that headline.  Ashamed that I belong to a culture that implicitly condones a primitive behavior which is always in the open especially when it ends in death. Yet nothing is being done about it.  

No self-respecting Caribbean man would hide the fact that in a fit of rage he can and will disrespect the rights of a woman. Not every woman but “his woman” “his wife”.  In a flash, an instant he can take away the rights of another human being. .

Abuse of Caribbean women is a topic that is not talked, written about or discussed in schools and churches.  It is not talked about because we have grown into it, it is accepted behavior.  The truth is that the abuse of Caribbean women did not start this month, last year or 10 years ago, it is a remnant of our ancestry, our inheritance from slavery. 

The rationale is simple enough to understand.  Slaves were owned, the system of slavery compelled them to accept all manners of physical and mental abuse while still performing their normal duties. 

Now, today, the Caribbean man’s mental construct, mirrors the slave masters to which he once belonged.  No, not him, his fore fathers, in some unknown way, the genes or conditioning was imprinted.  It becomes obvious when you realize that...

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The Caribbean man “owns” his woman, every hair and cell of her body. As her man, he has the right to instruct and discipline her if she should get out of line.  He makes the rules. He has the expectation that after the abuse things will settle and he will be back in her good graces.  If that’s not a slavery mentality then what is?

This mentality was embedded in our forefathers so deep and complete it is part of our cultural DNA. Social media just gives us glimpses of what is really prevalent in our society in 2015. The recent video is just one example, there are others. Even our children "enjoyed" watching the short clip. 

When I saw it, a few words came to my mind; disgusting, disgraceful, and shameful. It was infuriating to watch but we all wanted to see it, it was also on headline news on TV.  Real examples of who we can become.

But did you ever notice that, unlike child abusers, men who abuse women are not in any danger in our prisons.  Most prisoners are themselves are women beaters, it's macho; even if it ends in the death of the woman.   
We must all admit to this insidious characteristic that runs through the cultural veins of the Caribbean man.  There are numerous examples of public figures openly disrespecting women.  The statistics tell their own story. 

The hypothesis, that the problem has its origins in slavery, is not based on any large study but rather my personal experience, and empirical evidence.  Here are the results of one study that supports that hypothesis. 

The purpose is to tickle the sensitivity of the Caribbean man, to have him look inside himself and confront the beast that lurks within. 

This culture of abuse is not peculiar to the Caribbean, it exists wherever there was an institution of slavery.  The entire Caribbean was at one time was a collection of slave institutions supported by the super powers of the time, England, France and Spain. Today, it is not hard to identify what was left of these institutions not physically but mentally.  

One of my earliest childhood memories is as a child, 8 years old. I was backed up against a large white refrigerator, looking at my father physically abuse my mother. Slaps, kicks and closed fists
cuffs.  I remember clear as it was yesterday, my father pulling my mother’s hand against the door jab, she pulling back, screaming, crying, and fighting back as much as she could. I stood like a deer in a head light, helplessly transfixed.  No one, my sister, my brother, the neighbor never even tried to help or call for help.  Calling the police was out of the question; my father was a police officer.  That was the day that we became a single parent family. 

But it did not end there, as a young man, sixteen to seventeen I started hitting my girlfriend. It came as a natural reaction to getting angry for something so insignificant that it is now impossible to remember but I do remember the behavior.  I was abusive.

I also remember my younger brother telling me that I should stop doing that and respect my girlfriend, it was not normal.  I did not realize it at the time but just those few words from him, maybe because he was younger, impacted me.  Unfortunately, it was not enough to cure me, that growth took many more years.

I share that brief story with you as evidence that the Caribbean man has an inherent mental problem that needs to be addressed.  

My father, me, we are products of Trinidad, we are Caribbean men. My behavior was not taught at school, it happened at home. I learned it from him and maybe he learned it from his father.  Like I started out saying, I am ashamed of this aspect of my culture.  Fortunately, I recognized the problem, it took years of reprogramming.  

Living in a society where there are real laws to address gender abuse helped but it was also intentional.  I was fortunate enough to recognize the problem and deal with it.

This is a mental construct, a belief that we hold for some reason. It needs to be brought out in the open, confronted and dealt with.  Let us first recognize that even if we were repatriated with huge sums of cash, we must get rid of our inheritance, it is a cancer in our modern society.    

This is a call to all Caribbean men, young, middle aged and old who have harbored this belief, the inherent desire to “own” another human being.  Please be advised; it is not possible to own anyone.  We are all endowed with the God given Right to choose our lives.  
You cannot, and let me add, should have no desire to, be totally responsible for anyone.  You cannot control what they think, say or do. 

The only responsibility, and it is a big one, is the responsibility for yourself.  First responsibility with respect to a woman is to recognize her as a human being, in fact, this works for everyone else you know man or woman.

Live by the Golden Rule “Do onto others, as you will have them do unto you”

We are not all created perfect but we can all change, but first we must recognize what needs to change.  We must recognize and accept this as a problem in our society.  We must change this particular remnant of slavery and know that sharing a life with a woman is just that; sharing your life, not owning a life. If you question your humanity, take a look at this new video release entitled simply

The Caribbean man need to appreciate the overarching hierarchy of existence. We do when it comes to everything else. The hierarchy of existence is that we are all humans a species of animals, different races, male and female, all should exist equally.  The time has come for us to step mentally above the lowest level of existence when we relate to our women.  The prehistoric cave man, slavery mentality needs reprogramming; this is the technological age, we are going into 2016.

The Caribbean woman must continue to stand up for gender equality. There is a high chance that you are abused or will be abused in the future.  When that happens, you are on the front line, what you do will determine how you live your life.  Do not forgive physical and mental abuse.  Be always aware, the mental abuse usually comes long before the physical abuse begins.  Look out for the warning signs and make conscious decisions. 

The conversation about domestic violence has started.  What we need are laws that enforce what we want to see as the ideal.  Laws that can prevent physical harm that results from domestic abuse.  When you know that you will go to jail if you hit your woman, regardless of who was right or wrong, that is a deterrent that works. 

Not all women can do like my my mother, pack up take the three children and leave.  That takes a special kind of determination, will power.  Not all women have what it takes to do that.  That is why in every Caribbean country domestic abuse laws should be passed to protect women.

It is hard, no doubt about that, but it is not as hard as living a life of abuse.  Do something fast, do not submit to abuse.  Understand it is a mentality not a passing phase, you cannot repair it. As soon as you recognize the symptoms take action.  Talk about it, bring it out in the open and have them recognize the illness.

Leave a comment, if you agree or disagree with anything that was said. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

3 Hottest Trending News Reports in Trinidad and Tobago

News From the Inside

Football Match Trinidad and Tobago Vs US

The TT Warriors Faced Off In a World Cup Qualifier

The results was TT – 0 US -0 the match was a draw giving TT one point towards qualifying for the World Cup.  

The real news here is not the match but the way the TT citizens behaved to see the match.  

When there is a chance Trinbagoians will take advantage of it.  The Trinidad Express headline article today say it all.  It all happened because of “Slack Security”.  Hundreds Storm Stadium

UNC Internal General Elections

It is time for the UNC to elect a political leader.  Everyone agrees that the party needs to rebuild itself after the predictable lost at the polls.  The second in command in the party, the former leader of the Government in Parliament, Dr. Roodal Moonilal, is contesting the seat.  The most recent contender,
Mr. Vasant Barath has also thrown his hat in the ring. 

Word on the street is that all three Mrs. Bissassar, Mr. Moonilal and Mr. Barath are not desirable candidates.  They were all part of the last government and are privy to, if not directly involved in the going on there.  Most people believe for the UNC to stand a fighting chance in the next election they need to change the leadership.  Silently, people are wishing that someone like Makayla Panday should take the helm bring in new blood and a totally new perspective to the party. 

The former PM Basdeo Panday has declared that the internal elections will be rigged, just like the one where he was ousted.  He said that Makayla is her own boss and could decide on entering but he would advise against it.  His proof of the potential election rigging is that the UNC have never published its voter list. 

Now the incumbent leader, Mrs. Bissassar just declared that a list will be provided to each of the slates in the elections.  A bit late but it does nullify Mr. Panday’s evidence. 

Justice Will Be Served

Another young life has become a victim to crime.  

Ok before you start stereotyping Trinidad and Tobago as crime infested islands, think again.  We do get our fair share of crime but there are many safe spots and areas in Trinidad and Tobago where crime is an anomaly.  There are places where you can go to work leaving your doors open or where doors are never locked.  Of course, I can’t tell you where that happens for obvious reasons.  

Here is what is being reported about this particular crime. Little Keyra was sleeping on a bed with her family when shots rang out.  Gunmen started shooting at the house and a bullet struck her in the abdomen. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Use Thia Automated Customer Loyalty Program To Improve Customer Service

Connecting Customer Service To Customer Loyalty

What do customers want? 
That should be an easy question for anyone to answer.  Imagine yourself as a customer for a moment. First you want to be respected as having the ability to purchase.  All respect is lost when people know you can’t purchase. You also have the need for attention, it comes with the respect when you enter a retail store or service establishment.  You want to be recognized, acknowledged and served.

Am I right so far, even if you did not intend to buy?
Respect, recognition and appreciation is only the beginning.  You want to save, or not appear to spend foolishly.  You want to see value before you purchase.  You prefer to buy when items or services are on sale or there are big discounts. If you are not shy, you will ask the the seller for an additional discount, you prefer to pay less than everyone else, you want the “best” deal.
OK so now we understand the customer a little better; how do most small retailers think.

What do you want or must have to stay in business? 
More sales, more people coming in the door, it does not matter their attitude just that they buy the merchandise, pay for the service. You are not interested in weekend sales and big discounts, you want a fair and full price.  You expend tremendous effort in getting new customers to buy from you.  You see the new customer as a source of instant income.  For a fleeting moment he/she is the most important person in your life.  When they buy, you love them usually the relationship ends there, you’re are done with them,; you look for another customer.  Is that incorrect?

What is the Life Time Value of a Customer?
Few small business owners consider the life time value of a customer. You can learn more about Life Time Value and get a calculated estimate of your customer’s lifetime value here.  If you think that the current transaction is the most important relationship, you are missing the point.  Customers, you, hate to be taken for granted.

Counterintuitive thinking business owners understand the process differently.  They recognize that when a customer purchases a product or service it is not a onetime transaction.  Every new customer comes with their own built in life cycle.  The life of this cycle is determined by the customer themselves, the particular product, the first transaction, experience, and customer satisfaction.  All these factors determine whether a customer will return.

For example...

You go to a barber or hair dresser, they are friendly, personable, acknowledged you, and showed you respect.  You like the haircut or hair do, your better half likes it too; and even coworkers praise the cut.  Think you will go back to this barber or hair dresser? How many times?  For how long?

Whatever you answer is your projected life cycle with that barber or hair dresser.  They mess with any of the factors that make you happy and you will find another one.
Understanding the customer and retailers perspectives are the dots we want to connect.  How do we manage all the factors that go into keeping a customer for as long as possible.  What tools, techniques or strategies are there to do this?

Customer Loyalty Card Programs
This is the only proven way to improve the chance that a customer will return.  Even a time consuming manual paper driven customer loyalty program will work, coupons and membership programs have been in use for over 70 years.  The idea behind the program is to keep real live customers who have purchased to return and purchase again and again.
This is too important to leave to chance or happenstance.  A loyalty card program brings structure to how you manage customers, yes it is a loyalty card program but it's the unseen benefits that makes it so powerful.

Would you like your customers to instantly get a sense of security and belonging?  A customer loyalty membership card program will do this.  It will also give you the ability to track what each customer buys, how much they buy, and how frequently.  And, you can contact them by email or cell phone text or calls.
Install a loyalty card program and here’s what happens;
  • You are going to almost instantly boost sales,
  • You know more about your customer behaviors, and
  • You will know what is selling best and to whom
There are good reasons why large chain stores invest significant resources to install and maintain a loyalty card program.   Before the advance of technology, small business owners could not benefit from these programs because high investment required.

Companies with loyalty card programs, have sales where the customers receive an extra 10 or 15 percentage off of their sales total, just for being a loyal customer.  Others offer the frequent buyer program. You can give one item free when the customer buys so many of the same product. If you are a smaller company, you can always send thank you notes to your customers for being such wonderful guests.

How can knowing this help?
Ok, now that you know why you need a customer loyalty program, what next?
First consider if such a program will benefit your business.  It works for most retailers and businesses offering personal and even services.  You are the only one that can decide if it will work for you. Do your home work, your research, find out what’s out there.  Loyalty card programs are not new, they have proven themselves to build businesses in a multitude of industries.

If you think that the time is not right, check it out anyway, you may understand it better later.  It is a simple way to make sure your business survive because with each customer life cycle you add to your business, the longer it will survive.  Makes sense?

My Recommendation
The reason for this article on loyalty card programs is that I want to place my personal recommendation, ( I’m biased because it is one that I promote as an Area Sales Manager).  The fact is that because of my background experience, knowledge about business planning and using business building tools and the experience of seeing it work, 

I personally and professionally recommend this for retail and service businesses in any part of the world. This provides tremendous value to small local business owners.  Right now it has been established in over 162 countries.  I am based in Trinidad and Tobago but any business owner, anywhere in the world who can see the value of a loyalty card program should not hesitate to use this business building tool.

This business building is simply about building a quality relationship with your customers.
The particular program I recommend is BY INVITATION ONLY.  I have prepared an introductory video that explains the reason for INVITATION ONLY requirement.

Take a look at the initial video, its less than two minutes.

Then you decide if it will work for your business  GO HERE TO SEE

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