The many hats of Humroy Whyte
From left: Humroy Whyte, Jamaica’s Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris, and president of the Poetry Society of Jamaica, Tommy Ricketts, at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts during the society’s October 2016 fellowship.
YEARS AGO, cultural icon Louise Bennett-Coverley gave Humroy Whyte advice about teaching which he has never forgotten. She said, “Find out what they like, Humroy, and teach them from it.”
“And that’s what I do,” Whyte told me recently on one of his visits back home to Jamaica. We were in a classroom of the School of Drama, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. As a student, Whyte spent five fulfilling years of his life there.
As Whyte tells it, Miss Lou was one of many people who advised – or requested – he do things he had not planned to. Fortunately, the advice served him well.
When I saw him at last month’s Poetry Society of Jamaica fellowship in the School of Drama’s amphitheatre, he was introduced by the MC, M’bala, as a poet and a musician. And he performed excellently as such, playing the guitar while he chanted poems and sang songs.
A few days later at the School of Drama, I learnt that Whyte recently finished a musical, Anancy and the Worldwide, which he hopes to stage; that in England (where he now lives) he produced a booklet and a CD of poems; and he is in that country a respected (and awarded) educator, performer and minister of religion.
That’s not bad for someone who grew up in a home in Spring Village, St Catherine, with only The Holy Bible and Today and every Friday, NK Deli and Salsa Society of Jamaica present Pre-Game Fridays, 2-4-1 Happy Hour, at New Kingston Conference Centre (upstairs New Kingston Business Centre). Free salsa classes at 6 p.m. Latin dancing continues until 10 p.m. Music by DJ Drizzy Dre & DJ Chan. Tel: 7548714.
This and every Friday, Jackpot Sports Bar presents Come Drink With Me at 42 Giltress Street, Rollington Town, Kgn 2. Every Fri and Sat, reduced prices on all drinks, lots of giveaways and free tokens to play slots.
Magnum Belleh Saturdays, the ultimate dancing party, is at 28 Derrymore Rd. Adm: free. Bistro 19 & Lounge presents Karaoke Wednesday at Palms Plaza, 9 Red Hills Rd. Featuring two for one rum punch specials and complimentary soup.