The many hats of Hum­roy Whyte

Jamaica Gleaner - - TWIST - Michael Reck­ord Gleaner Writer

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.

PHO­TOS BY MICHAEL RECK­ORD

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