10 Things I want a Rich Trini to Do
“If I was a rich girl nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nahhhhhhh… See I’d have all the money in the world if I was a wealthy girl”.
As Michie One and Louchie Lou (bet you didn’t know they sang this) slammed in my car stereo, while sitting in ridiculous west-bound traffic, I started to wonder… what thoughts were going through their mind when this classic song was written? And what would they really have done if they were rich? Better yet, what would I do if I were rich? I definitely wouldn’t be in this traffic.
So I decided to follow Louchie Lou’s lead, and dream and write about 10 things I want a rich Trini to do. The rich Trini, of course, being me. Why should others be better off in my dream? It’s my dream after all. Here goes…
1. Make the Soca Warriors football warriors
Anyone else felt disgusted that Trinidad and Tobago football team couldn’t beat Bermuda – an island known for golf, not football, and conceding the most runs in the Cricket World Cup? For a country where you can find a football sweat on every patch of grass, on any given day, our football… and sports in general… is abysmal, at this time.
T&T needs serious investment into football and its league to cultivate real footballers and coaches who can compete on an international level, and I would be that serious investor. Investing in young people, and developing their mentality and skill would eventually make the Soca Warriors a respectable team again.
2. The new Laqtel – without the failure
I have a dream that my mobile network will have few or no dropped calls… a dream that I can lime in a concert and still receive calls… a dream that I can quickly check links on my Twitter account, without wasting ten minutes to see the first icon on the website… a dream of lower rates and better service.
Kern’s Mobile Network (Kmtel) will bring three and four-G speeds to Trinis’ Blackberry handsets, lower rates, and better service. Finally, we will be able to use iPhones and Samsung Galaxies to do more than just show off on our friends and co-workers.
3. KTSC – Kern’s Transport Service Corporation
The transport system in sweet T&T is especially sour. Buses are not on schedule or break down. Maxi taxis stop at the sight of any human shadow on the road. Drivers steal change. It’s time for someone to take it over, and make it run properly, similar to the American transport system, but much cleaner and comfortable.
Imagine I could still wash my bus ticket in my pant’s pocket by accident, and it is destroyed. Why the hell we still printing thing on paper in this day and age? What about reusable plastic? What about training locals to maintain, fix and drive buses? How about a taxi service that picks you up from your home, and gets you to your destination in style – with AC. The better and more affordable the transport system, the less need for a car, which means less traffic.
4. Liat – Kern own that
Ok I love Caribbean Airlines, and when Redjet came I was like, “Sweet, more competition, so CAL will improve even more”. Snap back to reality… that wasn’t done. In fact, Redjet is not even a real factor in the local airline market, because, as far as I’ve seen, they haven’t created a significant shift in the market, or heavily decreased CAL’s frequent fliers’ loyalty. So in comes Kiat (Kern+Liat). Time to take over improving their service, improving the facilities by adding better in-flight meals, larger seats, more foot room, and better movies and radio stations (Please let this happen sooner). A first-class feel for everyone.
With these improvements, Kiat will be a real competitor to CAL, within the Caribbean. For the consumer this also means cheaper flights, and more free stuff. Maybe a flight attendant will give you a foot massage. You will never know until I’m rich, unfortunately.
5. Development of Infrastructure outside of Port of Spain
I hate Port of Spain with a passion. Why? Because, as an east guy, to reach and depart ‘town’ on any given weekday causes pain. Pain via traffic and the many cuss words hurled at the Government, other drivers, and even the radio station announcers (stop talking and play some more wine-down Soca).
I am not alone in this situation, and I am sure a lot of other commuters feel the same way. So in comes Kerncott with affordable corporate buildings for Government and its agencies to invest in for the sake of the citizens, who would really appreciate decentralisation and not having to work in ‘town’. Unlike some other agencies, Kerncott’s buildings will be up to standard, and will stay within budget. No one will be banging on my gate for this one.
6. Cheaper housing – No projects
Ok, the raffle system in HDC clearly doesn’t work. In fact, if you get called for a house, it’s best you play lotto one time, because it’s your lucky day if you get called, and this sort of luck may never happen again. Kern’s Housing Development Company (KHDC) will build affordable houses for anyone willing to pay for one (yeah you still need to pay). And each wall, roof, window, door, and foundation will be well worth your hard-earned money.
7. Push real cyber laws
I still can’t get access to HULU (TV I can watch online at anytime). Why is this video not available in my area? Wait nah… I still have to put a foreign address on my credit card to purchase stuff online? Really?
Aaargh! We need to implement real cyber laws, as quickly as possible to gain access to some great resources online. So using my newfound wealth, it’s time to gently persuade (bribe) the powers that be to implement such legislation. Don’t worry, rich people don’t get charged for alleged bribes (unless you are Jack Warner).
8. Push to change the primary and secondary school system
Eric Williams once famously said that the future of T&T is in the school bags of schoolchildren. I agree with him totally, except that now we must cater for children who are not book beaters, but are talented in other areas such as building things, fixing things, creating things… and sports.
Life isn’t only about academics. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are special in their own way, but they are not known for having degrees. They’re known for their incredible vision and shaping the future of computers and social interactions. Imagine if they were forced to stay in school to study and earn that degree. How lame our present times would be.
So I’d introduce a bit of diversification in the education system that would place equal emphasis on developing young people’s creative, non-academic side, so that they can realise their passions earlier in life, instead of suffering through an educational system that is forced on them right into adulthood.
9. Invest in health care – From education to facilities
San Fernando General, I’m looking at you when I say, “Our health care needs an injection of fresh ideas and money”. Even the rich get sick, so instead of me picking and choosing where to be cured of pain, I should be able to go to any hospital and feel comfortable because I pumped millions into getting new beds, equipment, added infrastructure and training of top-notch nurses and doctors.
Let’s not forget that clinics are part of the health care system too; so let’s give them a proper sprucing up to so that it looks like a place where someone would want to go to get a check up. These broken-down witch houses are not cool at all. My motto for the new health care system under my reign is, “Let us have that Canada feel right here in Trinidad and Tobago”.
10. Affordable vehicle maintenance and repair
Good mechanics are hard to find, worse yet good car parts. It’s time we invested in an institution that trains young, enthusiastic individuals in building, repairing and maintaining vehicles of any brand. Something like the Motor Institute of America, where one can provide quality education to future mechanics, so that people can have their classic ‘96 Civic hatchback maintained, and in pristine condition.
This will empower people to hold on to the older cars, and not run to the dealership to add to the already high numbers of vehicles already on the road. A lil pimp my ride Trinidad, or dare I say Kpep Boys (Kern+Pep boys). The after market for vehicles is huge all over the world. It’s time we brought it home. The less scrap metal, the better. And yes, UTT has an automotive component in its National Engineering Technician diploma programme, but I want something a bit more comprehensive.
By now, I know readers might be saying, “Why he only looking to make money; why he doh donate some”. Well I don’t see the need to. I am already investing millions in teaching future young men and women how to fish. I’m not interested in feeding them for a day. Yes it sounds selfish, but does the intention really matter or does the result? The list mentioned above may never happen within Trinidad and Tobago due to the amount of time and money that has to be spent to see any kind of payback to the investors. However, these are the little things that can be done to propel us from the innovation flat line that our local industries are currently suffering from.
Image credit: universestores.com