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Aug 21, 2018

Is Sapna Budhrani qualified to be President of NICH?

Is Sapna Budhrani qualified to be the President of NICH? That’s what most people were asking when she was swiftly elevated to president of the National Institute of Culture and History, while retaining the rank of administrator. Back in June, Minister of Culture, Patrick Faber, defended the appointment, but ever since her presidency was announced there has been harsh criticism from different sectors. The points raised included Budhrani’s seemingly lack of creative background and connection with the Belizean creative industry. Furthermore, according to sources inside NICH, Budhrani never interviewed for the job and it appeared to most that she was given the job without an assessment of her capabilities. Budhrani’s background is in finance, so her appointment was viewed as a political favour.   Today, we asked Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow if he has heard the public’s criticisms. He had a mouthful to say.

Shyne Barrow, Music Ambassador

Shyne Barrow

“I share that. Certainly, I have to prove myself but I sold millions of records. I have been in the music industry for twenty years and to this day I have a deal with Universal Music Group to do a film about my life. So, even with my credential, my Grammy awards, the multiple plaques that I have in music, I have had to prove myself and I look forward to the challenge. But I don’t get that sentiment from the new President of NICH. It seems that she was just installed. There wasn’t even an interview done when she was made administrator when the previous administrator went through an interview process as is normal. So, I share those concerns. I share those concerns and it is up to her to prove, to disprove that, to dispel that, and I don’t know what it is that she is doing. I express concerns and I get no response from the Minister of Culture, and I get no response from the President herself. So, I do think those concerns are not far-fetched. There is not even a budget for NICH and we are in August. There is no budget – no budget approved and there is no work plan approved. So, these are all things that should give us great concern. Whereas, when you take on the Presidency, you should have a vision, a mandate and be ready to lead. Right now, it is just like they put someone there to put someone there and I am very concerned about that. Because the results are adversely affecting all that we have worked so hard to build.”

 

 

Andrea Polanco

“Mr. Barrow, how did this happen? Is this someone who was handpicked by a certain individual, perhaps, in this case, the Minister?”

 

Shyne Barrow

“I would presume so. No one knows where Sapna Budhrani comes from. No one.  No one knows her in the creative sector or the culture sector. So, again, we understand that as the one in authority you have discretion but I certainly think there needs to be collective consensus and certainly when everyone, and when I say everyone feels the way that I feel, I am talking everyone.  Even CEO’s and directors feel the way that I feel. So, it is not a Shyne thing where I di pick pahn poor Sapna. So, everyone expresses the concerns that I have and I think this is a judgment call and definitely something that will be taken into consideration when you look at the kinds of judgment that are being made.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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