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Apr 9, 2015

Musa Says Money Should Be Used on People, Not Buildings

According to Musa, any search for identity or preservation of identity will not come from renovations to structures or a museum embracing colonial days. Instead, he says the fifteen million could be much better spend on our people, equipping them with the tools to move forward, and not backward.


Yasser Musa, Former President, NICH

“We should have a culture fund that you put the millions of dollars into and have artists come forward and you give grants to the artists and musicians. This thing is a disrespect to the musicians and artists of this country. It is a slap in the face to their integrity and to what they represent and what they do for us. When we see our artists go out there to the world stage, how does that make us feel? The same way our football players make us feel; a building will not make us feel like that. Infrastructure is not the only way for cultural development. Even if we agree with that idea for a split second, why not spend some of the money out of the fifteen million on Liberty Hall for example. Isn’t that a more powerful example of our resistance heritage where Marcus Garvey stood up against racism? Where Samuel Haynes stood up against racism when they went to war in World War One? Where people fought and eventually we emerged into a nationalist idea eventually on to the political stage and the road to independence? That is what people fought for; that is our ancestral history. Look at for example the teaching of African and Maya history; this government has not said one sentence in support of it. Why? Because they don’t believe in it; this thing is a symbol as to why they have never said anything about it, because that is a revolutionary idea. It is not my idea; that African and Maya history thing. That idea came from an intellectual, a thinker, a man, Evan X Hyde. He fought for that idea for forty years. So when you say it is here and now, I am prepared to fight for what I am saying now for forty years, if I can stay alive that long because it is important, it is the DNA of who we are as a society and as a country that is still becoming. And in order to still become, we have to invest in the people, in the artists and in the musicians to take that investment and provide the beauty. The same beautification you are talking about; it is not an infrastructural beauty we should be aspiring to, you know. It is an abstract beauty; that one that makes us feel that we want to wake up every day and go to work and work hard and fight for what we believe in. That is the beauty. To have a building there that is not just an ordinary building; it’s a frigging building that is trying to tell us something about the past that is a lie. That is what is so painful about it. It is a lie. Our people resisted and our people did not stop. Whether it is during slavery, they ran away; they resisted. It is not like they say, how people try to paint it…oh well it going along with slavery. That is stupidity. Our children need to know that. Our children need to know that the world didn’t start in 1492. It started from Africa and it started with the Maya civilization and these civilizations are the source of our ancestry.”


As we showed you on Wednesday, the project includes the transformation of the House of Culture into a National Colonial Museum, as well as the construction of a Boardwalk and works on the Commercial Centre.

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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2 Responses for “Musa Says Money Should Be Used on People, Not Buildings”

  1. CEO says:

    This is the prevailing mentality why Belizean history is basically none existent. There is no real preservation of anything Belizean.

  2. Shantel says:

    Liberty Hall, a historic building that need some kind of renovation..Well said Yasser. REAL TALK!!

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