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Dec 21, 2021

Manzanares: a Listener, Creator, and Singer

Silvaana Udz

Among her accomplishments, Myrna Manzanares was instrumental in helping to create the Kriol dictionary and Kriol translation of the Bible. But, there were other things about the late Manzanares that some people may not know. Silvaana shared some of those aspects of her late friend, referring to her as “The Spirit of Kriol.”


Silvaana Udz, Friend of Myrna Manzanares

“Myrna da mi also wa trained school counsellor. And nuff students thankful to Myrna because Myrna could listen. Listening daw a skill. She listen to dehn. She help deh tru all kinda ting, help all kinda people. Any school want hear bout Sambai, knock drum (singing) and wat not, look ya man, Myrna – dehn nuh got no money – wa lee lee school, no money. I seh Myrna at least mek deh pay yoh passage self fi the bus noh, if somebody cyaa ker yoh. Nuh man, ih seh deh school cyaa afford it. You know weh Myrna do? Myrna dig oh beg ride pahn road because bus might nuh di come or sonting and the pikni deh di wait. Ah mean, Myrna jus give, ih jus give, give, give, give, Marion! Da lady neva stop give. Ih last penny ih give yoh. The last piece ah bread if ih have ih give yoh. But ih give yoh ih time. And ih give yoh weh eena ih mind.  Myrna had a way that nuh kay how tiad ih tiad, you just ask ah one ting wid the word Kriol or drum or link to Africa or roots and everything stop because she want you get the sense.  Ah waa know who seh Kriol nuh got no kulcha – right round Myrna table Leela mi di share wid wi dehn lyrics. Dat da Leela song right. And right round d table ih seh weh unu tink bout dis line, and dat line. And ih seh yoh know wat, wi di staat up the language ting, mek wi put in wa verse bout the language. Soh wa verse gone right een “Ah waa know who seh kriol nuh got no language.” Da right round Myrna dining room table dende ting create. Wi had wa ethno-musician da Belize di talk bot put ting eena yoh own language, the language ah yoh heart. And Matthew Chapter whatever, sorry, Matthew eleven, when, eena English da “Come to me all ye who are weary and I will give you rest.” Well that translate (singing) Myrna used to sing it but I cyaa sing. Wen yoh tiad ah kerry yoh heavy load kohn ya kohn rest. Soh I guess Father God know why ih call Myrna. Yoh couldn’t ask fi wa lady weh more selfless.”

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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