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Dec 21, 2021

“Spirit of Kriol Kulcha” Myrna Manzanares Passes

Myrna Manzanares

We reported on Monday that Creole culture advocate Myrna Manzanares was critically ill in the K.H.M.H. Intensive Care Unit. Manzanares passed away shortly before two this morning, never waking up from a coma that she fell into since suffering a stroke last week Wednesday. Several organizations, including the National Kriol Council, the United Democratic Party, and the Belize Tourism Board, have joined the chorus in expressing condolences on her passing. Today, her close friend, Silvaana Udz, who lives in Taiwan, joined us via Zoom to discuss how they worked together to bring about the initial undertakings that would set the foundation for the Belize Kriol Project and the National Kriol Council.


Silvaana Udz

Silvaana Udz, Friend of Myrna Manzanares

“Thirty odd years ago, early 1990s, Myrna, Leela Vernon, Bredda David, Sir Colville – everybody – we all come together, the late Mr. Percy, the late Mr. Peters, see how much “late” done een deh – and now who cudda tell mi we wudda di talk bout Myrna like this, 2021? But anyway, Myrna mi neva hesitate. From the very beginning, Myrna mi offer Pride Belize – well, ih mi di work da Pride Belize and dehn had wa office. Pride neem deh round agen right, but deh had wa conference room. She mi get dehn permission fi mek wi meet deh because wi neva had no way fi meet. An da soh wi staat put togedda ting and get the language di goh an wat not.  Wen wi staat di Kriol project, I think you mi deh Marion da Radio Belize or what was the next Radio Belize and dehn had a thing named “Village Life.” Now we neva had no money, wi neva had nothing but yoh cyaa jus put dictionary and spelling system together fi ih be true true as deh seh in English, authentic. Yoh have to test it with people.  Soh weh we do, we get the idea fi ask the then Radio Belize or what Radio Belize had become, if we couldn’t bandwagon pahn fi dehn Village Life. Soh everytime dehn wudda have Village Life deh wudda have wa season of it. We goh to all the lee village dehn weh have the best ah the Kriol. And wi just di work the language but Myrna always work the culture wid it. Language da part ah culture but yoh cyaa deh wid Myrna unless drums di beat. Myrna so very, very instrumental. One ah the people deh long wid Emmett from Gales Point, Manatee weh mek people conscious bout the Kriol Sambai, the Gumbei drum, the cutter drum.  Ih mek some book about the Kriol riddles and and Kriol children games, and ih mi di work pahn wa ting bot the late Philip Goldson. Wen ah mi deh home last, wi mi sidong togedda da Bird’s Isle – me, she and Marilyn, the Interim president and ih had quite a bit of it done of the late Philip Goldson. Soh wi have to try see weh dat deh.”

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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