Michael Abrahams | Remembering Ian Boyne
There are few statements that I can make and confidently say that they are irrefutable. One is that I am going to die. The inevitability of my own death is a fact that I accept and have made peace with. The thought of my own demise no longer worries me. On the other hand, the death of those close to me, or who I am fond of, rattles me.
Ian Boyne's death exemplifies the latter. I am still feeling numb. Of course, I knew that he would not live forever, but the man had become such a fixture on television and in the newspaper, that it is difficult to imagine him absent from our media landscape.
I was fortunate enough to have been interviewed by Ian on both his television programmes, 'Profile' and 'Religious Hardtalk', and enjoyed a great relationship with him. He appreciated my sense of humour and comedic work, and although our views on religion differed, he was always respectful of my opinions and understood that my questions on the topic were genuine.
When Ian celebrated the 30th anniversary of 'Profile' this year, a remarkable achievement, he asked me to write a poem about him and the programme and to share it at the event staged at King's House to commemorate the milestone. Ian absolutely loved it, and while I grieve, I also wish to remember him the way he was whenever we spoke, on or off the air: smiling or laughing his head off. So, today I would like to share the poem with you, a piece titled The Profile of a Profiling Profiler:
30 years of Profile,
Quite a while.
But still in style,
Jus cyaa spoil.
Jamaica's longest running non-seasonal television show,
And with the same host every year to blow wow.
From back in black and white TV days,
Before him head top start tun grey.
Initially broadcast at 3 pon JBC,
Just before the Sunday matinee.
Back then the situation,
Was that it was our only station.
So we never really have no choice,
But today in 2017.
We have bout eleventeen (plus cable),
And it still a gwaannoice.
So for 30 years wi beloved nation,
A tekeen Ian Boyne interrogation.
Yeah man crowd a people, Missa Boyne a di real real boss,
He says he's "probing and controversial"... but me jus think seh him faas.
Jus watch the programme and yu will see,
How inna people business Missa B a pree.
Jus when yu think him nah badda go there,
Him dive straight eena him guest them personal affairs.
And yow, him is a man wehjus love di suss,
Always a mek some sound like a likkle please puss.
Yes ... yes ... ye s... hmmm ...
Ohhh ... ahhh ... mmm ... hmmm ...
Carefully dissecting dem personal lives,
With questions as incisive as a surgeon's knife.
Yeah man, that is how he gets his kicks,
By finding out what makes people tick.
With guests from diverse cultures, and of different nationalities,
Sharing various perspectives, with a spectrum of personalities.
Some a dem seem normal, and some a dem kinda odd,
Some a dem a big big Christian, and some a dem nuh believe inna God.
But there is one thing in common with every one of his guests,
They all are fluent in the language of success.
Females and males who regale with tales of being assailed and told that they would fail,
But against the tide they sail with determination of a Herculean scale and prevail.
Stories of rags to riches and overcoming adversity,
Like being homeless, but persevering, and now lecturing at a university.
Or succeeding after walking away from a life of criminal activity,
Or influencing others to embrace a decent and upright livity.
It's not just about popularity or fame,
For Boyne, excellence is the name of the game.
Though one time him did drop the ball,
And him standard did fall.
To a level that did kinda low,
When him brain did stall.
And him mek a phone call,
To ask me to be pon him show.
Why Ian, why?
Why yu gimme dat bly?
Yu reputation get sully,
When yu go down inna di gully.
What a stress?
But I digress.
The world is such a tough place to live in,
People have become so cruel and unforgiving.
Corruption, violence, injustice, crime,
A pure a dem tings yu see pon prime time.
The news is full of distressing information,
But with Profile you are guaranteed thirty minutes of inspiration.
Stories that will make you believe in humanity,
Give you hope and maintain your sanity.
So tune in every Sunday evening after dinner,
To TVJ at 6:30 and be inspired by some winners.
You will be informed and entertained,
And your interest most definitely sustained.
As di one Ian Boyne, that nosy, inquisitive man,
Puts another Profile guest on the witness stand.
And before I die, there is one thing I want to do,
Missa Ian Boyne, me waan fi interview you.
Rest in peace, my brother.