Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Activist blasts UWI for sneaky mounting of new Garvey bust

Published:Wednesday | August 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
The new Garvey bust, which was mounted on Sunday night at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Both were sculpted by Raymond Watson.
The previous Marcus Garvey bust, which caused public outrage.

A new bust of National Hero Marcus Garvey meant to appease the public following outrage over one previously erected at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) is also being ridiculed. At the same time, the university is accused of being untrustworthy, as the sculpture was mounted unannounced on Sunday night at the Faculty of Humanities.

Raymond Watson sculpted both pieces.

Well-known dub poet and spokesperson for the 'We The People Movement', Yasus Afari, blasted UWI, claiming that the regional institution has once again failed "miserably" in its attempt to create an accurate representation of Garvey, a leader of black consciousness and civil liberty.

"UWI has set their own reset, invigilated themselves and failed," Afari declared, referring to officials of the university disclosing in July that they would be monitoring the development of the new bust until it was done to their satisfaction.

"The overnight installation shows that UWI is as untrustworthy as a thief operating in the dark of night," he told The Gleaner on Monday, claiming that a discussion on a radio programme prompted the institution to erect the new bust after failing to do so earlier.

However, the dean of the faculty, Waibinte Wariboko, who commissioned the bust, defended Sunday's mounting, saying that it was in accordance with his promise to have it erected before the new academic year, which commences next Monday.

"It is not acceptable and the university should be ashamed of themselves, as better is expected from an institution which professes itself as the leading tertiary institution in the region," Afari stated, fuming about the representation of Garvey.

UWI declined to give an official comment, and has also refused to state the cost of both sculptures.

The previously condemned bust is now in the university's museum.