Calabash carver

Early on a Monday morning, seated on the pavement in front of Guyana Stores Limited, Daniel Ramiah is already at work patiently sculpting images on calabashes.

Ramiah, 45, has embraced his passion for creative art for over 12 years now and spends almost nine hours each day working on calabashes. His fingers take control and he works fast on the hard surface of the shell.

Ramiah said he uses the calabashes to make different things such as lamp shades, eating utensils, ornaments, necklaces and pocket books, among other things.“I does got to buy the calabashes then I does got to scoop out the stuff that does be in de middle,” he says. “When meh done do that I use me mind and put meh fingers to de challenge.”

Daniel Ramiah

The shell carver said that he had always loved drawing since he was a teen: “I jus enjoy what meh do, meh believe that meh born with this in me bone and me gon always be doing this even though sometimes de business does be slow.” He also said that it would take him about five minutes to do a drawing of someone’s face, but to do other forms would take longer. “The pictures of designs just come to meh; as me doing the designs me mind does gave me ideas and that is what me does follow. Most a de time I do not know what to begin with but once I start the finish product does always be excellent.”

The artist said that this is not the only job that he does and after a long day in the sun, it is time for the night shift. “After meh don wuk here in de day, I got to go to work in de night to do de guard wuk. Sometimes I does feel really sleepy and do not wan fu go to wuk, but meh got responsibilities and as a man I jus have to do what meh got to do,” he says. Ramiah lives with his wife but does not have any children.

He explained that business can be very profitable at times but on other days it is very slow. “Sometimes not even a calabash does be sold.

But if me should look at that me family would not survive. Most a de times I does got to sell it out very cheap and at the end of de day I do not get to gain no profit, but me prefer it that way cause me na like to beg people to buy me things,” he said.

Ramiah added that he feels encouraged when he finishes carving his designs on the calabashes. “It gives meh a good feeling to look at the wuk me hands put out. It gives me great joy cause sometimes I ask meself if it is really me that doing these awesome sculptures,” he said.

When asked what it means to him being self employed he responded, “To me it means standing up fuh yourself because nobody na gonna stand up fuh you.

If you want progress in life you have to put aside what people may say and your feelings and go after that what you want. Me want pregress in life and if it means selling in de rain or sun I gon do it until I become better in life.”

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Peru’s president-elect demands freedoms in Venezuela

Peru’s pro-business President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won his country’s elections by a hair with the last-minute help of a leftist party, but — judging from what he told me in an interview — he won’t budge on his criticism of Venezuela and other repressive regimes.

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Public financial management: 1966 – present (Final)

This is the fifth and final in a series of articles on the above aimed at highlighting the extent of our achievements in the post-Independence period.

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 

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Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

Erratic Last week’s column highlighted what I consider to be a most distinctive feature of the extractive forest sub-sector’s performance in Guyana’s economy, during the past decade.

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The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.

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What would life be without sport?

I wonder what it would be like to exclude sport completely from one’s life for, say, one year? No playing sport, no watching it, no reading it no discussing it no thinking about it even.

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Brexit: Lessons for Caricom

The results of the referendum held in Britain to determine whether or not it should remain in or leave the European Union (EU), has been won by voters who supported the leave option.

Director of Sport Christopher Jones and President of the Guyana Chess Federation Irshad Mohammed (centre) stand with some members of the 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team. The team travels to Baku, Azerbaijan, for participation at the Olympiad in September. A signature qualifying tournament was not held to determine the members of Guyana’s Olympiad chess team.

Federation picks chess Olympiad team without holding qualifier

The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) has decided upon a 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team without hosting a qualification competition to determine the competence of its participants.

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