2017 has been quite an eventful year both in Guyana and around the world. Will 2018 be better or worse? With this thought in mind, the Sunday Stabroek asked eight public figures for their predictions for the New Year. Here’s what they had to say:
Jairo Rodrigues, project coordinator: “Following the trend of 2017 with the Ministry of the Multiple Ministries (officially called the Ministry of the Presidency) and then the greening of State House, I suppose in 2018 we can look forward to more green public buildings. St Patrick’s Day may be a new national holiday and I predict genips and green mangoes will be declared national fruits.”
Ajay Baksh, public relations consultant: “Predictions for 2018. In keeping with my own personal resolution, I will stay positive in what I think 2018 will bring for Guyana. Let’s get started with the obvious, it will certainly be a godsend to the salesmen who deal in green paint. I can predict more things will be painted in the new national colour as Guyana keeps going green. The sellers of generators, candles, and kerosene lamps will continue to have bright prospects ahead of them as the Guyana Power and Light continues its vigorous support for the dark lord. There will be no mass adoption of electric cars, despite them being duty free. Imagine the new excuse for lateness: ‘Sorry boss, I had blackout. I couldn’t charge the car. The Cubans and Chinese will continue to keep a brisk trade on Regent Street while Guyanese will keep putting speedbumps to complement the potholes to progress (much like the current roadworks). City Hall will finally get more money than it wants from parking meters, higher property taxes and new fines. However, they will still be broke and unaudited at the end of 2018, but the annual garbage protests will be shorter than usual. The Attorney General will win a case in 2018, putting an end to the recent dry spell. The DPI (Department of Public Information) will continue its path of becoming worse than its predecessor; rubberstamping propaganda as ‘real news’. The Minister of Education will finally read a copy of Social Studies for our Children and along with the Minister of Public Security we will finally have a single Phagwah Diwali celebration. In other areas, the Guyana Police Force will continue to pretend to have an anti-tint campaign, the vendors will continue to battle City Hall, bandits will continue their trade, gold prices will continue to fluctuate, we will find more Exxon secret payments, the PPP will continue to protest everything, Guyanese will continue to blame the government for all the ills. Things will be largely the same, with one great exception, oil coming!”
- The price of green paint will increase by 50%. Paint dealers will offer 2 gallons of free red paint to all who buy 1 gallon of green paint.
- Cane farmers will become cocoa farmers because there will be a world chocolate shortage by 2020 (according to my colleague).
- The search is on for a new Minister of Public Service. Fit and proper persons will be sought and names touted are Dr David Hinds, Vincent Alexander and Vanessa Kissoon.
- Vybz 100.1 FM will become the top radio station in Guyana.
- Georgetown will become as clean as it was for the Jubilee because the citizens will take back the city from the council.
- People will die in 2018.
- Rihanna (Ri Ri) will come to Guyana and perform at the Jubilee Stadium and give out scholarships to children in Agricola.
- ‘Big ones’ going to jail in Guyana and the USA.
- Roger Khan will return to Guyana.
- There will be a national airline again at last.
- Festival City will stop flooding because the outfalls and trenches in Tucville will be cleared.
- Chinese cambio/stores will be regulated by the Ministry of Finance.
- The National Cultural Centre will have a new dress code in keeping with international practices and the public will be happy.
- Mandela Avenue and the West Bank Road will be upgraded to the standard of the West Coast Highway which will have more street lights.
- Merundoi will launch its first TV series.
- Preparations begin for the Republic Jubilee which will surpass Independence Jubilee.
- Senior citizens will get their Bs: buses, benches, breakfasts, bonuses and books (pension).
Desiree Edghill, actress and rights activist: “I predict that we would finally have a smoke-free environment. Although the law has been passed, we still have bars and night spots that are not enforcing it. We need to get a grip of the garbage situation in Guyana and clean our act up! Our garbage situation is in a mess for too long! I predict some Bs for the seniors in Guyana. Not only the youth must have their 5 Bs. We want buses, benches (in the avenues and business places so we can rest when we go shopping or paying bills), bonus, breakfast and Bengay!”
Akola Thompson, columnist and rights activist: “My 2018 predictions are: (1) Women will still be engaged in an active fight to possess full ownership of their bodies, due to persistent rumours that they are not entirely theirs. (2) GPL – despite constant promises to the contrary – will continue to provide the same substandard level of service we have come to know over the years.”
Ivor Thompson, businessman: “I don’t believe that simply making a mental resolution at the beginning of the calendar year is enough to keep my goals fresh and in front of me. After my eight weeks interaction with the coaches of Action Club, I have learnt to transform my resolution into reality by writing it down using bright colours and taking action. 2017 has been a year of growth for hockey in Guyana, for both male and female players. The hockey administration worked vigorously along with the players. My resolution is to play a greater role is the preparation of the teams. Their efforts in 2017 led to the women bringing home the championship trophy and the men, the runner-up trophy. Therefore, I predict that the national women and men teams will bring home the championship trophy again in 2018!”
Bibi Hassan, head of the Guyana Cancer Foundation: “I predict that the government and opposition will sit together at the bargaining table and try to find a solution to work together to heal this nation and make it a better place for all Guyanese, especially with oil business… Our country will rise to the top of the map.”