TEN-A-SINGH by Ewalt (Waltie) Ainsworth


By EWALT AINSWORTH         09 23 2011

In today’s Guyana, the curry-favor, the disparities, the discrimination, the prejudices and the race-baiting, has to be stopped.  The trajectory of a collective and cooperative people has been eroded.  One group is stashing more and more and the whole country is getting less and less, getting worse and worse as the tenor of humanity devolves and dwindles.

There is an outward appearance of success but an inner hunger for equity and equality.  Indo Guyanese have been slipping through the porous borders with their ill gotten gains and the blacks are dissuaded from playing a meaningful role in nation building.    Traditionally, they have been the public servants, technicians, artists and artisans.  Their Indian counterparts, historically, had the option of farming and repatriating their funds to their homeland.
Today, the homeland has changed and it is every other place outside of Guyana.  

The PPP had hoped by this election, to have broken the collective spirit of the people in Linden and New Amsterdam but it just did not happen.    The only people who put wheels on their  heels were the Portuguese and Chinese and now  they are coming back to reclaim the grocery stores, coconut estates, pig farms, restaurants and music ensembles.  The YOUNG ONES OF GUYANA had a reunion in Toronto recently.

The figures and the trends in “Guyana, are glaring and embarrassing; Indo-Guyanese are fleecing the country of wealth by spiriting it off to other climes.  There is no reinvestment in the infrastructure, home mortgages and industry.  There is mass exodus fueled by crime and insecurity.  The citizens, who have a vested interest in the country, are coming back one by one, two by two, four by four and ten by ten.

Jagdeo, has been unable to draw on the best brains and is now in a funk to allow the election process, a perceived democratic process, to take hold.  He was hoping to pursue a ‘Putin’ policy to hand over power to Donald Ramotar and become Prime Minister.  At the end of that cycle, he would reappoint himself as President but the Nagamootoos of the PPP, would never allow that.

Up to the time of writing this narrative, an election date has not been fixed.  Jagdeo has also been toying with the idea of giving little nuggets, tokens of appreciation  such as laptops, a farm road in Black Bush, a bridge  across the Berbice river, low cost dialysis center, drainage for the lands in  Victoria, a sports stadium in Providence and a bank in Lethem.  From a distance, it makes good print copy but the people did not have an input in terms of design, layout, getting jobs and staffing.

Here is a prime example.  A few short weeks ago, construction started on a bank in Lethem.  The surveyor and all the staff needed were from Georgetown.  The team leader, his name was given as Satrohan Singh.  He selected eight other Indian men; all of them had the last name of Singh.  Rohan Singh, Sonny Singh, Bal Singh, Kurt Singh, Satro Singh, Paul Singh, Dillip Singh and Come Singh.  When the black guy appeared with the clerk-of-works, realizing that the nine people ahead of him were all Singhs, he gave his name as Ten-Singh to acculturate and feel tolerated.

Travel to Wakenaam or Leguan, only DDL products or foreign stuff is sold in the stores.  Black people everywhere in Guyana, continue to drink “Banks beer or D’Aguiar products.   The real question one has to ask is whether it is loyalty or royalty?

Black people when they want jobs, have to change their names and gender.  A big man, almost nigh to NIS and Widows and Orphans, moved in with his intimate partner, an Indian guy.  They went shopping at La Penitence market and in a fit of jealous rage, his lover handed him a back hand slap and proceed to kick him once, twice, three times.  This was too much for the black-man and he retaliated in a rallying tenor…”I will fight you like a man.”

It is not strange to hear names like Baljeet, Bhagwandin, Dalchan, Motie, Bilall and Jagnarine and when the person shows up, it is not an Indian man.

Black men too do not defer to their spouses in generic names as fiancée, honey or sweetheart anymore.  Their better halves are now Rookmin or Roti.
And if she is tender to the touch, her taste disappears in your mouth, proud and not loud, she is a baramlacha.  This is an Indian delicacy.

The Author:

This article/story is one of many on this site that has been written by Guyana-born Ewalt (Waltie) Ainsworth.  He left Guyana in the early 1980′sand now lives in New Jersey. He is now almost totally blind but this impediment has not stopped his academic studies or his ability to craft his interesting and sometimes amusing stories about Guyana, the USA, and life.  E-mail: jenewalt@aol.com

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  • Sharon Walvin  On 10/20/2011 at 10:38 am

    I have just read your article published on guyaneseonline.wordpress.com on the 23rd September 2011 and although I do not have a thorough grip on politics in Guyana, what I do know as a British born Indo-Guyanese is that no good can come from talk like that!! Thank God you are not a member of the plain English writing society because my only hope is that the not so literature man and woman on the street won’t understand your article notwithstanding the fact it incites racial hatred.

    You will do far better to align your opinion with the rest of the world whereby there is a growing sense of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, in London we have people picketing outside of our financial institutions because our banks are guilty of greed. When I read your article I didn’t see colour as an issue, I saw that people in power use their position to feather their nest and that of their family and friends. That Sir should be your focus!!
    Sharon Singh Walvin

  • Ewalt (Waltie) Ainsworth  On 10/20/2011 at 1:28 pm

    Hello Sharon…

    Thanks for the good advice. And please do not take it or make it personal.
    My quest is to inform and show the disparities across the various ethnic communities and to make simple suggestions about how things can be rectified.
    I grew up at Cove and John and lived and worked extensively in West Berbice and Anna Regina. To date when I meet some of the people I rubbed shoulders with in my formative years, they are just as embarassed or more embarassed than I am. I sometimes smile and have to turn around and tell them not to be offended.
    So my dear, things happen and if talking about the ills is wrong, I surely do not want to be right.
    Good talking with you.

  • Sharon Walvin  On 10/24/2011 at 12:55 pm

    Dear Mr Ainsworth

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I have no clue what you are talking about? Why would your old friends be embarrassed or offended? I am fully aware that in today’s world there are disparities but race is one that I thought should appear at the bottom of the list surely (?), what is more worrying is the unequal distribution of wealth and the power that goes with it! Please do not concern yourself, I am not offended nor are my comments personal. I am more disturbed that articles like yours fuels racial hatred and we all know where that has got Guyana in the past.

    May I encourage you to write more positively about Guyana. I have visited the country just three times in my life (I am 47 years old), so I see it from a tourist point of view. My parents have romanticised 1940’s Guyana and so my siblings and I have a wonderful vision of it although I am fully aware of the racial segregation and hatred of the 1960s, 70s and 80s which is why I would urge you kindly to dispense with your outdated views and take a fresh look to a more positive future for Guyanese who are in fact one nation and not segregated by colour. Yours sincerely. Sharon Walvin.

  • Sami  On 01/23/2013 at 4:43 pm

    I’m amazed that the ‘article’ above was allowed publication on this site. Throughly disgusting.

  • marc matthews  On 01/24/2013 at 2:46 am

    Bannuh I laugh. Ah particular like ‘Loyalty vs Royalty.

  • Douglas Pearce  On 05/19/2013 at 11:02 pm


    Great stuff Sharon

    • Sharon Walvin  On 12/08/2015 at 10:39 am

      Thank you Mr Pearce and Mr Ainsworth, I hope you are both well. A few years on from my comments my daughter recently sent me a link that I thought you might be interested in too:-


      What particularly interested me was that Elizabeth Jaikaran made an important observation (facts unchecked) that it was a legacy of the British Empire to perpetrate and foster racial mistrust between the African’s and Indians which led to the continuation of the indentured business model. I hope you both enjoy. Seasonal greetings. Sharon.

      PS you may have to copy and paste into a hyperlink to get the article up on your screens.

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