Embau Moheni — man of the people
Who is Embau Moheni? That is the question being asked by Jack Warner and PNM officials in the Local Government campaign as they refer to the NJAC Deputy political leader in their attempt to denigrate a rising star in NJAC politics.
As a Trinbagonian born in Tobago, who has had a long association with brother Moheni, I believe I am in a position to provide answers being sought by the PNM and ILP. Embau Moheni (formerly Fenwick Morean) is an integral part of the Morean family who made arguably the greatest contribution by any one family to educating the people of Tobago.
It was the Morean family headed by their father Aloysius Morean who established the Elizabeth’s College in Scarborough and Roxborough in Tobago during the 1950s. The college was born at a time when there were very limited opportunities for Tobagonians in academic education and Bishops High School was the only college of significance on the island then. The college served Tobagonians up to year 2006 and was only closed due to the lack of state funding.
During its existence, Elizabeth’s College produced some of the finest scholars to come out of Tobago, including doctors, lawyers, lecturers, politicians, engineers, church leaders and the list goes on. At this high point, the Morean family operated five colleges, two in Tobago, two in Port of Spain and one at # 9 Gordon Street, San Fernando.
Among some of the products from Elizabeth’s College were former government ministers Dr. Morgan Job, Horace Broomes and Pamela Nicholson, former THA Deputy Chief Secretary Cecil Caruth, national 400 metres champion Renny Quow (who attended the school in the first two forms and then transferred to another institution) and former national under 17 football captain, Roderick Anthony.
Embau’s mother, Edna was an ace Spanish teacher and served as Vice Principal and then Principal. She was revered by Tobagonians and was called ‘Mom’ by Tobagonians. His father was a supremely brilliant academic who was versed in jurisprudence. He later married Glenda Morean whom he tutored in law and she went on to serve as one of this country’s attorney general.
As a young student Embau Moheni was a shining star who passed his GCE O’ Levels and Advanced examinations during his early teens.
He was a mathematician of the highest order and he began a teaching career at the family’s college while still in his teens. Embau Moheni did not do like other ambitious Tobagonians at the time and leave Tobago for a foreign land to pursue a higher academic education.
Instead, he sacrificed personal aggrandisement and remained in Tobago to join the struggle for a fair and just society for the people of Tobago and Trinidad.
He was part of the NJAC-led 1970 peoples uprising and emerged as one of the critical leaders of NJAC in Tobago after 1970. He did extensive political work throughout Tobago with house-to-house education, public meetings and cultural rallies. He was arrested while educating students at the Scarborough Secondary School on African awareness and history. He refused to take bail on the condition that he give up the peoples struggle in Tobago.
In 1974, he was again arrested along with his brother and yours truly while we were campaigning in Scarborough for August 1 to be officially recognised as a public holiday. This time, he and the two of us were savagely beaten while in police custody and driver four miles from the Scarborough Police Station in the dead of the night and left on a lonely road. Thankfully, we were rescued by a good citizen.
So Jack Warner and the PNM leader must now know that Embau Moheni is no ‘fly by night’ politician, hungry for political office but he is a genuine brother who ‘fought in the trenches’ for a better life for the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Also, Mr. Warner must know that Lasana Liburd who has documented his time in football is the nephew of the man he called a ‘nobody’.
As for Dr. Rowley who has abandoned Tobago a long time ago, even if he was not aware, Chief Secretary London would tell him that Embau Moheni was one of the finest table tennis and chess players to come out of Tobago. Also, as a cultural activist, he was one of the main promoters of some of the most massive cultural events in Tobago. Shadow’s Masters Den Calypso Tent, 1979, 1980 and 1981, Spektakula Calypso Tent and the Tobago Young Kings, Tobago Calypso Queen and Junior Calypso competitions from 1986 were some of his major cultural productions.
Therefore, to the petty and backward political rhetoric of Warner and the PNM, Embau Moheni to the vast majority of Tobagonians is indeed a man of the people. Down with slave-like politics of hate and spite!
It is time the ILP and the PNM recognise the need to campaign in a manner which will help to add life to the consciousness and spirit of the people of our nation. When you seek to destroy an individual who leads a life of integrity, who does not use alcohol, neither smokes and is extremely disciplined and lives a life of sacrifice you are contributing to further destroying the spiritual base of our society. Remember, “How you campaign is an indication as to how you will govern.”
OPOKU WARE IS A