Budget allocations to Education, 2020-2021
October 7, 2020
First Communion class fosters ‘Prayer Corner’
October 8, 2020

That man called Sprang

The last Sunday’s Express editorial ‘Thank you, Cultural Sprangalang’ was a well-written portrayal of a man who was an original. It states very aptly: ‘his gift for comedy came from a perceptive intelligence and cutting insight into the Trinbagonian personality…delivered with deadpan humour…and a lashing picong…eyes with a vocabulary of their own.”  This was a great synopsis of the larger-than-life artiste.

Indeed, the late Sprang had a gift for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. His play on words amazed me. Who can forget when he began to repronounce place names like Barataria – and pronounced it instead as Ba-ra-ta-rhee-uh. And why not, he said?

He was a visionary beyond his time who held a mirror up to our faces and made us accountable as we were able to see the comedic translations of behaviours that were too rigid and bound by colonialistic rules and structures.

The late Russian Nobel Prize winner and novelist, Alexander Solzhenitsyn (whose works I avidly read in my youth, at that time intrigued by the notion that artistes and writers and teachers were the first persons to be executed or silenced as they were considered to be the thinkers and movers and shakers of the world order) had this to say: “The artist, recognising a higher power above, gladly works as a humble apprentice beneath God’s heaven…he is more keenly aware than others of the harmony of the world, of the beauty and ugliness of the human contribution to it, and to communicate this acutely to his fellowmen”.

I would put Mr Dennis Hall aka Sprangalang into this category of artistes whose stories described our ways of knowing and behaving in satirical and humorous form, perhaps more keenly aware than others of the human condition and the necessity for laughter, both at ourselves and others. And as he entered the gates of Heaven, I could almost hear him say: ‘But ay, ay, Mister God, suh! If I did know that Heaven was so nice, nice like this, I woulda come here long time ago! Correct is right!’

Rest in peace, Sprang! A life well-lived and all tributes, well-deserved.

Dr Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor.