Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine April 2016 - Page 49

Kadooment is portrayed as a purely secular event. Because of this, the church has retreated away from the festival considering it “not Godly.” WalkHoly however strongly believes that the origins of the festival (a time of thanksgiving to God) should be preserved and celebrated. They believe that God must not be pushed out of the festival and that He has His place and so their function is to re-present God within the Kadooment festival as the one who inspired it and to whom respect and honour is due. Marcia Weekes, a Christian woman and founder of Walkholy was awoken by God and told to have an impact on Kadooment. A Jamaican by birth, and she did not know a whole lot about the festival, but God specifically told her to “bring a band into the Kadooment”. Marcia Weekes started WalkHoly in 2001. At the time God spoke to Marcia, she and her family had just returned from living in New York after almost 10 years. Prior to moving to New York with her husband Dave, she had only spent a few months in Barbados, hence Barbadian culture was very new to her. At around the same time, God spoke with another lady Gina, a member of the Living Room Church regarding a band and He gave her the design for the band. But He never told her to “bring a band”. Therefore she had the design - sections, floats, costumes etc., sitting there and nothing to do with them. It was only after Marcia and Gina were accidentally introduced (having never known each other) that it all came together. The band is not part of a Church organisation. To this day after almost 15 years, it has received very little church support; in fact is is often decried from the church pulpits. Wall Holy’s band house is at the Praise Academy of Dance on Cavan’s Lane in Bridgetown. Responsibility for the band members’ costume design falls on a small team of dedicated designers from within the band, who give of their time wholheartedly without fail. Walk Holy participates in the Kadooment Festival and appreciatively, it is the official First Band of the Kadooment Day parade - it leads the way! This first position in the parade is sanctioned by the organizing body of the festival, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF). Unfortunately, Walk Holy no longer competes but as the other bands contend, it is continually granted the first position in the parade because its function is now perceived to be that of blessing the parade as it proceeds along the streets. Worship leaders and Gospel artistes in Barbados, who are bold enough to bring their worship to the streets are part of the band’s parade procession. Marcia Weekes = by Dave & Marcia Weekes = WALK HOLY Kadooment Band of Praise & Worship Kadooment originated from the end of the sugar cane crop or harvest when t he slaves celebrated and gave thanks to God for a successful crop. It is said that they made a great “To do-ment” or made a big deal over the success of the harvest and hence this concept evolved into the word “Kadooment” which today has further evolved into a big street carnival. Kadooment Day therefore is the culmination of the larger CropOver Festival. ~ Dave & Marcia Weekes ~ 45 BARBADOS