Vernon Shabaka Thompson


Vernon Shabaka Thompson

October 5th, 1957 – July 4th 2023.

How fragile this thing we call Life! How a mere two weeks ago you sat in on the reading of my play, Sunday with The Warlord, enthusiastic, engaging and looking forward to staging it in London. How fruitful were these last nine years we collaborated from the Masters of Art program at UTT, two grey-haired Rastaman interchangeably called out one for the other; to the point my school fees were erroneously credited to your name, and you laughingly saying you thought Jah Jah had blessed you, and I would jokingly remind you is me who put you through school, Ras. How every step of the way I encouraged your PhD path, chasing that latest star in the constellation of your dreams and ambition, how you stepped up with me and the Mas journey, you having your own history from Nottinghill, across several Nigerian states, to Port of Spain, and producing two Kings of Carnival costumes, and when the end result wasn’t fruitful this last time, we stuck salt and say, next year. There won’t be a next year, brethren. Easy so, you made your last Mas in St Lucia this morning and the lights went dark… Rest in Eternal Peace among the Ancestors. Condolences to your Mom, your wife, sons, your brother Earl and family. Walk good.


Dawad Philip - Poet, artist, author, masman

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