Archives, The Pulse

Anthony hamilton Discovers Curaçao- The CNSJ edition

June 30, 2019
Anthony Hamilton chilling at the Renaissance Hotel – picture credit Shadiah Elhage

Deya Mensche
07 Sep 2016

Unforgettable performances, logistical stress, adult acne breakouts, good food, amazing conversations and learning how to move in unison withAnthony Hamilton and his crew. Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival is a yearly roller-coaster ride, where we try to tap into the festival spirit, by getting up close and personal with an amazing artist, while exposing them to the many amazing facets of Curaçao – without acting like a band aid.

Anthony Hamilton chilling at the Renaissance Hotel – picture credit Shadiah Elhage
Anthony Hamilton discovers Curacao. fans sitting on the sand.

As a 15+ year entertainment veteran, I’ve paid my dues in this industry, and I can honestly say I love the fact that I get to tap into the minds of musical geniuses such as Hamilton and Wyclef Jean and try to figure out what makes them tick. It’s not easy to manage the constant picture requests and hold ups, and Anthony Hamilton does it so effortlessly. However, patience is imperative when you hang out with such an amazing and chill crew. You thought island people have their own time? You have yet to be acquainted to Hamilton time! It’s beautiful to witness when an artist lets its guard down and starts to relax like us islanders do. I tried to prepare them, no… Curaçao people won’t get hysterical, and yes they know who you are…we’re just cool like that! “Hey swa, un ta Anthony Hamilton esei?”

Thank you’s

When your own people sometimes fail to see your worth or try to diminish your shine, it’s refreshing to have the support of the amazing people like Michelle H. and Eli, who didn’t flinch to make this interview happen. I’m eternally grateful. Secondly, I want to thankJunior Tecla and superwoman cousin Shadiah Elhage, who stepped up to the plate and made things happen. A sincere thank you to Sharon for her patience, Jaanchie for his good food, and Sheila for her vision and relentless trust. You are all warriors and radiate positive vibrations and that keeps me going. A big shout out to Mr. Gregory Elias, for his infallible genius. We will always support your vision and continue to pay it forward.

submissions, The Pulse

Are we on the brink of a Global Civil Rights Movement?

June 30, 2019

Elizabeth Francisco,
Willemstad, Curaçao (2014)

“Ferguson is a quintessential example of social inequality in the States, but also an example of what is taking place in other nations across the planet.”

The killing of 18 year-old Michael Brown on August 9th and consequent rioting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri has become one of the biggest racial profiling murder case in the United States since the shooting of Trayvon Martin. So far, there has been a lot of inconsistent news surrounding this case coming in from the police and eyewitness accounts. To this day, it is still unclear what happened in the final moments of Brown’s life. What we know is that there was some altercation between Brown, who was unarmed and the police officer who shot him, Darren Wilson (28).

According to the police department, Wilson feared for his life when he shot Brown six times. The police department has stated many contradictory statements regarding how the altercation started. At first, they claimed that it was related to a robbery that took place earlier that day, the next day that statement got retracted, only for the police to re-claim its veracity later on. Witness accounts on the other hand, vary a great deal with some witnesses claiming that officer Wilson was taunting and threatening Brown. According to the autopsy report, Brown’s hands were up in the air and he was on his knees surrendering when the fatal shot hit him in the head.

There is a lot of criticism in the media regarding the situation in Ferguson. According to critics, police shootings automatically become a race issue if the victim is black. Same thing happened in the Trayvon Martin case, although not a police incident. What we are seeing here is a shift in narrative. African Americans, who are customarily demonized in the media are for once, shown as victims and the viewers are connecting to their stories. Also, now that we have so much access to information, we are actually seeing what police brutality looks like. Less than a week ago, 25 year-old Kajieme Powell was shot death by the police just 4 miles away from where Michael Brown was killed. A bystander filmed the incident and the footage is chilling. We see Powell on the video holding a knife and screaming erratically at the police: “shoot me, shoot me.” It is clear that he was not in the right state of mind. As a matter of fact, from what we can see, he was moving away from the police when he was gunned down.

What about the streets of Ferguson? Journalists are out there reporting the protests and are threatened, attacked and arrested by the police with no charge. There is zero respect for the media, so we can’t even begin to imagine how residents are treated. We have read stories of people have been arrested for just standing on the sidelines. The scariest thing is that the police have armed themselves with state of the art military equipment. To top things off tear gas and rubber bullets are used everyday on unarmed protesters.

Ferguson is a small county of 21.000 people with a long history of racial tensions and police brutality. Over two-thirds of its residents are black, but its mayor and four out of its five City Council Members are white. Public schools are predominantly white and less than 5% of the town’s police officers are black. Economic conditions for the Ferguson community have been worsening for years. Between 2000 and 2010, Ferguson’s poor doubled with one in four residents living below the federal poverty line. So even though Ferguson’s blacks are living in a community where they are the majority group, they are powerless and have no voice what so ever. There is no government representation and no one to look after the black community’s interest. Whites on the other hand, are clueless about the unemployment rate of black Americans, which is twice as high than for white Americans. Studies have shown that an average white household has 22 times as much wealth as an average black one. So people are pretty much forced to organize protests. What other outlet do they have? How else will their voices be heard?

Activists Deliver Petition Calling On Justice Dept Investigation Into Mike Brown Killing
Caption:WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 28: Demonstrators shout slogans as they gather in front of the White House to deliver nearly 950,000 signatures August 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. The demonstrators called on the Justice Department to fully investigate, prosecute, and fire all police officers involved in the fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Solidarity With Ferguson Protesters Demonstration
Caption:LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: A small protest is held outside the US Embassy in a show of solidarity with Ferguson protesters in the USA, on August 27, 2014 in London, England. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)


The Bigger picture

Because of the racism narrative, a petition is going around for congress to introduce the Mike Brown Law. The law binds the police force by law to wear lapel cameras at all times. This will help police the police and it would be interesting to see police arrests and shootings of African American males statistics within the next decade. People tend to behave differently if they know that they are being watched. It would be very interesting to conclude once and for all if social dominance and authoritarianism is at play here (disposition) rather than each situation treated unbiased.

“A Parallel With Brazil”

One thing is for sure, without some sort of civil action and organization change is not going to come. Blacks in Brazil, for instance, may be even worse off than in the States. Contrary to African Americans, Afro-Brazilians never had a national Civil Rights Movement. Killings in Favelas, by the police far exceed those in the U.S. It is common knowledge that most shootings are premeditated executions with rarely any repercussions for the police. For decades, Brazil has proudly presented itself as a racial democracy; a term coined by Gilberto Freyre in his 1933 magnum opus Casa-Grande e Senzala (The Masters and the Slaves).


Activists And Community Members Demonstrate Against Police Killings
Caption:RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 22: Demonstrators march through the Manguinhos favela to protest against police killings of blacks on August 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Every year, Brazil’s police are responsible for around 2,000 deaths, one of the highest rates in the world. Many of the deaths in Rio involve blacks killed in favelas, also known as slums. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The idea behind this concept is that Brazil is a society without color barriers. People from all races live in harmony with one another and have equal access to wealth and power. In other words, racism does not exist. However, the reality is that blacks in Brazil have very little representation in politics, media or in white-collar jobs. Furthermore, they blindly believe that they are victim to classism, not racism, thus they remain clueless at the injustices being done to them on a daily basis. Small groups do undertake action and once in a while something like affirmative action is accomplished, but very little progress has been made in the last century. It is clear that black Brazilians have accepted their inferior position in society and live for carnival where their dreams come to life.

BRAZIL-BLACK-MARCH Caption:A protester wearing earings with the map of Africa takes part in the International March Against the Genocide of Black People in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 22, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)


“The Dutch Problem”

The black communities in the Netherlands have a similar issue. Granted, compared to the States and Brazil, black men in The Netherlands have a much higher survival rate. Also, pretty much everyone has equal access to education, but that’s where it pretty much ends. Statistics show that there is a lot of workplace discrimination and the employment rate for educated non-white Dutch nationals is relatively low. Also, to complicate things even further, racism also “doesn’t exist” in the Netherlands. In Dutch rhetoric there is Allochtoon (originating from another country, even if you are second generation) and Autochtoon (Dutch nationals). It is a clever way to remain ominous about what we are actually talking about here, racial classification. Only in this situation everyone who is not white is pushed in one group. So by steering clear of official racial classifications, we in fact erase racism as an issue, it simply does not “exist” in the Netherlands.

Caption:Demonstrators hold placards as they sit inside the City Hall of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on August 28, 2014, to protest against the appeal of Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan against a court ruling in July that he must reassess the granting of a licence for the Sint Nicolaas procession last December. That ruling said he must look again at whether he should have given the go-ahead for the procession because he had not taken the European Human Rights Convention into account with regard to the figure of Zwarte Piet. AFP PHOTO / ANP / KOEN VAN WEEL **netherlands out** (Photo credit should read Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images)

The Netherlands has another variable. Blacks in the Netherlands are as disintegrated as in the Caribbean, but in this case there is an extra dose of hatred to go along with it. Surinamese and Antilleans’ generally dislike and mistrust one another, a convenient fact that halts the fight for racial equality. In this respect they are far more behind that the African Americans. Dutch Blacks could have the power to affect change, something that does happen in the U.S. In the Netherlands, members of the Caribbean Diaspora have to yet, unanimously, address the beast (racism) by its name. They still need their own Civil Rights Movement and to understand the role of blackness in the Netherlands.


Nobody Knows How Many Americans The Police Kill Each Year

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UnIted. creative. caribbean!

May 18, 2019

CaribFlava is an inclusive online platform dedicated to giving voice to the change that is
ongoing in our national and transnational Caribbean communities.

Health & Wellness, Opinon and Research, The Pulse

Promising results for Curacao + Caribbean in prevention of cervical cancer. (Dr. Desiree Hooi | Interview part II)

March 5, 2015
Dr Desi Hooi in the Lab - HPV research


Fundashon Prevenshon

Dr. Desiree Hooi has been leading a significant research project on the prevalence and prevention of the spread of HPV Human Papillomavirus with Fundashon Prevenshon in Willemstad, Curaçao.

We are back with  Part 2  of  a previous interview with Dr. Hooi  you can read PART 1  here.



CF: What is HPV?
Dr. Hooi: 

•  HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus and is a double   stranded DNA virus.

•  HPV is the number one most common STD.

•  80 to 84% of the population was once in contact with this virus.

Fortunately the body takes care to eliminate the virus and it may take 1 to 2 years for the immune system to get rid of the virus. HPV knows approximately 160 genotypes from which can be subdivided in cutaneous and mucosa. This virus is known for in some occasions depending which genotype causing the so-called genital and some cutaneous (skin) warts.  HPV is divided in low risk (lr HPV) and high risk (hr HPV).  The last subdivision is important because the hr HPV is known to cause cancer and is an oncovirus.  HPV 16 & 18 are the most prevalent in causing Cervical Cancer.

The HPV genotypes known for causing cancer do not give any symptoms.

CF: So is HPV a Public Health issue?
Dr. Hooi: Indeed; HPV is considered a Public Health issue due to findings of cancer caused by a very
contagious sexual transmitted virus in the cervix (feminine organ) and also in other tissues in women and men e.g. vulva, vagina, anus, oral cavity and throat in women.  There are reports of HPV in men with cancer of the penis, anus, oral and throat cavity.



HPV prevention dr. Desi Hooi in Lab


CF: Is this a preventable cancer?
Dr. Hooi: Yes. Besides the fact that young children can be vaccinated this cancer develops slowly.  One must become infected with HPV to develop cervical cancer.

This virus causes changes in the human DNA structure and provokes a pre-cancer lesion which most of the time will take 10-15 years to turn into cancer. During this period, the pre-cancer lesion can be detected and treated on time if you have a screening (Pap smear) done regularly.

CF:Why do you think this is important in the Caribbean?
Dr. Hooi: 

The cervical cancer mortality rate is high in the Caribbean region and it is the 2nd place most prevalent cancer among women between ages 15 to 44.

It is noticed that in developed countries screening programs have reduced the incidence of cancer and mortality rate. More data is needed to analyze the situation in the Caribbean.  Guidelines must be adapted on the basis of the results within the culture and ethnicity of the medical community in the specific Caribbean area.

The results of the studies can be applied to other islands where the necessary adjustments are aimed in specific medical standards and cultures.

CF: What is your estimated result of this HPV study?
I estimate a high % positivity in the upcoming 1000 tests given. The results of the study held among 253 women on Curaçao in 2013 had a high prevalence (20.2%) in the specific age group 45-75 years.
The prevalence by country is:

[visualizer id=”7670″]

Europe is 6%,
The United States 13%,
Latin America 18%
Africa 23%.

We expect a higher prevalence from the upcoming 1000 samples since the age group <40 years will be representative in this survey.  Among this age group of individuals less than 40 years, HPV prevalence is the highest according to literature. Regarding our study on paraffin embedded tissue; we can mention that the HPV 16+18 was not that prevalent compared with the rest of the world.

This may have important significance for the introduction of vaccine considering the fact that other HPV genotypes are playing a role in causing cancer in our population.  What type of role still needs to be discussed.

A study performed among sex workers in our community revealed no significant differences between this group and the results from the pilot in volunteered participants. We have to wait for results of the population in this specific age group <40 years that represented the sex workers in order to compare and do analysis on these findings. We can preliminarily say that it will not make an important difference since the virus is very contagious and promiscuity or multiple sex partners does not only happen amongst sex workers.

The oral cavity study it is still ongoing with results pending this year.  We think that the results will not differ from the rest of the world.  Regarding the women with hysterectomies with intact cervix I think there might be a large number with no cervical cancer screening afterwards because they are:

1. Not aware of the relevance of having the cervix intact and the need to perform a Pap-smear.
2. This group will be considered the non-responders to well established cervical cancer screening programs in some countries.

This fact maybe underestimated.

Antigua, Art & Culture, Chat Bout It, Music, The Pulse

Antigua’s J.Nation feat CYN – Hard Work (Official Video)

February 10, 2015

“When they have power and authority they don’t give a damn about nobody prostituting the island to all and sundry they peddlin my people’s rights exploiting, oppressing, less freedom more suffering…” ~King Short Short

This thinking and heart behind this music video renews my faith in humanity.
I believe artists are warriors for the mind and spirit. We all have that artist or creator inside that wants to speak the truth about our lives and our experiences.
This video juxtaposes the beauty that is sold  to the masses to the beauty that lies beneath Antigua & Barbudas touristic veneer.

Hard work was shot, edited & directed in Antigua & Barbuda by Justin “Jus Bus” Nation & Anderson Andrew with additional Drone Footage by Adam Anton.

The Drone footage Provides us a gorgeous cinematic glimpse in to REAL side of island living not everything is at it seems in paradise.
The video starts  with a dramatic birds eye view of a colorful shanty town in Antigua.  The song jumps right in to paint you the reality of 17 year old girls in stilletos, and how the bad boy on the corner is simply looking for a way to make his money any way he can.  An uptempo beat carries the weighty refrain “All this hard work , all this sacrifice  you don’t give a damn what lies beneath”.

Art & Culture, Chat Bout It, curacao, Festivals, Music, Night Life, Reviews, The Pulse

Paradise World – Building up the hype.

December 29, 2014

[avatar user=”DMensche” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”]Deya Mensche Willemstad, Curaçao[/avatar]

Looking back at another edition of Paradise World, where EDM met Caribbean rhythms, the budding festival with its ambitious organizers, who one day hope to rival the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, can look back with satisfaction. Paradise World was launched in 2012, as an intimate yet energetic event that is slowly evolving into a reputable and characteristic destination festival, with renowned headliners like Diplo from Major Lazer and enfant terrible Skrillex.

This year, Paradise World expanded its wings by partnering with the renowned Winter Music Festival based in Miami, and added a two-day music conference to the mix. The execution of the latter definitely left some room for improvement. The laid-back vibe that Paradise World is known for was taken to another level and raised quite a few eyebrows during the conference. The Q&A of Day 1 was exceptionally delayed due to the hectic partying schedule of certain participants. After distinguished guests like Bill Kelly, founder and director of WMC, and Esteban Mendez of Paradise World, finally graced us with their presence, the attendants fired off their burning questions to the panel.

An array of subjects was discussed, like Kelly’s views about ranking lists of international DJs, “not a fan due to the politics involved”, and finally what the panel’s advice was for local DJs who want to expand their wings internationally. Kelly gracefully replied that “the local DJ should work on its popularity on the home front first and establish its brand, to then find proper booking and representation abroad”. Additionally he was asked about the role of females in the male dominated world of EDM music and what effect the oversexed model-turned-DJ persona had on the industry. “With DJing, true talent quickly weeds out the wannabes from the pros, however I recognize that sex has always sold and some women choose to use that to their advantage”, Kelly concluded. “But the over-sexualisation can hurt the female DJ in the long run, so the focus should always be on the music”, both Kelly and Mendez agreed.

After the Q&A, the party continued around the Renaissance pool with its scenic ocean view, where Aruba’s DJ extraordinaire Nutzbeatz launched his most recent remix of the club banger ‘Bon Vibe’ and entertained the cool collective of enthusiasts with his captivated selections.

Day 2 of the conference kicked off with an animated Q&A with Kuenta i Tambú or KIT, who launched their much talked about production called ‘Santa Electra’ featuring famed tambú singer Doña Elia Isenia.

The video clip was directed by Selwyn de Windt and the song was produced by talented Clifford Goilo, both present to discuss their roles in the production. The panel was also attended by KIT group members Diamanta and Roël Calister, who discussed the idea behind the captivating clip and let an animated discussion about its meaning. “Santa Electra is the perfect blend between traditional and modern music, fiction and reality, and can mean a variety of things to many people”, they concluded. Again the party continued around the pool, where KIT gave an impromptu performance that jump started the festivities, which continued in Club Bermuda until the early hours.

The conference concluded with an interesting Q&A with several local EDM festival organizers, amongst others the Martel brothers of Su’legria and the organizers of the Amnesia Music Festival, who shared their thoughts on how to grow their respective events into destination festivals by adding to and improving the Curaçao entertainment export product.

Finally on Saturday it was the turn for Diplo, who surprised the audience by returning to the stage with Major Lazer, in addition to the much anticipated performance of Skrillex. The gentlemen didn’t disappoint and put on an animated 90-minute show, yet failed to blow away the audience with the theatrics like Major Lazer did the previous year. Maybe Diplo and Skrillex were a bit weary of all the traveling or the Curaçao audience failed to impress altogether, yet whatever the reason was for the somewhat lackluster performance, it was gut-wrenching to observe the animo deflate after a while for such skilled performers. This could have been attributed to the fact that the audience was significantly smaller and younger, however the ambiance was relaxed and the people seemed like they were having a good time.

The preshow started early with forgettable performances of a few up-and-coming American DJ’s. An unquestionable exception of the night was the performance of DJ Alex Sargo, who was clearly having a good time and kept the audience on its feet with his pulsating beats and impressive showmanship. Poor Alex Sargo was clearly the savior of the preshow as he was instructed to replace a DJ who was unceremoniously taken off stage, because he clearly wasn’t in synch with the Paradise World vibe.

Despite these minor hiccups, the 2014 edition of Paradise World proved to be an overall success. Nevertheless, if the organizers want to give the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival a run for their money, they should take their conference participants more seriously and add more content to the encounters. This edition tried to be too many things to too many people and it appeared that the attention was more on partying and having fun, than growing the brand. If Paradise World is here to stay, they need to set themselves apart from the rest and carefully refine the complicated yet unique formula between EDM and Caribbean rhythms.

Almost there fellas, just a little bit more tweaking…

Overall Grade B-



curacao, Music, The Pulse

E Rekuerdo – ( The Memories ) Tamara Nivillac & Stanley Clementina | Happy Holidays!

December 17, 2014

E kantante profeshonal Tamara Nivillac, ku ta biba i tour na hulanda a saka un kansion pa fin di aña huntu ku multi instrumentalista i kantante Stanley Alejandro Clementina.


The professional musicians and singers Tamara Nivillac (currently on tour in the Netherlands) and Stanley Clementina collaborate on a Holiday Song release called ‘E Rekuerdo’ (The Memories) where  they reminise on the precious moments passed in this sentimental music video.

Music, Panama, Reviews, The Pulse

Atlanta Buzzmaker & Panama Native Nino Augustine’s single :: Blow (The INTRO) & The OPE Band

December 15, 2014

Nino Augustine is a Panamanian artist in ATL also known for Beyond the Hype Atlanta.

Blow is the first release and INTRO of the EP titled SOUL HOP with release date late January 2015. The project consist of all live instrumentation by The OPE Band. The song BLOW contains lead vocals by Panama born artist Nino Augustine, and additional vocals by Toni Williams who is also the keyboardist. The track was recorded at the Cottage Studios in Atlanta. It was recorded and mixed by Damon Moon, and mastered by Mahnuee Trejos.

“Will you still be here if we never blow?”

nino augustine  OPE Band

To me this song is symbolic of holding on to an American dream. The love affair with catching lighting in a bottle. In fact, that’s exactly what it sounds like . The vibe is thoughtful, the melody questions, the drums are optimistic with a hint of latin rhythm.  Toni’s voice is pitch perfect in this production. Music was made. This band is putting in the work and winning. This definitely has its place at the top of  my playlist.

(FREE DOWNLOAD on sound cloud)


Art & Culture, Feacha, Technology, The Pulse

The URBAN CHASE game preview is here!

December 1, 2014

First of it’s kind in the Caribbean! Play and win prizes as you discover the streets of Curaçao.

The Urban Chase game was created by a team of 4 people comprised of:

Margin Nahr: Game Development,
Yasser Casseres : Business Development,
AREA 51’s  Xavier Navarro  (Dopie): Marketing Management
& Ryan Navarro(QD): as its Creative Director.

The game will be available to the public on Dec 20th  in what is self-described ‘apple style’ product release event. This is where they will reveal their new app and show entire Curaçao how to play and even better WIN prizes just for playing!

It is going to be big y’all.

I KNOW some of you think this will be your new job. Hahahah!

Game play: The game is comparable to subway surfer and Temple run where you take your player through amazingly illustrated scenes from the island of Curacao.  They didn’t leave anything out either! Iguana man is in there, Andrelton Simons and every Curacaoan pigeon on Brion Plein made the cut!

I already see three reason this concept may win!
1. This truly looks like a fun game. 2.  It will be free and you will be able pick up and play it on your phone any time by picking up coins and points, no problem. 3. Because Urban Chase has you on a mission; High scorers have the opportunity to WIN great prizes from all the brand partners.

We are impressed by the hard work and dedication put in to bringing not only this game but a fresh new marketing concept to the island. We do not have all the details on how the prizes will be distributed. But I commend the partners, and sponsors who have decided to invest in this young and dynamic group for their vision. This game is beyond Urban Chase. It’s about thinking large and breaking out of small island thinking and positioning ourselves along side our peers across the globe.


Follow urban chase on facebook for updates  ‪#‎UrbanChase‬