Not enough time added on
AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Lasana Liburd, and I’ve enjoyed directing the Arima North Secondary football programme more than anything else I’ve done professionally, even writing satire as Mr Live Wire.
I’ve moved around the East-West Corridor but spent most of my adolescence in Arima Old Road and consider myself an Arimian.
Once I’m no more than ten minutes’ drive from Rufina’s Doubles at the Dial, I’m happy.
My parents divorced and my mom decided to make do however she could. So we were essentially off the grid.
Our lodgings improved a lot after, but, being a child, you don’t feel the hardship of situations the way adults do. I was quite happy.
I live now in Darwill Gardens in Arima and its environs.
But in the “environs” part.
I grew up with my mom, Yolanda Morea, and two sisters, Soyini and Sekayi.
You’d think that should make me really knowledgeable about women. Most times, I feel as though I know about as much as Jon Snow.
I live with my very significant other, Lou-Ann Sankar, and our three children.
The first two, Aaliyah and Ashlee, I inherited. My daughter with Lulu is Lael.
St Mary’s College was exciting and taught me loads of life lessons – not all good – but I did A-Levels at Arima Senior Comprehensive.
I’d played for CIC at U-14 and U-16 level. I fancied myself a secret football star and wanted to shine for what was a really formidable football school at the time.
Unfortunately, my skills seem to have remained secret!
After A-Levels, I had three months as a teacher at Elizabeth’s College, my grandparents’ school.
At 19, I got a chance to intern at the Trinidad Guardian, so I quit the family teaching job… It was journalism that lit a fire under me.
I never played organised football until CIC. If I’d remained there, I’d have been in the reckoning for the First XI, with all the Moze brothers, Lyndon Andrews, etc.
I could tell you at least one very hairy story involving a Saints Old Boy who is a sitting minister. But that’s a long time ago and people mature.
I was raised as a Christian – but that meant little more than grace before meals.
In form three, my good CIC friend Joel Nanton introduced me to those Billy Graham cartoon books, and I started attending church.
But as a young adult, religion didn’t have the same appeal.
If God is real, religious people have the rest of the world beat. But even if it isn’t, it might still be a healthier mental retreat than alcohol.
I know I’m not smart enough to have all the answers. So I don’t rule anything out.
Two decades ago, I’d drive to Maracas at night and relax with the beach to myself. That wouldn’t be so relaxing any more, with the crime rate.
To help offset hours spent in front of my laptop, I walk along the Priority Bus Route for 90 minutes -two hours, starting between 9.30 pm and 10.30 pm.
I dance every chance I get. Much to Lael’s embarrassment.
I love music more than just about every other pleasure.
But you can hardly get me to stick to one genre. I love calypso, dancehall, reggae, jazz, R&B, country… And that’s just for starters!
I love food almost as much as music.
It’s killing me to name a favourite movie, but it would be something that really has me emotionally invested all the way through and then (adds) a last-minute punch.
Like The Usual Suspects, No Country for Old Men, The Silence of the Lambs, The Village, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Pulp Fiction…
You go to a Carnival event with four or five friends. And you leave with ten or 20 more friends!
As an Arimian, I'm obliged to start any list of favourite Trini performers with Bunji Garlin! We grew up a few blocks from each other.
However, (there are also) David Rudder, Blaxx, Lord Nelson, Machel Montano, Voice, Sparrow, Black Stalin...
My favourite teams are Argentina and Manchester United, which makes me a long-suffering sport fan.
Of course I'm also a fan of the Soca Warriors and West Indies, but because I cover those teams professionally, the emotional relationship is different.
I’m a journalist in general and a sports journalist in particular.
But since starting Wired868, I’ve also had to operate as an editor, salesman, social media manager, etc.
Since 2019, I’m also director of the Arima North Secondary football programme too, which is extremely time consuming.
Whatever the team and the players – two separate things I assure you – need, I try and source it. I’m the point man with the school principal, Mr Debie, our technical director, Wayne “Sheppy” Sheppard, the ground staff led by coach Lyndon Andrews, the teachers, parents. You name it!
Of course I get really valuable help starting with Lou-Ann.
I got complimented on my essays a lot as a student, but I never thought I would be a writer.
After A-Levels, I applied to practically every company with a PBX. I thought that was a good sign of a solid cash flow for some reason!
The Trinidad Guardian (called back), Alwin Chow interviewed me… and away I went!
And here I am, many moons later.
At the end of the 2018 SSFL season, Sheppy had just been relegated at Fatima College. I convinced him Arima North was a sleeping giant that would allow him to show what he could do.
And then the b--ger told me he would only take the job if I went with him as manager!
I didn’t see that coming, but I accepted the challenge, and that was that.
The funniest thing is that I thought running your own business meant independence! Hahahaha.
No two days are the same for me – whether as writer, editor or football director.
I start trying to respond to a sweep of messages and e-mails. There are things that
must be done, things that need to be done and the things I’d
like to get done. I line those ducks up and I’m off!
As a writer, I like capturing the moment and playing my role in recreating an important event. I believe the writer’s job is to highlight things that need changing and seek out solutions.
The worst part of the writing job is reader and stakeholder apathy. People who say, “It will never get better, so we might as well bear it,” sap your soul.
The best bit about being a football administrator is seeing improvement in young persons’ skill, behaviour and attitude.
The worst bit is the slow progress. You are seeing the stuff you need, but it isn’t easy to find the resources.
On that score, I’m very grateful for the patience of our coaches and even players and parents.
Knowing I have five hours of really important work but only two hours to do it in is my version of hell. I like to do everything well, no matter what it is. I really suffer when I can’t do my job at the level I’d like.
I was physically attacked, jumped from behind, once by an administrator who didn’t enjoy a few of my pieces.
I chose to deal with that legally, because that’s the example to set to my profession. That matter has since been settled.
The sight of the Northern Range from the plane window lifts my spirits when I’m returning home. I’ve seen that outline for my whole life.
I’m always disoriented in flat areas like Miami.
A Trini – including Tobagonians – is someone who just wants to enjoy life and live good with his neighbours.
At our best, we are chill and good-humoured. Yes, there is a downside to that, but Trinbagonians are really good company.
Trinidad and Tobago for me means warmth. I’m thinking about friendly people first of all.
Read the full version of this feature on Friday evening at www.BCPires.com
"Not enough time added on"