Anthony Jericho Greenidge brought an exciting breadth of fresh air to Grenadian radio. He stood out as a media performer with distinction in a media atmosphere undermined by its lack of regulation. He grabbed and held the attention of a nation distracted by monotonous sideshows. He captured the imagination of a nation forced to endure unchecked on air monologues and dialogues that devalued efforts to strengthen foundations of education.
Anthony Jericho Greenidge embodied a mitigating one man force using his qualifications, skills and experience to keep alive the spirit, essence and meaning of radio, in a struggling environment.
Lew Smith, Harold Pysadee or even the great Leslie “Horsemouth” Seon would tell you that radio is supposed to be simple and effective; that the ordinary man is supposed to understand the message whether it’s through a newscast or on air conversations. ‘D Duke’ lived simplicity in radio and its one of the reasons he was so effective. His comments were on issues that affected and were of interest to people.
His methods were kinds that people could relate to. ‘D Duke’, you would say, was an effective communicator. He was so effective on radio that even if you missed his show, you will hear somebody somewhere say Jericho said so and so…Jericho’s words, to many, was the gospel and to many others he was Grenada’s mayor. There was a time that lots of people around the island felt that the only person to whom you should report a broken water line or a power outage or a pothole in the road, was to Jericho – never to the utility companies or the Ministry of Works. After they told Jericho, they will sit back and wait for the same utility company or the ministry to come to their neighborhood and repair the damage – whatever it was.
While I hosted GBN mornings live, I missed Jericho’s morning show on WEE FM…. But not really because at some point during the day, whether its Linda Straker or my cousin Joy, someone would tell me a few significant things Jericho would have said on his show.
D Duke was a spirit and a force that rallied a sometimes divided media fraternity. Back in the days, when Jericho qualified for calypso semi-finals, the whole media crew including Shirma Wells, would gather in front the Seamoon stage backing ‘our boy’. We were proud that one of our own was in semifinals.
At the time of his passing he was second vice President of the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG). Jericho, came forward and accepted the position in response to our call for members to get involved in media advocacy and development. But ladies and gentlemen, I dare say, he did more. He was personally involved in training young people to be media professionals; and having attended the closing ceremony of one of his training workshops, I was truly impressed.
Media Cricket Captain Johnson Richardson would confirm that D Duke was a key bowling and batting member of the media team in inter-sector cricket. The ladies of the media would confirm that Duke was a crucial player in the media netball team playing in inter-sector games. And we are all well aware of his exploits in track and field and parang.
Duke was funny. Once you were around him, you would be laughing. In one of my recent email communications with him, I asked him to confirm his attendance at a cruise for media persons during Media week activities earlier this year. His response made me laugh…He said, “Duke will be there…hopefully with a contingent of wealthy ‘honies’!!!”
He didn’t make it to the cruise though, he had to host the prize-giving ceremony for the Greene’s Bicycle Race.
To my Media colleagues across the landscape, be it in radio, television, newspaper, online, or magazine; as well as Jericho’s fans and listeners across this country and in the diaspora…we are sad today!
Sad, that a true media soldier has left us…physically…so early..we were never prepared.
Sad, that we never got to say to him how much we appreciated what he was doing.
Sad, that we never took the opportunity he was giving us to improve our skills.
But now, I encourage you to look pass this deep sadness. Dig down, way down and find the things he did to bring joy, peace, and even comfort to our lives, and hold on to it, hold on tightly – never letting go.
Be thankful for his life…. for the fullness of the life he lived and the lessons and exciting times he shared with us.
He ran and some of us ran with him. He jumped and there are those who jumped with him. He sang and we remember singing with him. He danced. He played. He provoked. He incited. He made us think. He laughed and we laughed along with him. He cried and he made us cry. He got angry and we got angry with him.
But when it was all over, we were still one. He had the glue that somehow kept us all one…that kept us grounded.
He is gone, and today we remember his life, his work, his legacy. But we will not say good bye; for to do so would be going against the grain of a man who was life itself. He never said good bye. He always said…
“Yeah man!” “Yeah, yeah…catch up later!” “Yeah…in a timing.” “I’m outta here.”
Jericho is “outta here”, but he’ll never be really “outta here”.