Mr. Tim Tim : Keeping the culture alive

Remember Mr. Tim Tim?

Paul Keens-Douglas

Well, he’s back in Toronto for a concert on Saturday (two shows) with the Dance Caribe Performing Company at the Riverdale Collegiate Institute.

Caribbean storyteller and motivational speaker Paul Keens-Douglas,  popularly known as Mr. Tim Tim (one of the enduring characters in his collection of stories), will be telling tales that  have delighted  audiences over several decades.

Presented by Talk, Theatre, Comedy and Dance (TTCODA), the concert will be held under patronage of  Ms Cherrone Mokund, the acting Consul General of the Republic of Trinidad and  Tobago.

Call it social commentary or ole talk at its most entertaining level, Keens-Douglas, the Trinidad-born” spoken word artist,” brings to life through his performance, Caribbean characters which continue to make audience laugh out loud.

Ole time characters like Mr. Tim Tim.

And Keens-Douglas is not prepared to change his stories for a present-day audience – ” just for the sake of change.”

In an interview earlier this week, he told the Caribbean Camera that while his characters may be described as  “dated,”  they are still relevant.

And although he has written about ” “current happenings” his fans keep asking for many of the old stories

He also  noted  that it was important to preserve ” those old stories.

“A  lot of artists say that we have to change things so that people can understand  them but in changing, you also destroy. You cannot change  something and have the same thing .

“‘So if you’re trying to preserve our cultural stuff, you have to take the time to explain it without changing it .”

“The media are not doing it. So we have to try and preserve them,” ” he added.

“In doing so, some of us have to take on the role of historians and make sure we present things how they used to be  because nobody is teaching those values anymore  and the values will be lost,” he  said.

He explained that as a storyteller he sees himself playing a “double role ” – to entertain and to remind people of ” the values that brought  us to where we are and are still important today.”

According to Keens-Douglas,” storytelling is when we would sit down  and talk to each other, “.

” Now we have Facebook and that kind of thing and we send emails and the technology is changing and this has affected our inter-personal relationships.”

” But when I do my show, people see how things were and what we’ve been losing ,” he added.

He noted that while many older people come to his shows to hear the “old stories,” his audience is mixed.

“Many younger people are also taking in the shows,” he said

For the Dance Caribe Performing Company which will be onstage at Saturday’s concert , this year marks the troupe’s 28th anniversary.

Under the direction of its founder, Martin Scott-Pascall, the troupe presents diverse dance styles in traditional and contemporary form with its focus on Caribbean aesthetics.