‘Welcome to the Motherland of Afrika’

This year, New Horizon wants everyone, including masqueraders, to feel “Welcome to the Motherland of Afrika,” as the Brooklyn-based mas band competes in the annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade on Eastern Parkway.

Band leader Trinidadian Diane Walkes said the portrayal is essential in bringing back “the roots of ancestors.”

She told Caribbean Life that “Welcome to the Motherland of Afrika” comprises five sections for both children and adults, with about 25 masqueraders in each.

The sections are: Coming to America, Ashanti, Somalia, Zulu tribe and Zanya.

With masqueraders from “all over the world,” Walkes, who has been in the carnival business for over 32 years, said the 12-year-old New Horizon’s goal is to “always to out-better ourselves each and every year.”

“New Horizon has performed over the years, as we win some, we lose some; but we always make a place in kiddies category,” she said.

“Masqueraders can expect from New Horizon the same treatment they always receive — which is all about pleasing them, so they will come back each and every year,” added Walkes, stating that preparations are “going well.”

“We are in the month of August, and most of our production lines are expected to finish new week,” she said.

Walkes said she has been making costumes since a “little girl,” when her uncle, Rodrick Snell, played mas in Trinidad and Tobago. She said Snell also played mas in New York.

She said masqueraders and revelers will sway to the hypnotic sounds of DJs Verstalie Soundz, Infrared Sounds, Riddim Junction and Problem Child.

New Horizon, formally known as Gemini Production, is located at 1421 St. John’s Pl., corner of Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.

Walkes can be reached at (917) 285-3295 or (845) 542-4711; or email at mwalkes198[email protected]il.com.

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