Tassarene’s new Toshao promises to do ‘what is right and necessary’


By Brad DeSouza

Tassarene, derived from the Akawaio word “Te-da-leng”, meaning “High Science,” is a community of approximately 450 residents. It’s situated in the middle Mazaruni district, Region 7, about 123 miles from Bartica.

Tassarene is accessible by both land and river. The local economy thrives on farming, fishing, and mining, with football being the favoured sport.

The village’s new toshao, or leader, aims to transform the community through progressive leadership and dynamic development initiatives.

Ridley Joseph’s own journey to leadership began in Kangaruma, many miles away from Tasareene. His early experiences in the underdeveloped community fueled his resolve to advocate for substantial change.

At 37, Toshao Joseph embodies youthful vigor and a determined spirit. His leadership agenda is comprehensive, encompassing infrastructure enhancement, housing improvements, regulation of mining activities, and the promotion of agricultural, educational, and cultural projects. These initiatives reflect his commitment to catalyzing growth and fostering sustainable development in Tassarene.

A pivotal aspect of Joseph’s vision is the preservation and revitalization of the Akawaio culture and language. He highlighted the adverse impact of external influences on native language retention, particularly the exclusion of indigenous languages in schools. Addressing this cultural erosion, Joseph emphasises the importance of integrating cultural education within the community.

Upon assuming office, Toshao Joseph restructured the council, expanding it from six to ten members. He believes that a larger, more collaborative council can better address the community’s needs and prevent neglect.

“This is not just about myself as the Toshao; the council also plays a crucial role. Together, we will ensure that we do what is right and necessary,” he asserted.

His commitment to his people and unwavering dedication to progress signal a promising future for the community.


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