Tribe at 10 An update on the occasion of their tenth anniversary to my 2009 story on the Carnival band Tribe, published in the Trinidad Guardian on March 03, 2014. The PDF of this published story is here. Ten years is a long time for any business. For one that caters to thousands of people at a time, it’s a challenge that few will ever face. Marry that experience with the world’s fussiest customers, the masqueraders who choose a premium, all-inclusive band with heavily decorated costumes for their Carnival experience and the mix is potentially explosive.
The band’s story in that time is a publicly acknowledged success story of satisfied customers, colourful presentations and feathers aplenty, but it’s also a less well-known narrative of a family and friends who shared a common dream and goal to create the Carnival they wanted to experience, a comfortable, secure space where all the party potential of the festival could be fully explored.
The story began in the big party band Poison, with a section that proved successful and a run that lasted four years. Monique and Lana Nobrega built a faithful following with their designs and commitment to the happiness of their masqueraders and supported by a family and good friends that would become the backbone of the business now known as Tribe, began a journey that now finds them overseeing a popular events management company that produces three major parties during the season, a major J’Ouvert band in Red Ants, the local Miss Universe franchise and two bands, Tribe and Bliss which leverage the powerful engine of production that the team has refined year by year.
Lana and Monique are now part of a team that includes Dean Ackin, Dwayne Nobrega, Alan Lee, Melissa James and Gerard Ramirez, but friends and family populate the management teams that actually execute the work, making for an unusually harmonious response to even the most demanding of pressures.
Ackin promises that the next ten years will find Tribe becoming “more entrenched in the event management, entertainment and Carnival industries.” But that’s typical of the bandleader. He will always talk about keeping a “focus on innovation and breaking new ground through product and service differentiation.”
But look at the man. Really look at him, and you’ll see the devilish smile that betrays just how much fun he’s having and the joy of working with people who feel exactly the same way.