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24 July 1927 |
Caratal Caratal, Trinidad and Tobago
|Occupation(s)||Comedian, storyteller, politician|
Ramdeen Ramjattan, known as John Agitation (born 24 July 1927 in Caratal, Trinidad and Tobago), is a comedian and storyteller. He is a graduate of the Progressive Educational Institute and served in the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Service. He was also the first comedian in the Commonwealth of Nations to win an election.
In 1951, at 24, Ramdeen was introduced to the Trinbagonian national audience by Landy de Montbrun, a leading local comic at the time. He told a joke, slightly nervous that he was crossing the boundary of taste. But the crowd was elated. "They were very happy to see a (dark-skinned) fella," Agitation later remarked.
From there, Agitation became a regular on Radio Trinidad, particularly the Horace James Comedy Hour[not in citation given], Sunday Serenade (hosted by Sam Ghany) and the Aunty Kay Children's Show. The latter was sponsored by Bermudez Biscuit Company Limited for decades. He performed in many venues in Trinidad and Tobago as the headline performer, often to sold-out shows.
Throughout his life he has been an avid hunter, as his home is in the rural, still-forested area of Cumuto, with a large population of agouti and brocket deer. He farms oranges, mandarins, tangelos, portugals (clementines) and grapefruit on his 10-acre estate.
He was the first candidate to run on a United National Congress (UNC) ticket: he contested and won a 1989 by-election in the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation for the Guaico-Cumuto district, thus becoming the first comedian in the Commonwealth of Nations to win an election.
Agi, as he is known in Trinbago, is now retired, living on his public service pension, but still performs occasionally. In 2003, Ramdeen "John Agitation" Ramjattan was awarded the Hummingbird Medal (Silver) by the government of Trinidad and Tobago, for his more than five-decade-long work to preserve Trinbagonian and Caribbean folklore via comedic storytelling.
- "Fifty Years of Agitation". demontbrun.com. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Horace James". BestOfTrinidad.com. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Music is therapy and armour for piano maestro". Trinidad Guardian. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Profile Of The Late Sam Ghany". Trinidad and Tobago Broadcasters Association. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "UNC challenge: to regain glory days". Trinidad Guardian. 26 April 2003. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "National Awards Database". Office of the President of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved 26 December 2011.