Kamla mourns national treasure, Raymond Choo Kong
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says she was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of well-known actor, playwright, producer and director, Raymond Choo Kong.
Raymond was found dead at his home at Green Street, Arima on Monday.
In a statement remembering the local treasure, Persad-Bissessar said Choo Kong was a true pioneer and innovator, who will always be remembered as one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most gifted artists.
"He was not only a veteran actor and director, but he was a national icon, as the plays that he directed brought joy to many of our citizens. For more than four decades, his work impacted the cultural landscape of our nation through his comedies and pieces of theatrical brilliance."
"While he has shown immense talent on the stage, he also demonstrated his gift as a director when he put on local productions of musicals such as “The Sound of Music”, “The King and I”, and “Mahalia: A Gospel Musical”."
The UNC leader said Choo Kong was unchallenged in the talent department which led to him receiving 18 Cacique Awards from all categories, making him the holder of the most Cacique Awards in our nation’s history.
She added that he will always be remembered for his charisma, wit and the effort he put into ensuring his on stage and screen productions were of exceptional quality. Persad-Bissessar further noted that to her, one of Choo Kong's greatest achievements was his role in the local film “Moving Parts” which was endorsed by the United Nations in 2016.
"The mark of any human being is the positive impact that they have on the lives of others. Without a doubt, Raymond Choo Kong inspired hundreds of young actors and non-actors to follow their dreams no matter their circumstances."
"Today our nation mourns the loss of a true son of the soil. However, as a people, we have been thrown into more turmoil given the manner in which an individual who has given so much to our nation met his end. His death is a reminder of the prevailing danger facing our country, as well as the chilling fact that no person is immune or safe," she stated.
Persad-Bissessar said she joined the local theatre community and the entire nation in mourning this local icon whose life was tragically been taken away much too soon.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the Choo Kong family, his friends, fans, as well as with all the families who continue to be affected by the horrible scourge of crime engulfing Trinidad and Tobago."