It was so nice that fellow artistes, friends, and supporters of David "Okee Dokee" Huggins who came together for a fundraising concert called Stand for Love last year to assist him in acquiring a prosthetic leg had to do it twice.
In 2017, a diabetic foot complication resulted in the amputation of the popular radio show host/musician/professional vocalist and voice-over artiste’s right leg. Due to the overwhelming success of the first benefit concert and requests from fans; Stand For Love AgaIIn was born and will take place at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, on June 2.
Performers will include 3 Canal, Christian Mendez, David Huggins, Debbie Nahous, Denyse Plummer, Donadoni, Johann Chuckaree, Johanna Chuckaree, Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, Lujoe & The Gifted, Marcia Miranda, Guardian Media’s own Marvin Smith, Nalini Akal, Quattro Musica, Synthesis Dance Studio, Tendaji and Vaughnette Bigford.
Hosts of the evening will be Sean Murphy and Maurice Brash.
Huggins demonstrates a willingness to achieve and keep on working despite his condition. He's also very affable, funny and pokes fun at his condition.
Huggins is very optimistic and has accepted his condition without allowing it to depress him.
He is an inspiration to others by his bon vivant approach to life and how normal he interacts with people in his life without feeling sorry for himself.
Huggins’ creative mind is unfettered, the "II" in the Stand For Love AgaIIn banner is in the shape of a prosthetic leg, is his concept.
On entering his apartment in Barataria, you can tell that he is a movie buff by his classic movie collection and hardcore Star Wars fan from the Yoda interactive robot toy scooting along the floor, Star Wars logo on his computer,
Darth Vader lightsaber, app-enabled R2D2 remote-controlled robot, Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon embedded in the living room wall, R2D2 beeping and chirping cellphone ringtone and his Star Wars film collection.
Huggins’s voice sounds familiar, it is the voice behind many of the concert promotions both local and foreign performers, some with an American accent, but many people can’t place it to the face.
He did his first voice-over commercial in 1989 for Devon Cream biscuits, over the years has done commercials for WASA, T&TEC, Standard Distributors and corporate documentaries, TRINRE, and Judy Chong-Dennison and Anthony Dennison.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian on Tuesday, Huggins said "People will hear my voice on the radio or telephone, when I speak to them, I laugh. When they meet me in person and see me in this wheelchair, they go: my God! He’s an amputee! My reply is so what? What’s next? Some people might sit down and wallow and drown in their self-pity wondering what to do if they lost their leg.
"That's your problem; if you don’t know what to do, I know what to do. I ended up making a brand out of the situation."
He said his titanium and carbon fibre above-knee prosthetic leg has to be custom-fitted and manufactured in the US
and costs close to $50,000, more sophisticated models can cost as much as $750,000.
Huggins said part proceeds from the concert will also go towards aiding two more amputees with their more modest costing prosthetic limbs.
His advice to citizens was to live a healthy life and to try their best because these things can come back and haunt them later on in life such as arthritis. Huggins’ irrepressible humour appeared again when he joked that he wouldn’t have any problems like that with arthritis because he doesn't have a leg.
He said he gave off a very positive energy that has come from his faith in God and when people believed that something could happen once they put their mind to it.
The well-known presenter and producer for GEM Radio Network as well as many of the local radio frequencies including 105.1fm, Power 102 fm, Rhythm Radio 95.1fm, WeFm, Star 94.7 and 107.7fm, and primary soloist of the St Theresa’s RC Church, Wookbrook, keeps busy still doing voice-overs, dabbling in video editing and was now venturing into set design, learning from deceased veteran masman Wayne Berkeley.
Huggins said he also performed as an MC at Panorama this year and several Carnival shows, as long as there was wheelchair access, he was not letting impediments limit him.
He said, however, some places can be more accommodating such as the Trinidad Broadcasting Company (TBC) Radio Network.
Huggins said the steps outside of St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, needed fixing so that he can come back and work and he then joked "You hear that (Guardian Media managing director) Nicholas Sabga? Please call me, Aunty Vena say to call me!"
The concert takes place at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, on June 2, from 6:30 pm. Contribution is $200. Tickets are available from Queen’s Hall Box Office or queenshalltt.com
Come and support a worthy cause with David Huggins and friends as they all Stand For Love AgaIIn.