I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of the judges next week Saturday when the finals of the Junior Calypso Monarch competition are held at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Based on the tough decisions that were made Saturday gone at the semifinals, they will have their work cut out for them in both the eight to 12 and 13 to 18 categories.
What makes this year’s competition all the more interesting is the fact that there are no reigning monarchs in either category. Quinn Quinn P Prescott, who was the victor in the eight to 12 category last year, has graduated to the 13 to 18 age group, while Charice Honesty Walrond would have ended her junior reign last year.
Among those vying this year are Liana Black Beauty Ifill who declared that she would be taking life Day By Day, having to live with HIV and the stigma attached.
I don’t know why you are hurting me,
I just want to be left in peace,
I did not want to be this way,
I must live it day by day.
I feel de pain when yuh look at me
and telling people that I nasty.
I feel de pain when yuh skin up yuh face
because I born wid AIDS in my veins.
Asher Dynamo Murrell stressed that education was key but warned it could not only be about writing, reading and arithmetic while Dynamo was strong with Don’t Count Me Out.
In her Tribute To Kerry Ann Ifill, Jade Grant urged others to see Ifill’s example of triumph in the face of disability while Brand Name was the focus of ten-year-old Trezelle Jatanya Alleyne’s song, which was written by her older cousin, a student of the Lodge School. It spoke to the trend where children were always up to date with the latest fashions and trends, whether in technology or music. However, she noted that while this was all well and good, some focus needed to be placed on getting an education in order to be truly up to date. She sang to great applause:
Northface, got you up to date,
Jansports got you up to date,
Roxy got you up to date . . .
you feel you ain’t in de do,
cause you ain’t got nuttin’ new
but the learning that you tek,
gun mek you real up to date,
Keonai Kiki Boo Walker urged her peers to Doan Behave So while Princess Mighty Make’da Thomas told Barbadians young and old to respect calypso.
Raanan Hackett, a four-time semifinalist in the Junior Monarch competition, sent out an S.O.S. to all fathers in No Daddy while Kymorhi Trotman issued A Child’s Plea. But it was not all about the bashing of “deadbeat dads” Saturday night. Teri Sparkle T Williams-Niles rendered We Salute You Dads, a tribute to her own father who had passed away.
Karia Star-Fire Campbell is Proud To Be Black while first timer Jamal Slocombe sang Come Together using both his voice and the stage to maximum effect.
Tears of joy flowed, as did wide triumphant smiles when emcee Carl Alff Padmore announced the finalists around midnight.