Accolades are nothing new to lyrical master and Cultural Ambassador Anthony Gabby Carter.
He has penned more than one thousand songs about his beloved Barbados, the region and further afield with masterpieces like Emmerton, Riots in De Land, Ole Ashe, Burn Mr Harding, and Jack. In more than four decades, he has deservingly chalked up countless honours and prizes.
He has won nine titles in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition, was named Folk Singer of the Year three times, has been awarded the Living Legend Award at the 2006 Barbados Music Awards, and his hit song Emmerton is regarded as Barbados’ Song of the Decade.
His latest award came this past week, at the 18th edition of the prestigious Limón Roots Awards at the National Theatre in Costa Rica.
The Limon Roots Award recognizes the contributions of outstanding Afro-Caribbean people. Gabby is the first-ever recipient of the award from the Eastern Caribbean.
Dressed in a multi-coloured African print, Gabby flashed his trademark broad smile as he stepped onto the stage last Sunday to receive the honour.
Humbled by the achievement, he told the adoring audience, “I am grateful to have receive this prestigious award, it means something very important to me.
“When I get back to Barbados I will tell my new Minister of Culture – he is also an entertainer – I will tell him how beautiful Costa Rica is, how nice the people of Costa Rica are, and we have no choice but to increase the ties between Costa Rica and Barbados.”
Speaking to Bajan Vibes from the Central American country, Gabby described the event “as a very historic night.
“This is the most prestigious award in Costa Rica for black people … and I am very grateful that I received it.”
But more than receiving the award he was pleased with his reception he got in Costa Rica.
At the event, Gabby, joined by talented local musicians, took up his guitar and belted out familiar hits Bridgetown, Emmerton, Hit It, Windforce and Doctor Cassandra, much to the delight of the audience.
“I received an encore. It was a very historic night. I got the chance to share the stage with some of the best dancers and singers in Costa Rica.”
Away from the stage, Gabby, ever the ambassador, shared all he could about his homeland and learned of the connections between Barbados and Costa Rica.
“I also shared my dressing rooms with the wonderful Garifuna people who told me they originated in Barbados and not St Vincent as is popularly believed.
“I believe there should be much closer ties between Barbados and Costa Rica.”