Category Archives: Carnival

Pan Potential

By Raffique Shah
February 17, 2020

Raffique ShahAs I savour some of the best offerings from this year’s Carnival from the comfort and safety of my home, I cannot help but think of the thousands of performers and revellers out there who, even as they immerse themselves in the gaiety of the festival, must ponder the possibilities that they might become victims of some criminal act before the day or night is over.
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Salute the London clan

By Raffique Shah
March 09, 2019

Raffique ShahHaving written last week that I did not see the successors to Sparrow and other icons in the pantheon of great calypsonians of Trinidad and Tobago, hence of the world, I think I must be man enough to apologise to the London family, three of whom won the four most prestigious calypso titles at stake this year.

Uncle Brian, who composed the winning songs for nephews Ronaldo and Rivaldo, beat a formidable field (Gypsy, Myron B, Black Sage) to take the ex-tempo crown convincingly, having failed on several previous occasions. Ever since his entry into the calypso arena sometime during the first decade of the Millennium, Brian has consistently maintained high standards as a composer and singer. He was selected for the monarch finals on five occasions (1st runner-up in 2010), and the ex-tempo finals more than that.
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Chalkdust, calypso must change or die

By Raffique Shah
February 16, 2018

Raffique ShahDear Chalkie,

I rarely respond to critics of views I express in my column, unless, like you, I hold them in high regard. Just as I enjoy the freedom to criticise public figures within the bounds of decency, I respect others’ right to respond to my opinions when we disagree, or even when they distort facts and resort to abuse.
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Death of calypso tents

By Raffique Shah
January 30, 2018

Raffique ShahThey looked pathetic, three of the leading calypsonians in the country—Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes and Pink Panther—as they begged the Government for a “mere half-a-million-dollars” to operate the Calypso Revue tent over the three-week Carnival season. Admitting that they had already received $100,000 funding that was woefully inadequate, the top bards invoked the name, memory and legacy of the great Lord Kitchener, who founded the Revue 55 years ago. For Kitchener’s sake, they pleaded, grant us the half-a-mil.
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Cops: Get permission before thiefing a wine

By Jensen La Vende
January 11, 2016 – guardian.co.tt

CarnivalWith the Carnival season now in full swing, police are warning people who plan to gyrate on others that they can be arrested for assault if the person they want to “thief a wine on” decides to engage the police.

Speaking at the weekly media briefing yesterday, public information officer of the Police Service ASP Michael Jackman said it is an assault to touch someone without their consent.
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Funding culture vultures

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2018

Raffique ShahThe Government missed a good opportunity to impress upon the population the gravity of the country’s economic circumstances, and consequently the dire need for all segments of society to make sacrifices on the expenditure side of the equation, when it capitulated by doling out millions of taxpayers’ dollars to fund private promoters whose sole interest in Carnival is to profit off it.
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PNM women slam ‘Rowley mother’ song

PNM women slam ‘Rowley mother’ song

By Seeta Persad
December 23, 2017 – newsday.co.tt

Massive Gosine (Nirmal Gosine)Chutney Singer Nirmal “Massive” Gosine’s latest song Rowley Mother Count has triggered a heated online debate on what should pass for composition at the national level.

Yesterday, Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis joined the chorus of opposition to the play of words, describing it as distasteful and loathsome.
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An Anarchist Anthem

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 06, 2017

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Wednesday, Max Prime’s “We Jammin’ Still” was declared the Road March of the year. Over the two days of Carnival, it was played over 556 times as opposed Machel Montano’s “Your Time Now” that was played 77 times. On January 11, Joanne Briggs declared: “Ultimate Rejects” has already been declared the people’s anthem for Carnival 2017″ (Trinidad Guardian). She wasn’t wrong. Over the last two months, “We Jammin’ Still” replaced our National Anthem as an expression of our people’s sentiment: a directionless nation in crisis.
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Hail the Queen

By Raffique Shah
February 24, 2017

Raffique ShahI had planned to write on the resurgence of Calypso Rose since last year, when, having read about her successes in France, I decided to check YouTube to get proof of the pudding, in a manner of speaking. I have grown wary of boasts by many bards, more so those of the fast-foods Soca-ilk who make similar claims when all they have done is appear at carnivals or concerts up the islands or before diaspora-audiences in North America.
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Living As Dogs, Part 1

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 06, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am glad Brian MacFarlane has agreed to withhold a section of his 2017 presentation, “Cazabon-The Art of Living.” MacFarlane has argued that the Cazabon era, which he identified as the 1880s and 1890s, “was the most beautiful time—art was fabulous, fashion was glorious, and the architecture was amazing and full of such intricate details.” Two questions arise: “A beautiful time for whom?” and, “What was happening to Indo-Trinidadians during the Cazabon period?”
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