Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our great calypso tent tradition*

Part 1


This is an open letter to Raffique Shah.


Dear Raff, I am truly disappointed with you for your Express column of January 30 headlined, “Death of calypso tents”. As you are aware by now, I do not reply to people who I don't consider, but you are to me a friend. As such, your article hurt my feelings considerably, especially when you describe me as a “pioneer of sorts in the art form.” Perhaps you didn't actually see the recent television interview on which I and other calypsonians appeared.

I took pains at the interview of which you speak, Raff, to point out that I know of the dying mode of the calypso tents and of the current economic position of the country. I am the person, Raff, who sang “Calypso in Hospital” in 1992; I was part of all Spektakula Forum's moves to adjust to the illnesses being suffered over the past 30 or more years; I raised the issue with the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago in September last year when the Prime Minister held a one-day conference to discuss the budget and the economy and I begged him then, that, amidst our ill fortunes, he should help us to save the “Calypso Tent Tradition”.


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