Sunday, February 25, 2018

Answer this Mr Minister

Can the Minister of Communications Senator Gerald Hadeed, who since his appointment in 2013 is yet to communicate to the public, tell us why are the Ministry of National Security and the Prime Minister’s Office major sponsors of the Soca Monarch competition?

Can the Minister tell us why the Soca Monarch show — which over the years has effectively destroyed the calypso art form, and seems to only enrich the promoters and a few selected soca artistes, and can only survive if there is financial support from the government, something we are reminded of so often around Carnival time — be an event for both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of National Security (a ministry that is facing tremendous challenges) to be involved in? Night after night we see the ads with these two ministries, and a few others, supporting Soca Monarch.

Let the threat of moving the show to another country become a reality and let us then see for ourselves how “International” Soca Monarch really is.

I am yet to see the same support from the PM’s Office and the Ministry of National Security for other aspects of Carnival, those aspects that keep the creative spirit alive.

Soca Monarch is yet to produce classics, party and social, the likes of which came from singers such as Sparrow, Kitchener, Duke, Rose, Stalin, Shadow, Chalkdust, Rudder, Merchant and Ras Shorty I, to name a few.

The lyrical content of 90 per cent of today’s soca tunes consist of “hand in the air, bumper, who from T&T, Grenada, Barbados, St Vincent,” and the list goes on and on; not forgetting the constant question of asking the audience “to scream”.

To paraphrase the lyrics of David Rudder in his classic composition “Calypso Music” — “lyrics to make (you) cringe.”

If the tunes we hear, year after year, sung at Soca Monarch are so memorable and uplifting, something that is badly needed in today’s society and are desirous of the support of both PM’s Office and Ministry of National Security, then ask anyone to sing one of them from two years ago and you will see the point I’m making.

C Peters

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