FOR THE BIRDIE: Slinger Francisco, better known as The Mighty Sparrow, right, receives the declaration from Acting Mayor of Port of Spain Keron Valentine as Councillor Janel Young looks on yesterday at City Hall, Port of Spain. Wednesday, September 19 was declared The Mighty Sparrow Day by the Port of Spain City Corporation.

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City honours Sparrow

The Mighty Sparrow got his day from the City of Port of Spain yesterday.

Wednesday, September 19 was declared The Mighty Sparrow Day in a proclamation read by Acting Mayor of the City Corporation, Keron Valentine, at City Hall, Knox Street, Port of Spain.

In a proclamation read by Valentine, it was stated: "Slinger Francisco, the Supreme Serenader, better known as The Mighty Sparrow, affectionately dubbed the Birdie, is the unrivalled Calypso King of the World and whereas the artiste par excellence has demonstrated year after year that the art form of calypso is really the eyes of the people and is the medium to entertain, enlighten and educate.

"He has brought honour, glory and dignity to an indigenous art form that was once scorned upon by the elite of Caribbean society. He has proven himself as the quintessential calypsonian, with over seventy albums to his credit.

"The Mighty Sparrow's talent and hard work were the foundation for his achievement, which includes the title of Chief Omo Wale of Ikoyl, conferred upon him in Nigeria, and Doctor of Letters, an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies, and induction into the Sunshine Awards Calypso and Steelband Music Hall of Fame."

In reply, Sparrow said he felt honoured and wonderful.

"This is something we have been fighting for since the early days of "Jean and Dinah" when the first prize was $40 and a cup," he said referring to his first Calypso Monarch title in 1956. "Now a young boy can win $500,000 as a first prize. I am not saying he does not deserve it, but we had to fight for it to reach there."

On Saturday, Spektakula Promotions will present a show in tribute to Sparrow, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, in Port of Spain.

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