Calypsonian Mighty Power was yesterday felled by cancer, with which he was diagnosed only weeks ago. At 78 years old he was one of the only three surviving competitors of the first ever Independence Calypso competition in 1962 the winner of which was Lord Brynner. Only Bomber and the Mighty Sparrow remain from the 12 finalists that competed at that first final 50 years ago..
Power, whose real name was Sonny Francois, was looking forward to performing as a guest at the finals of the 50th Independence Anniversary edition of the competition now known as the Lord Brynner Independence Calypso Competition.
Public relations officer of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation, Karega Mandela told the Express that Power was even having his calypso, "Trinidad Independence" rescored for the show. Mandela said the last time he spoke with Power the veteran calypsonian was in good spirits and looking forward to the upcoming show.
"We were looking to honour Power, Bomber and Sparrow at the finals and he was preparing to sing the song he competed with. Is only some weeks ago they discovered some kind of growth in his stomach they said was cancerous."
"But Power was in good spirits in hospital. Last week he told me that by this week he would be back home and that he was doing alright. We have lost a giant in the culture. Power was an easy-going man that never quarrel with anybody. When he come out to work, after he done he liming and laughing. If Power had to perform for 10 p.m. by 8 p.m. he park up by the venue relaxing until is time. He was easy to work with," Mandela said.
Power's most popular song was the comical double entendre, "Tun Tun" about a world famous female comedian from India who visited Trinidad in 1980. The song was the runner-up for the National Road March title in 1981 and was on the lips of nearly everyone including school children who knew what "Tun Tun" meant in Trinidadian dialect and risked punishment singing the song's chorus in the schoolyards.
Another of Power's classics is, "Respect Our Culture," which Mandela said is among one of the greatest calypsoes recorded and a wonderful legacy left for the nation by Power. This song admonishes citizens to have respect for the culture of this nation and understand that regardless of what other nations may have that may appear to be better, nothing should be greater to a Trinbagonian than our calypso and pan. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.