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South masmen: We will go on

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

CARNIVAL bandleaders in San Fernando have expressed similar concerns about prize money as veteran masman Brian MacFarlane, but they have promised to continue promoting Trinidad and Tobago's culture.

Fireworks Promotions bandleader Raju Nathu agreed that producing a Carnival band was costly.

"I agree that it takes a lot to produce a band. I have also been losing money over the years, but I will continue to do this because it is what I love."

Nathu said MacFarlane was a good role model for other bandleaders.

"MacFarlane had many years ahead of him. I don't know why he really quit."

Nathu said although Carnival was about creativity and costumes, many revellers preferred to parade on the streets in beads and a bikini.

"I understand what (MacFarlane) is saying about nakedness in Carnival, but that is what the people what.

"We tried a different style last year and many people were not buying costumes in that section. There are people who would appreciate those costumes, while others like the beads," he said.

Designer and masman Dexter Jennings said MacFarlane may not have been producing bands for the love of Carnival.

"Brian has probably gotten what he was looking for. It's not really about winning prize money, it's really for the love of it. That band has about 1,000 people and costumes are not very cheap. He has been winning Carnival kings and queens, so what does he want again?"

Jennings said although Carnival was not a "money-making" business, he would continue producing bands because of his passion for the celebration.

Aaron Kallicharan, son of veteran bandleader Ivan Kallichan, said on Wednesday that MacFarlane's creativity would be missed.

MacFarlane said he presented his last Carnival band, Joy--the Finale, on Tuesday.

His presentation won this year's Band of the Year title.

MacFarlane said he was disappointed with the $300,000 prize for winning bands.

He said Carnival bands were expensive to produce and winners should be paid more money.

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