Triple-crown winner Machel Montano said he will "gladly accept" a role as an official cultural ambassador of T&T if offered at this time.
Planning and Development Minister Bhoe Tewarie suggested on Tuesday that "Machel should lead the charge in selling Trinidad and Tobago internationally". In an interview at the Grand Stand, Queen's Park Savannah, in Port of Spain, Tewarie said this will be his proposal when the discussion comes up in Cabinet.
In response to the suggestion, Montano said:
"I will glady accept this offer because I think its something I've been doing since I was nine years old. I think we have been putting tourism on our front board whenever we go to Madison Square Garden (New York, USA), whenever we have a great Carnival, whenever we release great music; I think it makes people want to buy a ticket and come to Trinidad and Tobago. Kudos to this Government, beyond the others in the past, for recognising who we are and what we do and how much it contributes to the economics of the country and the infrastructure of a nation moving forward."
Montano, his manager, James Walton, and producer/musical director, Kernal Roberts, addressed the media at a news conference held in the Sapphire Room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Centre in Port of Spain yesterday evening, following the announcement he had won the 2012 Road March title, in addition to his two victories in the Groovy and Power Soca Monarch competitions.
Heaping praise upon his team, "Pump Yuh Flag" producer Kernal Roberts, promoter Anthony Chow Lin On, as well as his mother, Elizabeth Montano, and Roberts' mother, Valerie Greene, Montano said he was delighted to have achieved his goals for Carnival 2012.
He said: "From Machel Monday, to Fantastic Friday to now, Ash Wednesday, we really had a goal—we set out to make history this year, and I wanna thank all those who made it possible. Not just my team and my family but all the flag crews, all the girls crews, even the food crews who kept us healthy and gave us food to pump. I especially wanna thank all the masqueraders for choosing my song for 2012. This year is special to us because it is the year of our trinity—its the year when people say the world is going to end, but we say no; it is just going to reset to zero and start over."
Describing his win in the Power category as "purpose over plot", Montano said his team had worked long and hard on the song but only found its true purpose during the week leading up to Fantastic Friday.
"This song had its own personal saga and we must thank our mothers," said Roberts, "Elizabeth Montano and Valerie Greene, for sitting with us. We had an executive meeting with them both for the first time a few weeks ago where they basically convinced us that we should believe in ourselves and the song and ride it to the end. We had a lot of different mixes, and it took Precision Productions, working with Kitch and Penn and Ace out of St Lucia, all of us working together to make 'Pump Yuh Flag' what it is today."
This season's triple victory takes Montano and Robert's career winnings to include five Road March titles each, with Montano also claiming three Soca Monarch titles (Power in 2011 and both in 2012) and Roberts having produced and written three, as well with "Palance" in 2010, "Advantage" in 2011 and "Pump Yuh Flag" in 2012. • See Pages 4, 5 & 19