TUCO and bmobile celebrate Diamond Jubilee with Calypso Monarch
TSTT Corporate Communications
Calypso music is intrinsic to Trinidad and Tobago’s history, culture, and national image. As the nation celebrated its 60th Anniversary of Independence, veterans of the art-form joined newcomers alike at the entertainment centre of the City of Port of Spain for a night of music and friendly competition.
The Trinbago Unified Calypsonians' Organisation (TUCO), with support of corporate sponsors including bmobile, hosted the Diamond Jubilee Independence Calypso Monarch Final Competition on Sunday 25th September 2022, at the Grandstand, Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. Featuring guest performances by the reigning Calypso Monarch, Terri Lyons, and veteran calypsonian Irwin ‘Scrunter' Johnson, ten finalists competed for the unique 2022 Independence Calypso Monarch crown.
Gerard Cooper, General Manager -Operations and Administration at TSTT, welcomed the opportunity to align with the competition. "We have proudly stood behind and supported all facets of our culture in Trinidad and Tobago for several decades. Globally, calypso music is synonymous with T&T and has given rise to many memorable hits still enjoyed in parties, events and homes every week," he notes. But competitions like the Diamond Jubilee Monarch offer more stimulus and inspiration for our calypsonians. We are proud to be the indigenous telecommunications provider that supports the work of TUCO and lights a fire of creativity for the talented musicians to share their work," Cooper adds.
Competitors enjoyed a night dedicated to T&T's 60 years of Independence with Calypso fans and well-wishers, but three emerged supreme at the end of the evening. Heaven ‘Snakey' Charles' energetic rendition of 'What You Want Again Trinbago?' captured the crown and the top prize of $200,000. Aaron Duncan's 'Luv Meh Country Bad' and Karene Asche’s 'Diamond Forever' took second and third places, respectively, with prizes of $100,000 and $60,000 each. The top three winners will also receive one-year free service courtesy bmobile.
Devon Seales, Marketing Manager of TUCO, highlighted the importance of the event, recalling, "The Diamond Jubilee Calypso Monarch competition aimed to promote nation building and foster a sense of patriotism, unity, and love for the country through song and our cultural art-form. Coming out of a pandemic, we recognised a desire amongst Calypsonians to create and perform their music and this idea took form." He also noted that the last competition of this kind was for T&T's 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2012.
The remaining top ten finalists received a cash prize of $20,000 each. Those finalists were as follows:
4th Bethany ‘Trinity’ Lightbourne
5th Donald ‘Duane’ O’ Connor
6th Morel ‘King Luta’ Peters
7th Tameika Darius
8th Victoria ‘Queen Victoria’ Cooper – Rahim
9th Eunice Peters
10th Brian London