Trinidad and Tobago soca stars Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez and Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez might have executed a daring daylight escape from indentured servitude yesterday, right in the land of their birth.
Locals might have heard of the alleged labour racket by another name. Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) chairman William Munro prefers to refer to it as the “International Soca Monarch.”
Bunji and Fay Ann signed up to work at the 2013 International Soca Monarch show but were reportedly stunned by some of the clauses in the competition, which, according to the Trinidad Express, insists that winners must: give 5 percent of their earnings to the CPF, defend their titles next year or pay the CPF 90 per cent of the prize money and attend the prize distribution ceremony whether it is in Trinidad and Tobago or abroad.
Munro did not ask that the artistes deliver their first-born child to the CPF. But then there was nowhere else in the contract that he could cut an extra 10 percent for daycare.
Trinidad and Tobago ought to know that indentured servitude was, arguably, a high-bred form of slavery where debt, rather than chains, kept workers on the plantations.
Munro, according to reports, allows soca stars like Machel Montano to spend $50,000 out of every $1 million dollar pay out. Then, he pays himself an identical $50,000 fee although Mr Live Wire is fairly certain that he only sings at the bank.
The remaining $900,000 must be returned to the CPF or the artiste is contractually obliged to provide his labour to the organisation in 12 months.
Mr Live Wire cannot confirm that Lawrence Duprey will name Munro as his CEO if he ever regains control of CLICO or that Allan Stafford told fellow inmates he should have chosen the soca business and not cricket.
We cannot prove either that Kees Diefenthaller is working on a remix to his former winning tune: “I feel like; I just win 50,000 dollars…”