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Dear Editor: Tuco must redistribute calypso money, introduce ‘Gospelypso Arm’ and utilise Maria Bhola

“[…] The records will show that over the past 25 years, calypsonians among your membership who have faithfully participated in the Calypso King competition then and now Calypso Monarch have never been compensated financially in the preliminary round of competition.

“[…] It is patently clear that the musical labour of your calypsonians are similarly being used to fill the pockets of the greedy leaving many of your members needy. As a first act to show that you will be really taking utmost care of your own, I humbly implore you to remedy this situation…”

Photo: Calypsonian Maria Bhola.
(Copyright Carver Thompson)

The following Letter to the Editor on the future of the Trinbago United Calypsonians’ Organisation (Tuco)—entitled ‘Open Message to a King’—was submitted to Wired868 by Julian Mitchell, a retired public servant from La Florissante, D’Abadie:

The King is dead, long live the King. In an instant occasioned firstly by death and in accordance with by-laws, you are now propelled to the helm of the Trinbago United Calypsonians’ Organisation (Tuco).

Enshrined in the organisation’s governing rules and regulation, you are to immediately take your seat at the head table and carry on the business of calypsonians guided by the overarching philosophy of ‘Taking Utmost Care of Own’ until electoral arrangements are made.

You were born a King and now ascended to your throne in your calypso kingdom. The circumstances may have been sudden and tragic but it requires strength commitment and determination to successfully discharge your duties. I have no doubt that you possess the attributes—the knowledge, skills and courage—but I would like to offer you some advice that will help you to hit the ground running at mega speed.

Photo: Helon Francis performs during the Calypso Monarch final at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on 11 February 2018.
Francis, 24, won the title with “Changes”.
(Copyright Wired868)

To be a worthy leader, you must bring immediate salvation to your members you must show strength but not oppression. You must be discerning and eradicate inequalities of all kind.

The records will show that over the past 25 years, calypsonians among your membership who have faithfully participated in the Calypso King competition then and now Calypso Monarch have never been compensated financially in the preliminary round of competition.

All calypsonians who took part in this prestigious event have all contributed to the tourism product of Trinidad and Tobago, which is called Carnival. Needless to say that the country derives tremendous revenue and adds significantly to the GDP of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Similarly many business people make millions off the Carnival event but many patriotic calypsonians receive no financial gains.

My dear King, you must realise that this is akin to treatment meted out to slaves where their plantation owners used their labour principally to amass financial wealth and gave nothing for the slaves. 

Photo: Lornette “Fya Empress” Nedd-Reid performs “Guilty” at the Calypso Monarch finals on 26 February 2017 at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Yes it is patently clear that the musical labour of your calypsonians are similarly being used to fill the pockets of the greedy leaving many of your members needy.

As a first act to show that you will be really taking utmost care of your own, I humbly implore you to remedy this situation. In this way, you will demonstrate strength and a profound sense of caring for your faithful members.

I assure you that this act will not require you to find any new monies. Whatever is available for prizes will suffice as the solution is simply a matter of redistribution. This is a malpractice which has been going for a very long time and I must emphasise that the longevity of a malpractice does not justify its continuance.

Secondly as the next order of business you should consider putting King Luta and psalmist Sean Daniel to head a committee to establish a ‘Gospelypso Arm’ of Tuco. It is my considered opinion that by giving gospel artistes a space, much benefits can accrue to Tuco.

Photo: Gospelypso artiste Sean Daniel performs on National Liberation Day on 21 April 2012.
(Copyright Wendell Joseph)

My dear King, finally I wish to suggest that among your membership is a Queen whom I believe you should embrace as she is a visionary and a high achiever. I do not know her personally but I saw her on The Feminine Drive hosted by calypsonian Warrior Empress. Her name is Maria Bhola.

In closing, I humbly ask that you do not continue to proceed down the same old beaten path but seek to chart one that can facilitate a more harmonious journey. Again I reiterate that these two initiatives do not require you to seek funds from the governor of the Central Bank or otherwise and can be implemented immediately.

Should you be so bold as to go where your predecessors have not gone before I guarantee that you will inspire hope and confidence in your membership and remove skepticism. Be strong.

“Destruction of the weak is nature’s plan”—Johnny King (Calypsonian)

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