Friday, February 8, 2013

Tobago Chalkie takes 2013 Calypso Crown

Alex “Tobago Chalkie” Gift won with his song A Spranger’s Story
at the 2013 Tobago Calypso Monarch at the Scarborough Esplanade. Courtesy THA
Tobago Chalkie (Alex Gift) is the island’s 2013 calypso monarch. His rendition of A Spranger’s Story referred to conversations he had with drug addicts, locally known as “sprangers,” at Crook’s River, where they can be found offering car-wash services.

The competition was held at the Scarborough Esplanade on Thursday night. Tobago Chalkie’s song also highlighted the broken promises of politicians, using as examples Dr Wayne Kublalsingh’s hunger strike last year, the flawed hiring of Reshmi Ramnarine to a top security position, and former Tobago Development Minister Vernella Alleyne–Toppin, whose credit card expenses caused a scandal.

He also compared the controversies to the dilemma of the “sprangers” when he sang the tagline—”Ah wonder if they spranging too.”  Tobago Chalkie walked away with the $100,000 winner’s prize. Newly-appointed Secretary for Community Development and Culture Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus was on hand to congratulate the winner.

Henson Wright (Calypso Prince) placed second with Asylum Without a Gate. Dressed as a “crazy man,” Calypso Prince revealed several anomalies in the governance of T&T and referred to the THA Milshirv issue and the PNM’s landslide victory in the THA elections, former minister Collin Partap’s reluctance to take a breathalyser test and the Section 34 controversy.

Nicole Thomas, who sang Show Me A Way, placed third. Her calypso expounded on the many trials and tribulations affecting the country, including gun and domestic violence, sexual abuse and drug addiction. Her rendition was in the form of a prayer as she asked God to show her a way out of the problems. 

Thomas, a customer service representative at Republic Bank, paid tribute to her co-worker Burlinda Solomon-Sobers, who was murdered last December. The Tobago Festivals Committee Carnival events continue tomorrow with the Windward Afro Queen show and Windward Calypso Monarch competition at the Cyd Gray Sporting Complex in Roxborough.

The event is scheduled to start at 8 pm.

Calypso Monarch Results
1. Alex Gift (Tobago Chalkie)—A Spranger’s Story
2. Henson Wright (Calypso Prince)—Asylum Without a Gate
3. Nicole Thomas—Show Me a Way
4. Dillion Thomas (Dilly Suede)—For a Crown
5. Kenneth Thomas (Puncheon)—Gynaecologist
6. Leslie-Ann Ellis—Who Runs the World
7. Roslyn Reid—With You I Belong
8. Candace Robinson—Yesterday
9. Lornette Nedd Reid (Fya Empress)—Celebrate with Me
10. Sherwin Cunningham (Skee)—Celebrating the Journey We Come from Far
11. Giselle Fraser–Washington (GG)—Stretch Out Your Hand
12. Opuku Ware (Ware)—A Tribute to Shadow
13. Neville Denoon (Zoro)—Political Promises

Reproduced from Trinidad Guardian

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