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Blows for mayor in south J’Ouvert
It was blows for San Fernando mayor Dr Navi Muradali yesterday as traditional mas characters took to the streets of the southern city putting their own spin on his recent public spat with girlfriend Viveka Pargass. Pargass surprised many when she turned up at yesterday’s Harris Promenade celebrations at Muradali’s side.
Last December the two featured in Facebook postings following a public disagreement at Gulf City Mall in La Romaine. Yesterday the couple, who appeared to have patched up their differences, smiled for media photographers as they posed for photos before making their way to City Hall.
An hour and a half later, it seemed, art imitated life when two traditional mas characters from the band Blue Boys 2013’s Happiness Killing We, portrayed Me and de Mayor Patch Up. The female character, sporting bandages on her head and hand held on to the “mayor,” a man dressed in a shirt and tie with a monster mask. Another female character, portraying the Mayor Have Me Love Struck, waddled before the judges holding her back as she rubbed her oddly shaped belly with a bandaged hand.
The crowd cheered loudly as another female character, from the same band, dressed in a black short pants and tight top, sent a message to Muradali as she portrayed Forget She Mayor Spank Meh Anytime Yuh Want, while the mayor character followed her around with a cardboard paddle.
Both Muradali and Pargass took the presentations in good spirits as they waved and laughed heartily from the mayor’s box. However yesterday’s J’Ouvert celebrations got off to a late start as Muradali officially declared the reign of the merry monarch open at 6.26 am. He told reporters this year’s celebrations will see increased cash prizes at stake for revellers, as San Fernando received a $2 million allocation for Carnival.
Soca artiste Machel Montano did not escape a roasting either as characters portrayed Mach-L and Kern-L Share a Cell. The two characters tossed a cellphone between them and mimicked chatting. Calypsonian Sugar Aloes was also portrayed as Sugar Alloo—a man wearing a toilet paper-styled suit. San City Steel Symphony and Junior Sammy Skiffle were the first two steel orchestras to pass the Harris Promenade judging point.
Yesterday at 6.30 am Tyron Nanan, of Princes Town, dressed in a white dhoti with a yellow cardboard ship, SS Calcutta, in tow, opened J’Ouvert celebrations in San Fernando as he portrayed Captain Jack and friends.
Among the characters performing before the judges yesterday was former senator Dr Patrick Watson, who portrayed Kamla and Rowley Pick New Heads. Oma Panday, wife of former prime minister Basdeo Panday, frolicked in the Blue Boys band yesterday as they crossed the Harris Promenade judging point. The Tobago House of Assembly election also found its way into celebrations as characters portrayed Kamla/Tobago Top-less.
A Caucasian man elicited ripples of laughter with his presentation, London Gone Clear, as he portrayed THA Chief Secretary Orville London. Reigning J’Ouvert king Allison Deonanan also had the crowd in stitches as he portrayed Rowley Ready to be Prime Minister. Deonanan, as Rowley, wooed youth voters by doing the Gangnam Style and targeted UNC supporters by donning a kurta and visiting Divali Nagar and Debe Market, where he ate doubles and mango slices.