When indentured labour began entering Trinidad from India in 1845, the overwhelming majority of these people were Hindus with a small number of Muslims.
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Calypso doctors steal the show
Many rated it as one of the best shows staged at De Nu Pub (The Mas Camp). The popular Woodbrook showplace was so packed for last Wednesday night’s show, The Doctors Sing, that a closed-circuit television system had to be installed to facilitate patrons who spilled beyond the venue’s main accommodation.
They came from all over Trinidad, and beyond, from distant places like New York, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Europe, all diehard fans of the Mighty Sparrow and Black Stalin.
Also seen in the house were politicians and diplomats, including Point Fortin MP Paula Gopee-Scoon and former minister Camille Regis-Robinson.
Also present were TUCO chairman Lutalo Masimba (Bro Resistance), and past and reigning calypso champions like SuperBlue, King Luta, Duane O’Connor, Roderick “Chucky” Gordon, and Twiggy, and ace pannists, like Earl Brooks.
Proceedings began late, with show host Sprangalang and resident band Cummings & De Wailers getting things started.
First up was Nefta Kojo, daughter of former national calypso queen Twiggy, with her unique style, dedicated to Emancipation.
She was followed by KP who showed how he’s earned his spurs as a past corporate sector monarch, and cast member at Kaiso House. He sang Why I sing this calypso and received a robust encore.
Sitting throughout his performance, Sparrow devoted most his performance to requests from fans and they were numerous, including the ballad My Way, made popular by the late Frank Sinatra. Full of mirth and swagger, Sparrow showed why he is internationally acclaimed as the “Calypso King of the World.”
With strong voice and pitch perfect diction that belie his 78 years, his repertoire included past hits like Lying Excuses, Mae Mae, The Lizard and Congo Man.
At the end of his set, a huge cake was brought on stage to celebrate Sparrow’s July 9 birthday and that of fellow “Julyians,” a phrase by Sprangalang, including veteran media personality Mervyn Telfer; De Nu Pub proprietor Mac Ward—making a rare appearance in public; Divas Cabaret all-female calypso tent founder Rudy Ottley; and, former national footballer “Baby” Headley.
After the intermission Roy Cape All Stars replaced De Wailers, to accompany Black Stalin.
The former multiple national calypso monarch and popular southern bard followed Sparrow’s lead and performed a set of his most popular hits, including We Can Make It, Shining Star, Nothing Easy, Wait Dorothy, Bun Dem, Can’t Turn Back, closing at minutes to midnight with Black Man Feelin’ to Party.
As patrons made their way out of the venue, there was talk about a repeat of this production, when Sparrow returns from his US home.
Sparrow returned to New York early on Saturday morning.