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Judges hear cry of London’s nephew
Ronaldo London, 16, nephew of this year’s Calypso Monarch finalist Brian London, defeated 15 other performers at the Junior Calypso Monarch final yesterday at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, to place first with his song, Hear My Cry. Written by his uncle, Ronaldo could not believe he had won after placing ninth and tenth in the past two years. “Now I am on top,” a stunned Ronaldo said. Like his nephew, an emotional Brian was at a loss for words, saying he knew the song he had written was strong but many doubted his ability to perform. He added: “He worked real hard this year because everybody had things to say for the past three years, like ‘he can’t perform. He has a good voice.’ “He really put in extra work in terms of understanding the song and getting it out in the way it should be delivered.”
Brian said he drilled Ronaldo, a student of Fyzabad Secondary School, into making sure he brought out the emotion in the song. Brian, who performed at Calypso Fiesta in Skinner Park last Saturday with Call Them Out also wrote We Need You for Aneka Collins, who placed fourth, and No Games for Kevan Calliste who placed 15th in yesterday’s day-long competition. “You hearing these sentiments that calypso dying and a lot of youths want to gravitate to soca... and to see not just the ones I wrote for but all the other youths come out here and today do what they did and at times, probably, upstage some of the elder statesmen in calypso. I mean it’s a proud moment,” he added. At the competition secondary and primary school students filled the stands to cheer on their representatives. Also seated in the crowd was President Anthony Carmona, who was praised by organisers for his attendance and staying for the entire show, which lasted from 11 am to 3 pm. Using skits, props and choreography with their songs, the young performers used the platform for social commentary, highlighting current issues like violence against children, gang warfare and a lack of family values.
At least three performers referenced Keyana Cumberbatch, the six-year-old who was murdered last November. Caryn McCarthy, who placed seventh with her song 24 Hours Is Much Too Long, dedicated her performance and song to Keyana. McCarthy, 15, a student of Arima Central Secondary, possibly had the loudest support from her schoolmates seated in the stands.
Sangre Grande Educational Institute competed with Arima Central Secondary for making the most noise as they cheered on last year’s winner Marq Pierre, 17, who sang Tot U Diens (At Your Service) Mankind. He placed fifth this year. No one left empty-handed. All participants took home a trophy and a monetary prize. Ronaldo won $25,000 for first place while Sasha Ann Moses, 17, of UWI Sixth Form, who sang A Mother’s Love, got $20,000 for second place. Rounding out the top three was Shervonne Rodney, 16, of El Dorado West Secondary with her song Save the Family. She received $15,000.
List of winners and their songs:
1st: Ronaldo London, Hear My Cry.
2nd: Sasha Ann Moses, A Mother’s Love.
3rd: Shervonne Rodney, Save The Family.
4th: Aneka Collins, We Need You.
5th: Marq Pierre, Tot U Diens (At Your Service) Mankind.
6th: Jerrisha Duncan Regis, Calypso Says Thanks.
7th: Caryn McCarthy, 24 Hours Is Much Too Long.
8th: Rae Ann Guerra, My Two Sons.
9th: Tyrese J Williams, Crusaders For World Peace.
10th: Garve Sandy, Missing In Action.
11th: N’Janela Duncan Regis, I Am Trinbago.
12th: Reshawn Goodridge, He Was A Good Boy.
13th: Joel Anderson Jones, Trouble Shoot.
14th: Nicoda Francis, Twigs.
15th: Kevan Calliste, No Games.
16th: Caleb Hinds, Save the Children.