It is a remarkable event that the Calypso Monarch and the Extempo crowns should now rest on the heads of two Londons. When Brian London and his nephew Ronaldo took those titles during the Kaiso Rama event on Thursday night, they secured a historic sweep of national calypso titles in one season for the London clan.
Ronaldo already had the Young Kings title under his belt ahead of Thursday's showpiece event and secured the most prestigious calypso title at the age of 21, beating out several veteran and former calypso monarchs, among them Karene Asche, Devon Seale, Kurt Allen, Duane Connor, Winston "Gypsy" Peters and the defending champion Helon Francis. His 17-year-old brother Rivaldo had already started the family drive last week when he lifted the Junior Calypso Monarch title.
The win for Brian London over Black Sage sends a particularly critical message that the art form of creating instant lyrics on a subject is not a dying form. It is heartening to know that younger people see the value of extempo and are prepared to face up to the longstanding leaders like Gypsy and Black Sage. It is bound to draw a new audience and provide a sustaining one for another of those creative formats that have been a staple not just of Carnival.
On the other side, the healthy distribution of age and youth in the Calypso Monarch competition also shows that the art form is in good hands going forward.
Brian London himself would have been instrumental in introducing his nephews to the art form and moulding their talent and and encouraging their challenge.
Still, it is a feat which no other family may ever be able to make a claim to or ever achieve again, and for this, the London clan certainly deserves the highest kudos for their achievement.
Is amnesty worth a shot?
The debate about Government's intended amnesty for Venezuelans living within T&T's shores is raging within the public sphere. While Minister of National Security Stuart Young gave some details this week, it could be tweaked along the way as he must now take it before Cabinet for a final blessing.
On the face of it, a programme to document Venezuelans who are already here and to give them an opportunity to earn a decent living while contributing to the economy by working legally seems well-intentioned enough. And given that many Venezuelans are already working here, albeit illegally, it may well be worth a try. Still, given the continuing crisis in Venezuela and the suffering of its citizens, it seems it is also a matter of T&T being a good brother because we can at this stage.