PRESS RELEASE – The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations took time out today to recognize and align the Ministry with the strong, positive messages within the songs of two local calypsonians.
Minister for Health, Hon. Alvina Reynolds had all praises for the musical effort of the calypsonians, and encouraged them to continue singing about health related issues. “I am so impressed to see a man and a woman, this is gender balanced when you look at it, singing about important issues that affect the health and wellness of people within this country…but to be able to craft those messages in such a creative way and to able to be so passionate about what you see happening in your environment that’s what I want to salute this morning.”
The minister formally recognized Mr. Ignatius Tisson better known as “De Invader” for his calypso entitled “Doh raise your hand.” Invader’s calypso addressed the issue of domestic violence and appeals to both men and women to end gender based and domestic violence.
Charms Gaspard, Director of Gender Relations in sounding her endorsement said “Over the last few hears we have, despite our efforts seen a continued increase in the number of cases. So we really welcome these initiatives where despite the occasion where its supposed to be fun and carefree they took time to look at what is happening in the society around them in a very positive way and to bring that message in song where it can be reinforced.”
For his part De Invader remark that the issues of domestic violence are all to familiar to him having experienced domestic violence as a child and manifesting similar tendencies during his early adult life. “The lyrics of the song you will hear me refer to son because I think it’s important as fathers we bring the message across to our children boys and girls but basically the boys are the more aggressive ones in certain cases. So it’s like a father talking to a son “Doh raise your hand Son.” Simply message but apparently it has done what it was supposed to do in that it has excited the minister and the ministry and I am totally elated about it.” Invader pointed out.
The Minister also recognized Naomi “Ngozi” Granderson, a nurse attached to Turning Point and the defending 2014 Inter Commercial House Calypso Monarch for her calypso entitled “Take it easy.” This song explores the issues of sexually transmitted diseases, knowing your status and being ready and prepared for sex.
Dr. Alisha Eugene, Senior Medical Officer for Infectious Diseases, applauded Ngozi’s effort at bringing a serious issue to life within her calypso using wit and satire to create an indelible message with highlights sexual and reproductive health. “For this reason any calypsonian who sings about sexually transmitted infections or any health condition needs recognition and for this reason Ngozi you’re doing a very good job. A song that resounds to abstain, to be faithful, to condomize, to take your health into your own hands has to be recognized. ”
Ngozi who also was surprised by this recognition stated her rational for her song. “I am seriously very passionate about health awareness and since I’m into the music and I was asked and coaxed to get into calypso I think it’s one of the best things that has happened to me…Using that forum I find it’s been able to reach persons more because that’s part of our culture.”
The calypsonians expressed their gratitude for this unexpected recognition while indicating that they felt encouraged to pen more calypso’s which promote health related issue which can impact or touch someone’s life in a positive manner.
The recognition ceremony was held in the conference room of the Ministry of Health on the Waterfront in Castries.