They came in by their hundreds last night and flocked unto the grounds of the National Cultural Centre.
When the call from the Master of Ceremony, Superman HD came that all present should assume an attentive posture, it was clear to all that it was time: the time to decide the future of a clan in one single performance – one single act of bravery. With a childlike exuberance supporters from near and far secured their spot for what would be a night many had long awaited.
For some, they had experienced the thrill of victory and were eager for another shot. For others, their eyes had feasted on the prize but they had yet to set foot on the Promised Land. For others still, legendary tales had whet their appetites and they longed to be part of the throng who witnessed the rise of kings and the fall of empires. Warriors from the public and private sector were in full armour … suited for warfare. Their brilliantly designed and easily identifiable t-shirts proudly displaying where their allegiance lay. The fiercest and friendliest battle was on.
Who would be crowned victor?
On the frontline was “Lady Z” from 1st National Bank who lamented the ills in society through the eyes of a caller to Radio 100 Andre Paul’s morning talk show, “That makes me mad”. LUCELEC’s “Makiki” encouraged the audience to embrace “changes” in various areas of life as a means of evolution. Her call had specific focus on sustainable development through conservation. Recently drafted “Ngozi” warned that society should not be hasty to cast judgment on victims of addiction as it is a disease which needs to be handled as such in order to assist those recovering from this disease to get to the “turning point” in their lives.
“Garner” took the audience on an introspective journey, which spoke to the power of human will, determination, persistence and dedication. For the first timer “Kojak”, it was about the thrill of flying high and experiencing a multiplicity of “feelings” brought on by the carnival season. For “Madame Belle”, the message could not have been any clearer: the legacy of Victoria Hospital should not be forgotten and buried by the problems that have plagued the institution over the years. “Slayer”, in a case of pot calling kettle black, chastised the USA for its handling of a recent case where the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) was denied participation in USA funded training programmes based on claims that the RSLPF had engaged in extra-judicial killings: a grave human rights issue.
“Mister T” testified of the wonder-working power of soca music, likening its effects to that of the popular drug Viagra, said to treat erectile dysfunction. The “kwapo” phenomenon was explained and presented by “Da Reportah”, encouraging citizens to become part of crime-solving by speaking out without reservation for the Nation’s development. “Denise” proudly sang of the achievements of CFL, as a growing business in Saint Lucia assuring the audience that the entity is on a continual journey, “moving on” to bigger and better things.
The newly crowned monarch from Kaiso Headquarters, “Siwo” questioned the management style of the hierarchy of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force in her rendition of “Tell Me Why”. “Infectious” performed a song which reminded the populace of the debilitating viral disease sweeping the Caribbean, describing the carrier of the dreaded disease as “bete mauvais”. “Edgar” appealed to the young women in society to be mindful of their priorities and repeatedly pleaded that they “doh run away”.
When the battle was over, the following received stripes of honour and will live to tell their stories of triumph:
4th Place: Analisa “Madam Belle” Cherubin, Victoria Hospital (326 points)
2nd Place: Garner “Garner” Raymond, Bank of St. Lucia (341 points)
3rd Place: Melissa “Slayer” James, Royal S. Lucia Police Force (349 points)
1st Place: Naomi “Ngozi” Grandison, Turning Point (360 points)
The night’s activity would have been incomplete without special appearances from burgeoning soca artists Daniel Dubois and Nickler Dorville whose “Carnival without You” and “No Gal Can Take My Man” respectively had the massive crowd moving and singing along to catchy tunes.
Upsurge Soca Band brought the house down when they backed up “Ezra” with his wildly popular “Bacchanal Rampage”. The crowd could not get enough of J Budz and his “Trouble Makers” neither could their soca appetite be satiated by DJ HP electrified the place with “Pass It Senor”.