IT’S twice in a row for ten-year-old Avindha Singh.
Singh and Paris Coutain were announced as the 2020 Junior Chutney Soca Monarchs yesterday.
They placed first in the primary and secondary school categories, respectively, at the Carnival Schools Intellectual Chutney Soca Monarch Competition at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
The competition had a setback after several primary and secondary schools were stranded following bus transportation problems due to Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) industrial action.
President of the National Chutney Foundation Dr Vijay Ramlal Rai said arrangements were made to shuttle about 2,000 pupils and 22 schools to the venue, however organisers were not given enough notice that the drivers were unavailable.
He said the issue was a blow to the children and teachers who prepared for weeks but he said he didn’t believe the PTSC drivers were trying to sabotage the competition.
Young chutney champ Singh is a pupil of Tamana Hindu Primary School.
He also won the primary school category in 2019.
His song, “Parents Take Heed”, was a message for parents to lead by example.
Singh arrived for his performance on a horse, and wasted no time rousing his supporters and advocating for parents to teach their children good values.
He even took a jab at the other competitors, singing that the crown would belong to him this year.
Coutain, 16, from St Joseph Secondary School, sang “Sing a Happy Chutney”, in which he lobbied for artistes to sing more positive songs to inspire and uplift young people.
He also offered advice on songs they should sing about, like treating women right.
Coutain is also the reigning Mr NGC Sanfest.
Eleven primary schools and ten secondary schools participated in the competition.
Samananthia Toppin from Tobago High School could not compete as she could not book a flight in time for the competition.
Sekel McIntosh gave the crowd a thrill, performing “Chunkay It”.
He placed second in the primary school category.
McIntosh brought former junior calypso monarch Aaron Duncan, which had many in the crowd in a frenzy.
McIntosh is the reigning Junior Soca Monarch.
Last year’s winner in the secondary schools category Mackhaydon Charles, a pupil of Miracle Ministries High School, placed second in the secondary schools category.
Education Minister Anthony Garcia said the competition has grown in many ways, noting that participation has increased over the years.
The winners Primary School Category
1st - Avindha Singh - Tamana Hindu School – Parents Take Heed
2nd – Sekel McIntosh - Arima Boys Government School – Chunkay It
3rd – Jada Celestine - St Michael’s Anglican – Save The Children
4th - Arjoon and Ashton Bhajman – Bamboo Settlement Government – Put Down Your Phone
5th - Mandeep Poonwassie - McBean Hindu School – Trinbagonian Celebration
6th - Aditya Seepersad - Exchange Presbyterian - Trini Drumline
7th - Debria Baptiste - St Gabriel’s RC - Vision 2020
8th - Sharla Zakiya Grant - Home School - The Time is Now
9th - Grace Welch - Palmiste Government – What Is Going On
10th - Zakima Grant - Home School - I Will Walk this Walk
11th - Kadifa Thomas -Santa Rosa Government – Hit Me with The Music
Secondary School Category
1st - Paris Coutain - St Joseph Secondary - Sing A Happy Chutney
2nd - Mackhaydon Charles – Miracle Ministries High School - The Responsibility Of Being A King
3rd - Bethan Lightbourne – UWI School of Nursing – Chutney Soca Is Real Unity
4th – Adana Dardaine – Toco Secondary School – Chutney In The Cold
5th – N’Janela Duncan Regis – St James Secondary – The Queen
6th – Matthew Shah – Tableland High School
7th – Destiny Rattan – Sangre Grande Secondary - Educate
8th – Jonathan Ramnarine – Couva West Secondary – King Anthony
9th – Tyra Deonarine – Union Claxton Bay Secondary – A Golden Jubilee
10th – Onika Cuffy – Marabella South Secondary - Friends