Following my previous reviews, I believe that the virtual offerings from our soca artistes and certain calypsonians during the recent Carnival 2021 are still credible but only so much.

There is determination though enduring success still awaits. T&T should give them an “A” for effort. The problem is that more than effort is needed.

First of all, our artistes need to see themselves not only vying for a home-based feteing audience but as competitors in international show business. In other words, they have to think about events that will have as many elements of entertainment as possible.

Admittedly, many performers had to use the template of the Carnival fete with all its behaviour and language. However, our artistes need to explore wider possibilities for their virtual concerts. Their error is that they were coming into our homes with neither a notion about our diverse audiences (which included children) nor of their need for longevity.

Nadia Batson, who I adore, had her “Art Form 3 A – A Love Note to Carnival” jointly with her group SASS. She had support from Voice, Terry Lyons, Shal Marshall, Farmer Nappy and Lyrikal.

Nadia is a great composer and a good singer. So, whereas the show could have been very telegenic it lost some impact because there was not the sense of a studied production. Her stage setting was fair though the space could have been better used. Content and programming needed to be tighter.

My further disappointment was that several of the shows which followed, though initiated two or three years ago, had become clones of themselves. This meant that while the producers had some experience at their disposal, they had similar flaws.

I viewed Preedy’s, “Chance, the Origins”, Blaxx & D’ All Starz’s “HARMONY 3”, and Patrice Roberts’s “Strength of a Woman—Reflections”. Each had supporting acts drawn from the same pool. Too many of them were dressed almost identically, as though they were all coming from a succession of fetes and had to perform their gigs quickly before moving to the next event.

In essence, many contemporary soca artistes and calypsonians have not been concentrating on fulfilling themselves as international entertainers. If only the current artistes could study Sparrow, Black Stalin, Machel Montano and David Rudder in concert. If only they could allow themselves to be inspired by the late Aubrey Adams or Sprangalang, Jessel Murray, Andre Tanker, Eintou Springer and Rawle Gibbons. If they would only collaborate, research their art, audiences and their environment, they would be more successful.

There are many success stories in the T&T and Caribbean Diaspora from which our artistes may draw their inspiration. Billy Ocean (Leslie Sebastian Charles) is an exemplar.

If our performers are so inclined, they may study at The Department of Creative and Festival Arts at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine where there is a wealth of information and tuition. Or they could go to UTT and read for the degree of Fine Arts in the Performing Arts.

Perhaps, they may be able to raise their standards and perform better throughout the next few months with their goals set not only on Carnival 2022, but on making our local performing arts a fixture in world entertainment.

Aiyegoro Ome

Mt Lambert


Due to a glitch, the wrong Raffique Shah column appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Express. The correct column appears below.

The error is regretted.

IF a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.

EVEN as Trinidad and Tobago joins the world in observing International Women’s Day today it is evident that many women are too busy trying to survive and to stay alive to see the relevance of this day to their lives.

Women’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs) raised the consciousness of women to challenge prevailing myths that spousal abuse, rape and sexual abuse were the fault of women. Feminist NGOs forced public political discourses and attitudinal changes in society’s views on domestic violence and violence against women.

For International Women’s Day, ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) Caribbean calls on individuals to #choosetochallenge gender inequality and gender-based violence

ECLAC Caribbean is championing the call to elevate the voices who #choosetochallenge gender-based violence (GBV) and gender inequality, as well as limiting beliefs and attitudes about women’s roles in the home, workplace, and society.

Nearly a year ago, on March 12, 2020, Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first Covid-19 case, marking the arrival of the pandemic to the sister-island nation. The ensuing lockdown and other restrictions protected the lives of the nation. However, while these measures safeguarded the people from the virus, it also took, and indeed, is still taking a heavy toll on the livelihoods of the people who have had to adjust to the new realities.

All over the world, women lead. They lead peace processes, run businesses, establish hospitals and schools. They are presidents of countries and corporate boards. They head international and grassroots organisations, faith-based groups and sports teams, labour and environmental movements, often while caring for their families and communities.