Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 13th 2015 Contents JOSHUA SURTEES
Most Trinis have heard of the Oval cricket
ground. What some don t know is that the
original Oval is in south London. In the run-
up to Notting Hill Carnival it felt apt that
Andrew Rajpaulsingh, a Trini expat based
here in London, hired out the historic venue
to host the first of what he hopes becomes
a series of annual Carnival Expos.
The expo, which took place on August 8 and
9, promised to show off the best of what Notting
Hill Carnival has to offer and bring together
the Carnival community and businesses for a
chance to network.
It was the rarest of things: a perfect English
summer s day. The sun caressed London s
streets and against the azure sky the grand edi-
fice of the Kennington Oval, home of Surrey
County Cricket Club, curved away elliptically
on both sides. The omens were good. As it is
the summer holidays, the residential streets
around the ground were still and sedate.
A sign pointed Expo attendees towards the
Alec Stewart Gate---named after the former
England opener, captain and wicketkeeper.
Arriving at this entrance, patrons were greeted
by the sight of overgrowing ivy plants climbing
the outside walls of the stands and executive
From inside, the thumping bounce of soca
music grew louder at every step and just inside
the door, with a glass of something mixed with
rum in his hand, Rajpaulsingh was holding
After taking in the sights and drinking in the
sound of Trini accents filling the space, the
T&T Guardian got a moment alone with Raj-
paulsingh and he spoke about the excitement
of moving to England from Chaguanas as a 15-
year-old boy and how he got involved in the
Carnival industry here, which he has now been
in for more than 20 years.
His involvement is deep: he owns a shop in
London where Carnival-goers and designers
can buy everything they need to make costumes.
He ex-wife, Kelly, runs the Carnival band Bac-
chanalia whose impressive costumes were mod-
elled at the expo. He also has one of Notting
Hill s biggest soundsystems, Sonic Sounds (play-
ing "only soca", of course.) And now he has
launched this expo.
"I ve been dreaming about this for ten years,"
he says. "I always wanted to do something like
this to take the standards of Carnival and
Caribbean culture to another level. A professional
He refers to other similar networking events
that have taken place in the past around Carnival
time and puts into words something that many
who have observed or been involved with Car-
nival over the years have perennially experienced.
"The events that have happened over the
years haven t been professional, and the ones
that were professional had a lot of issues going
on behind [the scenes.] I want to take away
those issues, because there are a lot of sponsors
who got burned and they re not interested. I
didn t get any funding or support for this. The
only support was from the people you re seeing
on the stands."
The people on the stands are from a variety
of organisations---mostly Trini but there s
Antiguan and Vincentian enterprises too---and
they include party promoters like Trinis In Lon-
don, designers like Alvern Porter who has
launched a new T-shirt brand, The Floating
Rum Shack who are rum specialists giving out
samples from every island and Tabanca Week-
ender UK, a three-day soca fete taking place
at a holiday beach camp on the south coast of
England in mid-September.
There are also Carnival bands here, including
Bacchanalia, Wotless, Fanatics, Pure Lime
Chocolate Mas, Making Mas (who had to change
their name from Isis), Ahdrenalin (run by Vin-
centian expat Monty Fraser) and Euphoria
(whose organisers describe it as the UK s answer
At the Pure Lime stand I spot a bowl of
pineapple chow and begin to salivate. After
scoffing some, I ask what the green herb is---
because it s definitely not chadon beni. "Corian-
der!" bawl the people on the stand, laughing
a little sheepishly.
Further along at the T&T High Commission
stand there s less laughter and more diplomacy,
but like all the stands they too have pristine
flyers for Machel Montano s concert taking
place at London s Hammersmith Apollo on
Two days before Notting Hill Carnival, Mon-
tano s concert precedes a Tribe Ignite fete in
London on the 29th and he will be supported
by Olatunji, Skinny Fabulous and Angela Hunte
at the 5,000 capacity Hammersmith venue.
Further inside the Oval s concourse, curried
goat sliders are being served (sliders being the
latest culinary fad in London, they re basically
mini-burgers) and every type of Angostura rum
is available by the bottle or glass.
This is a very Trinidadian expo and yet, on
the streets of Notting Hill at Carnival time the
overriding culture that seems to dominate is
Jamaican; with reggae and dancehall outgunning
Continues on Page B2
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Carnival Expo opens doors
Models from Elimu Mas, one of the stalwart bands in Notting Hill Carnival show off the costumes from their 2015 presentation.
The US drugs regulator has
condemned Kim Kardashian's promotion
of a morning sickness drug on social
The celebrity posted a selfie last
month holding up a branded bottle of the
pills alongside text endorsing their
effects. The medicine's maker,
Duchesnay, later confirmed it had
compensated the TV star for "sharing
But the Food and Drinks
Administration has attacked the posts
for failing to flag potential side effects.
It has ordered the firm to stop
promoting its product in this manner.
Kardashian's posts talked of her own
use of the drug Diclegis, before stating:
"Most importantly, it's been studied and
there was no increased risk to the baby."
She provided a link to the drug firm's
own related safety warnings, but did
describe the potential risks herself.
One side effect of a normal dose of
the drug is drowsiness. An overdose can
cause vertigo, mental confusion and an
abnormal heart rate.
"The social media post is misleading
because it...fails to communicate any risk
information," FDA division director
Robert Dean wrote. (BBC)
Kardashian selfie rebuked by US drugs watchdog
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