Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 12th 2016 Contents A32
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, February 12, 2016
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February 18th, 2016
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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
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RFQ# AC/IT/16/01 For the Supply and Delivery of One
top Computers for the Valsayn and
February 17th, 2016
Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, came alive with
the sweet sounds of kaiso music on February 3, as
the T&T Prison Service held its grand calypso fiesta
concert where each monarch from the various
prison sections were brought out to perform for
The event, which began at noon, was a culmination
of an active three weeks of celebrations throughout
the nation s correctional institutions where one-
tenth of the prison s population got the chance to
entertain the public on Wednesday.
The occasion was somewhat reminiscent of the
calypso monarch semifinals at Skinner s Park in San
Fernando, in a much smaller setting, of course.
Patrons, some stealing away some time from their
lunch hour, lined the portable steel barriers to get a
glimpse of the performers. With rags in hand they
waved when the opportunity presented itself or just
swayed their bodies to the music.
But it was inmate Quincy Roberts performance
that got the crowd shouting: "Kaiso! Kaiso!" Roberts,
who was the second place winner at Port-of-Spain
Remand Prison, sang his composition Still in Slavery,
which spoke to slavery still existing in today s world
in a modern fashion. Roberts had very strong stage
presence, excellent voice control and a good command
of the crowd, who cheered him on as he sang.
It was no surprise that the T&T Guardian wanted
to know more about this inmate who already has the
makings of a young calypsonian. It was delightful to
find out that Roberts, who has been incarcerated for
the past 11 months, wrote his own song, his first
attempt at composing. The song was inspired by the
book Mandela s Way, which Roberts read.
"I really enjoyed reading that book and I just used
some of the chapters and quotes for inspiration to
write the song," said Roberts.
When asked how he learned to perform the way
he did and whether he had any training, Roberts said
he looked up to calypsonian Roderick "Chuck" Gor-
"Whenever he performs, my pores does raise. I
find he really know how to articulate in song the
social ills of our country," said Roberts. He recalls
after seeing Gordon perform his 2014 selection---Way
Yuh Think---which gained him the calypso monarch
crown, he knew that he too wanted to one day take
that crown. Roberts said it would be an honour to
But Roberts will not only be a singer/songwriter
when he is free again. The 25-year-old, who hails
from Beetham Gardens, is now also a certified musi-
cian, having learnt to play every instrument, read
and write music through the prisons music pro-
gramme. He was happy to inform us that he received
a distinction in music and now teaches music at
Port-of-Spain Remand Prison.
Earlier, before the champs took to the stage, Assis-
tant Commissioner of Prisons Thomas Espinoza,
who brought greetings on behalf of Commissioner
Sterling Stewart said the prison service was happy
to showcase the talents of the inmates.
"I like to look at the restorative justice philosophy
when I look at these functions. It is because of the
findings of the Cipriani Baptiste Task Force Report
of 2002 that we were mandated to go a different
way. We realised that the way that we were going
in the prison service was not producing the fruits
that we expected or we wanted to produce," explained
He said the old saying, "Lock them up and throw
away the key," does not work and is certainly not
the approach of the prison service.
"We are trying to foster proper development in
the inmates and so we are treating all the dimensions
of the human being and we are asking the rest of
society to work with us because we realise we cannot
do it alone," Espinoza concluded.
Former prison officer Carlyle Babb, who is also an
adjudicator with the National Carnival Commission
(NCC) and Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organ-
captured the hearts
of those looking on
at Woodford Square.
isation (TUCO), was given a special honour for his
work and dedication to the cultural programme at
the prisons. It was said Babb was instrumental in
starting calypso and mas in the prison.
There were special performances from inmates at
the Youth Training Centre (YTC), an eight minutes
of drumology, and a skit paying homage to the Mid-
night Robber. Performances also included the Max-
imum Security Inmate Band, the Eastern Correctional
Rehabilitation Centre (ECRC) band, the Prison Service
Steel Orchestra and guest artiste, Guardian Media
Ltd s very own Machel De Gazon (MDG).
Port-of-Spain Remand 2016 Monarch Kevin "Voic-
es" Elias performed his winning song Make It Right
and some of this year s more popular soca selections.
Prison champs take stage
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