Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 24th 2018 Contents DEREK ACHONG
Fifty five years after it was formed
by legendary calypsonian Lord
Kitchener, the Kalypso Revue tent
is set to close due to financial con-
The announcement was made
by the tent’s head Michael “Sugar
Aloes” Osuna during a press con-
ference at its traditional home at
SWWTU Hall on Wrightson Road,
Port-of-Spain, yesterday after-
Osuna explained the show was
affected by a number of factors
including meagre corporate spon-
sorship, small audiences and a re-
duction in Government funding.
Osuna said that the tent re-
quired $500,000 in Government
funding by tomorrow in order to
revive the show for the remainder
of the Carnival season as it was al-
ready making losses, two weeks
Last week, the tent was offered
$100,000 from the Ministry of
Community Development, Cul-
ture and the Arts.
Osuna said: “This situation
puts me in quicksand because the
more I wiggle the more I sink. If I
can’t pay the first salary I would
not want to owe four. That will be
a very embarrassing situation.”
The closure is expected to af-
fect 65 calypsonians, backup sing-
ers, musicians and other support
staff, who were all in its employ
for the Carnival season.
Osuna repeatedly referred to
a similar situation involving the
Chutney Soca Monarch compe-
tition and its private organiser
Southex Event Management.
Earlier this month, the com-
pany threatened to cancel the
competition after it was offered
$300,000 in sponsorship from
the National Lotteries Control
The show was put back on after
Finance Minister Colm Imbert ad-
mitted that there was an error as
it was due to receive $1 million.
“I know that we are in a deficit
where the budget is concerned,
but I feel if you could find $1.5 mil-
lion for chutney, you could give
Revue $500,000,” he said.
He went on: “This seems to be
the beginning of the end. I think it
is very unfair to us.”
Asked if the comparison be-
tween the tent and Chutney Soca
and International Soca Monarch
competitions was unfair as the
Trinbago Unified Calypsonians
Organisation (Tuco’) Calypso
Monarch competition is also
State-funded, Osuna said no.
“I have to because they are also
private enterprises and they are
well cushioned where sponsors
are concerned. Revue hardly has
sponsors,” Osuna said.
He also said that his tent op-
erates across T&T for over four
weeks, while both competitions
take place over two nights (sem-
ifinals and finals).
Reigning Calypso Monarch Dr
Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool also
called upon Government to inter-
vene in the situation.
Liverpool said: “The calypso
tent has done a lot for T&T not
just corn soup but for nurturing
calypsonians and developing
their art. You cannot let the ca-
lypso tent die. The calypso mon-
arch could die that is all right.”
Lord Kitchener’s former man-
ager Errol Peru suggested that his
former associate would be disap-
pointed by the tent’s closure over
half a century after it was founded
as Kitchener’s Revue.
“When he was awarded the
honorary doctorate from the Uni-
versity of T&T (UTT), I believed
that he could now rest in peace.
Today he is again turning in his
grave,” Peru said.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
TT$6million reward to free Rajaee
JENSEN LA VENDE
Prison officials are being praised
after their diligence stopped
what they claim was an at-
tempted jail break of a top prior-
ity prisoner on Monday morning.
According to prison officials, a
group of police officers showed
up at the Port- of- Spain State
Prison armed with a warrant to
take Rajaee Ali to the Arima Mag-
istrates’ Court for an ongoing
matter where he is charged with
possession of a lappe’s carcass,
outside of the hunting season in
Ali is currently in prison for al-
legedly murdering special pros-
ecutor Dana Seetahal SC and
conspiracy to murder radio per-
sonality Kevaughn Savory.
In 2007 Ali escaped from
the Maximum Security Prison,
Arouca. Sources said there is a
TT$6million reward for anyone
who could free Ali.
Following the illegal removal
of Vicky Boodram from prison
last year, using what appeared to
be legitimate court documents,
prison officers have been vigi-
Constable LeVon Sylvester,
along with Special Reserve
Woman Police Lisa Navarro,
were jointly charged with dis-
honestly and fraudulently aiding
and procuring Boodram’s un-
lawful release from the Golden
Grove Women’s’ Prison, Arouca.
The two officers were also
charged with misbehaviour in
office by uttering a forged court
note, namely 1503 of 2012, in
the matter of PC Edwards versus
Vicky Boodram, facilitating her
unlawful release on November
Sources said Ali is scheduled
to appear in court next week and
when the officers showed up to
take him to court, a red flag was
raised. The officers at the prison
contacted their seniors who or-
dered them not to release Ali in
care of the police. The officers
left empty handed.
The incident was reported to
an Assistant Commissioner of
Prisons and not the police the
T&T Guardian was told, for fear
of a cover-up.
Prison sources added that
their suspicion of an illegality is
not enough to take to the police
and have chalked the incident up
to diligent work of the warrant
officers attached to the prison.
Yesterday, in a direct response
to the attempted jail break,
prison officers cordoned off
parts of Frederick Street and
searched the prison.
Other arms of the security
services were called in for as-
sistance, including the police.
When the T&T Guardian called
Prisons Commissioner Gerard
Wilson yesterday he denied that
the search was in relation to the
attempted jail break but was a
“routine search” at the prison.
When contacted, general sec-
retary of the Prison Officers As-
sociation Gerard Gordon said the
officers should be commended.
He added that in the age of
technological advancements, a
sheet of paper should not be all
that is needed to remove an in-
mate from the prison.
He added that there should be
some electronic tracking of pris-
oners that is accessible to the
courts, police and prisons and
that the documents be trace-
able and not “ any old sheet of
Following a deadly jailbreak
in 2015, Ali claimed in a signed
statement that he told the Port-
of-Spain prison supervisor, act-
ing Superintendent of Prisons
Wilbert Lovell that he knew
something “dangerous and fool-
ish” was being planned.
In that incident Ali, it is al-
leged, was supposed to have
been part of the escape.
It was reported that 15 min-
utes after his warning, prisoners
Allan ‘Scanny’ Martin, Hassan
Atwell, and Christopher ‘Mon-
ster’ Selby, shot their way out of
the Port-of-Spain prison. Atwell
and Martin were killed by crim-
inals and police respectively
shortly after their escape.
Selby, who was awaiting trial
for murder surrendered to police
and is facing a second murder
charge for the death of Sherman
Maynard, 27 who was killed dur-
ing the escape.
Financial constraints force closure of Kalypso Revue
Sources allege :
Chairman of the Kalypso Revue Michael Osouna (Sugar Aloes) announces the proposed closure of the calypso tent
after 55years in existence during a press conference at SWWTU Hall, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
PICTURE ANISTO ALVES
Contacted yesterday evening,
Minister of Community
Development, Culture and the Arts
Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said that the
figure offered by her ministry was
what was approved by Cabinet.
“ The Government, which has
already allocated more than $7
million to calypso in 2018 against
falling revenues, is doing its best
to preserve the art-form and
traditions. We must all do our part,”
The figure offered represents two
thirds of what it (Kalypso Revue)
received last year, as with all
other competitions that receive
Gadsby-Dolly, who visited the
tent last weekend, said she was
disappointed by the small audience.
“What disturbs me the most is that
this tent, a staple on the Carnival
landscape, with such a proud
legacy, is not attracting significant
patronage,” she said.
Gadsby-Dolly also suggested
that additional funding was not
“Even if the Government was
to underwrite the entire cost of
production, it would not solve this
more fundamental problem.
“ This may be a signal to all tents
that a change in modus operandi is
required to improve their brand and
attract more corporate sponsorship,”
Links Archive January 23rd 2018 January 25th 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page