Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 17th 2014 Contents KEVON FELMINE
Give props to KI Persad for turning a
tragic story into $2 million.
The lyrics to KI s hit song Runaway tell
a sad tale: "Last year I went on tour but I
did not want to stay, so I leave my band to
play, and when I came back, my wife run
But just as in the semi-final, KI flipped
the tragically romantic number, fusing it
with a soca beat that had female fans climb-
ing onto the fences to get closer to the stage.
The daring performance started with his
arrival on a plane filled with beautiful air
hostesses, which signalled that he had just
came back from a world tour. The set fea-
tured pyrotechnic gloves and climaxed with
the champion crowdsurfing on a float.
It was his second title in three years.
Again, it was no doubt his energetic and
theatrical stageshow that scored high on
the judges tally and text vote systems.
Emotions ran high for KI, whose eyes
became teary as he returned to the stage
hoisted on the shoulders of his adoring sup-
porters after he was announced as 2014 s
first major monarch.
So intense was the competition, KI said,
that he was shaking while the results were
In accepting his crown, he had a special
message for his fans.
"Thank you for making it happen for us
and giving us that extra push by actually
naming us flag bearers of our culture, to go
out there and represent you all."
He also paid tribute to his father, JMC
3veni leader Verendra Persad, saying the
victory was only possible through him.
KI s was no runaway victory, however.
Twenty artistes performed their hearts out
on a cold night at Skinner Park, San Fer-
nando, and Persad was listed 19th in the
order of appearance.
He fought off stiff competition from two
former monarchs to cop the title. At the
end of the marathon session, his perform-
ance was good enough to leave six-time
monarch Rikki Jai ( Samraj Jaimungal) and
crowd favourite Ravi B (Ravi Bissembhar)
sharing $800,000 in a tie for second place.
Coming in finished fourth and fifth respec-
tively were the comical Kenneth Supersad,
who sang, The Bull and KI s fellow JMC
3veni vocalist Nishard Mehru with, Mamy
Say. Ravi B generated much excitement dur-
ing his performance of his popular hit, Bread.
Performing first on the night, Ravi B delight-
ed with magic tricks, pyrotechnics and a
touching tribute to his mother, Margaret
Bissembhar, who appeared on stage with
His creative and entertaining presentation
featured six dancers dress as bakers, moko
jumbie bakers, walking slices of bread that
formed a loaf. Even fans in the audience
waved loaves of bread and bags of buns
while gyrating throughout his performance.
It seemed that those who had the best
stage performances were favoured as Rikki
Jai s performance celebrated local culture.
His portrayal included East Indian and Chi-
nese Dancers together with a choir. His song
and presentation was a tribute to the chutney
soca art form and its performers, even
labelling fellow artiste Drupatee Ramgoonai
as the chutney queen and Sunday Popo as
the Father of Chutney.
In recent years, chutney soca artistes have
faced criticism for the lyrical contents of
songs as most chose to sing about rum.
However, this year s presentation showed
different aspects of local cultures and was
laced with picong.
Kenneth Supersad s The Bull had the
crowd laughing more than wining with his
connotative song, which explained his quest
to find his lost bulls before returning to his
farm. First timer Olatunji Yearwood s double
entendre, Fete Ram, was also filled of laugh-
ter as he explained his decisions not to
attend a fete that his macomere s (Aunt)
male companion was throwing. Singing,
"Too many people in macomere man s
thing," he had most of the audience in stitch-
es when he sang Machel Montano, Bunji
Garlin, Ravi B, Snakey and KI were "in
macomere man s thing."
Rick Ramoutar, who included soca artiste
Denise Belfon in his performance, sang an
entertaining dance song, while Snakey
(Heaven Charles) and Sally Sagram served
up a raunchy performances to the delight
of the audience.
Although many dubbed the show a suc-
cess, several controversial moments needs
to be looked at by the show promoters. At
2.45 am when the final performer Kavita
Maharaj walked on to perform, she included
her toddler as part of her presentation in
the already cold savannah as a stage which
included fireworks and haze machines. Both
Olatunji Yearwood and Kenneth Supersad
were humorously entertaining but some of
their comments during the show were bor-
dering on offensive. Supersad, a comedian,
called out a serious of names, suggesting
that came looking for bull. Yearwood, who
walked out on stage smoking a cigar left
some of the homosexual patrons perturbed
with his connotation of "macomere man."
Reshma Ramlal, who performed in second
position, also sang two minutes of her song
with the microphone muted. Despite this,
the show was safe and enjoyable with no
incidents of violence and safety concerns.
Monday, February 17, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM)
leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh has accused
the state of "manipulating" the court system
to delay hearing of HRM s legal challenge of
the contentious Debe to Mon Desir leg of the
San Fernando to Point Fortin highway proj-
Yesterday, Kublalsingh declared that he will not
back down in his fight to stop the Debe to Mon
Desir leg of project nor will the HRM be deterred.
Kublalsingh, together with Highway Re-Route
Movement (HRM) supporters, embarked on an
awards distribution of sorts yesterday hanging
tyres, which they called "badges of shame," outside
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal s Debe office,
Nidco s sub-office at SS Erin Road and on two
tractors at the Suchit Trace construction site for
the Debe/Mon Desir leg of the highway.
Today Kublalsingh and the HRM s legal team
will return to court for hearing of an application
for an urgent injunction to stop construction works
on the multi-billion dollar Sir Solomon Hochoy
Highway extension project.
HRM had mounted a legal challenge to the
multi-billion dollar project after government failed
to honour the findings of the Dr James Armstrong
highway review report.
Legal submissions on the injunction were expect-
ed to be heard on Friday, however the matter was
adjourned to today. State attorneys had indicated
that they applied to Court of Appeal to stay pro-
ceedings before Justice James Aboud, who rejected
arguments that he (Aboud) should recuse himself
from presiding over the matter.
Yesterday Kublalsingh defiantly declared that
the state s action on Friday was a deliberate tac-
tic.He said it was "in a bid to delay the court from
coming to a fair judgement on the matter so they
could continue with the work between Debe and
"We are fighting not just for us but for the
social, financial, economic, ecologically justice of
entire T&T and entire planet," Kublalsingh said
yesterday as he addressed a media conference at
the HRM s Gopie Trace, Debe campsite. He claimed
$5 billion of the $7 billion project is being spent
in Debe and citizens should not sit idly by allow
the wastage of public funds.
"We have a right as a people not just to sit
down and accept. We have a right as a citizenry
whose economic interests are attacked to stand
up. We cannot sit down and watch Indian movies
and go and eat curry duck and go an play all fours
while our fortunes are attacked by the Prime Min-
ister. We have to defend ourselves," Kublalsingh
He defended the "badges of shame" which he
said was an act of diplomacy. He was unapologetic
for hanging a badge of shame at Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar s Philippine, San Fernando
home nor was he sorry for doing the same at
Moonilal s office.
He said HRM has written to President Anthony
Carmona seeking another meeting to petition him
to intervene in the dispute.
When contacted for comment on Kublalsingh s
tyre award, Moonilal, via SMS, said, "I do not pay
attention to Mr Kublalsingh s disturbing affinity
to a tyre. It is not unlike my three pet dogs, who
are also fascinated by tyres."
While media reports suggested that Kublalsingh s
hanging of a tyre at Persad-Bissessar s home is
now the subject of a police inquiry, Kublalsingh
said he has not been contacted by police.
Additionally, he said, he could not be arrested
since he did nothing wrong.
Minister of Community
Peters, left shake
hands with PNM
senator Faris Al Wari
during the 2014 grand
finals of the Chutney
competition at Skinner
Park in San Fernando,
on Saturday night,
looking on from left,
Moonan , Minister of
Energy and Energy
Ramnarine, Minister of
Housing Dr. Roodal
Moonilal and San
Fernando Mayor Kazim
KI takes Chutney
More 'badges of
shame' from HRM
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