ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Keithroy “De Bear” Morson and Trevor “King Zacari” King – two of last year’s top calypso monarch winners – have confirmed they are giving serious consideration to bowing out of this year’s competition.
De Bear, the defending monarch, said he will not compete until changes are made to the administration of the show, while King Zacari has set as a pre-condition to his participation, the resignation of minister responsible for Carnival, Eleston “Namba” Adams.
This stance came a day after Adams dismissed demands for him to step down, and announced that artistes, including calypsonians, have begun being paid outstanding prize monies.
De Bear, who confirmed he was paid on Tuesday, said he has not decided on whether to compete.
“I have not sat down and made any plan to defend anything. I have to see what CDC (Carnival Development Committee) is putting on the table; I have to see what the association is asking for and if they’re going to get it, and what rules and regulations they’re going to put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again before I say I’m in,” he said.
The calypso monarch was referencing the overdue prize money payments being made to artistes eight months after the 2011 festivity ended.
“Unless the CDC and the Calypso Association can come to some agreement, some sort of plan that could ensure calypsonians like myself and other performers that this would not repeat itself, I think they’re going to have a hard time convincing entertainers to take part in their competition. And if we even do, we’re not going to the extreme with our performances,” De Bear stated.
King Zacari, a three-time calypso monarch and last year’s second runner-up, said he is prepared to “do the people’s work” but once the minister is there “he will not be working,” as a form of protest.
He said the minister should “just step aside from the carnival thing because they’ve just made a mockery of things … he’s doing things that he is supposed to be delegating somebody to do.”
“It is a very sad thing for me because I love what I’m doing. I love to be a messenger of the people; I love to be on the stage; that is the only medium I have to open my big mouth to the public,” King Zacari said.
Meantime, the working committee of Carnival Artistes Association has called an emergency meeting for Friday “to discuss and relay information regarding the outcome of meetings that had been held with the prime minister, the proposals that were put forward and his responses.”
The group said the meeting is essential for mas’ makers, steel bands, soca and party monarch artistes, hi-fi representatives, band members and all musicians.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)