Grenada’s fourth female winner of the title was crowned as the national calypso monarch in the wee hours of Monday morning taking away the crown from seven-time champion, Findley “Scholar” Jeffery.
Ketura “Ketura” George who joined the Calypso arena in 2012 got the nod of the judges in a decision, which many followers of the artform regarded as controversial.
Singing two social commentaries, “Doh Call Me So” and “Calypso” which focused on violence against women and the treatment meted out to the artform, “Ketura” urged the men to stop the violence against women and the need for improvements to be made in the calypso arena.
In an interview with reporters immediately after the victory was announced, the new female monarch told reporters that she feels “honoured and happy” to emerge victorious knowing that she now joins the likes of veteran calypsonian Cynthia “Lady Cinty” Ogiste, mother of soca duo – Kelon & Kelson Ogiste “Luni Spark & Electrify”.
“Lady Cinty” won the crown in 1983, another female Akima Paul now Akima Lambert in 2001, followed by Pamela “Pam” Courtney in 2011.
Bursting with excitement, “Ketura” said that her victory came as a complete surprise to her and that her plan now is to prepare for Spice Mas 2014 and especially to defend her crown on Dimanche Gras night.
“Well next year I have to come and reclaim it, or put up a good fight against those who are coming up against me”, she laughed.
She explained her motivation to participate in the competition mere days after giving birth to her first child.
“My motivation for this year was my baby, and I’m happy that I can tell him a wonderful story when he gets older that his mom went out very soon after he was born and she won the crown,” she quipped.
The new monarch spoke to reporters about what she thought was responsible for her victory.
“My will to do my best, make sure the messages in my songs got across.”
The dethroned King, Findley “Scholar” Jeffery was disheartening as he lashed out at the judges for what he believes was just a planned decision not to award him the crown despite his efforts.
He told the media that the protocol for selecting judges for the competition was not followed and pointed fingers at the Calypso representative on the Spice Mas Corporation Board of Directors, Isha Antoine-Andrews and a few other individuals for this problem.
He said that a number of “scrap things” took place including the holding of workshops for judges and not in keeping with established norms and protocol.
“…This was done to embarrass me, and so I knew long before that I was not going to win … In fact I touted it all over, I told everybody, my family, everybody so they wouldn’t take it hard, they wouldn’t be surprised”, he said.
When asked if he suspected foul play with the results he responded: ‘“Oh well not foul play with the results as stuff that they take out a nine and put a 10 or they take out a eight. These people who are judging for example, you have a guy called Neil Felix, now I doh know where this guy come from but this is his first year in judging and he’s judging all competitions. This is his first (year in) calypso judging and he’s into Dimanche Gras. I mean this is unheard of.
“Despite my effort…what they found is that Sour Serpent and Sheldon and so on who were really touted to do it (win the monarch competition) couldn’t do it, so they pacified it with Ketura, you know, this is what is happening, I’ll be frank with you, this is what happened,” he said.
When asked specifically if he was saying that Ketura did not perform on the night to win the crown, Scholar responded emphatically: “I’m not saying she did not work to deserve the crown. I’m saying … that I would not have gotten it, no matter what, and they would find somebody to just give it to”.
The seven times monarch winner stated that the calypso artform in Grenada is heading in a direction whereby the powers-that-be (politicians) can “fix the results.
“I am not going to be back, I said so months ago, that this will be my last year and I‘m planning to make this stick, that this will be my last year. Seven titles I haven’t got the eight so be it, but I don’t think I’ll get eight in the next five, six years,” Scholar said.
In recent years, Scholar has emerged as the calypsonian with the most biting political commentaries and a fierce critic of the New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, which has dominated the political landscape in Grenada for the past 18 years.
The turn out of the crowd for Dimanche Gras was a bitter disappointment and was a financial loss to the Spicemas Corporation.
The near two hour late start to the show saw 10 artistes and the standby for the night, Jermaine “Superstar” Simon entertaining the handful of spectators.
World-renowned calypsonian, Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes was on hand to deliver several of her popular songs as well as Grenada’s Cultural Ambassador Edson “Ajamu” Mitchell.
The official results for the 2013 Calypso Monarch are as follows:
(1) Ketura “Ketura” George 839;
(2) Findley “Scholar” Jeffery 824;
(3) Sean “Sour Serpent” Niles 820;
(4) Sheldon Douglas 815;
(5) Kelly “Rootsman Kelly” Clyne 809;
(6) Randy Isaac 808;
(7) Jerry “Papa Jerry” Baptiste 797;
(8) Phelon “Smallies” Blacket 792;
(9) Thomas “Foopy” Morain 792;
(10) Nashanda “Nashanda” Charles 784.