“Allan G” is the winner of the first ever Constitution Reform Calypso competition that was held Monday at Carnival City on The Carenage in St. George’s.
With his rendition “The time has come”, the calypsonian who is from Mt. Parnassus amassed a total of 254 points to walk away with the title and the $10, 000 first place prize.
Speaking on his accomplishment after the show, Allan G told THE NEW TODAY that it was very challenging and that a lot of work went into writing and constructing the song for the competition.
“It’s a joy. This is the hardest song I have ever written in my life (and) to get the seven bills in the song it was very difficult because we have to craft it in a way that makes sense and I am happy that I was able to contribute to my country in this new initiative with the referendum”, he said.
Copping the second place prize of $7, 000 was Raphael “Croquetta” Johnson from Beaulieu, St. George, who scored 246 points with his rendition “We own laws”.
The third place prize of $5, 000 went to female competitor Anthonia “Zena” Simon, who hails from Chantimelle in St. Patrick. She amassed a total of 236 points with her rendition, “The time has come”.
The competition received participation from 10 calypsonians. An appearance fee of $1, 000 will be paid to the other artistes.
With the recent passage of seven Constitution Reform bills in the country’s parliament and the announcement that October 27 is the date for the holding of the Referendum, the education process is now expected to move into high gear.
In an interview with this newspaper following the show, Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Legal Affairs and member of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee, Robert Branch, said the competition marked the first in a series of activities to be rolled out in the three months of campaigning up to the referendum.
“It (the calypso competition) actually fits very nicely into our plans, the songs that were sung tonight we will try to use them in the public education campaign. We want to have the calypsonians involved in going with us in the communities to assist with public education”, he said.
Branch sated that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is contributing $290, 000 to the education process, which will be given to civil society organisations “to conduct public education in the communities”.
He said that overall, the committee is “happy with the level of participation tonight and we think we are in a good place to have a successful referendum”. In commenting on the night’s competition, Advisor to the Government of Grenada, Dr. Lawrence Joseph who has been closely associated with the Constitution Advisory Committee for the last two years told THE NEW TODAY that, he was pleased with the turn out of patrons for the competition.
Dr. Joseph felt that most of the artistes touched on very serious items on Constitutional reform, adding, “I feel very pleased with that because it brings out some of the items the bills that have been passed” in Parliament.
Veteran Calypsonian Elwin Mc Quilkin (Black Wizard) who witnessed the show said, “it was generally good entertainment”, but concluded that from his own observations some of the competitors strayed away from the topic of Constitution reform.
“They didn’t really stick to the topic, most of them probably didn’t understand the topic”, he said, noting, “it (Constitution reform) is not an easy topic to write on”.
The one-off competition historically coincided with the celebration of 178 years of Emancipation from slavery which is recognised on August 1 each year.
The Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s us trying to effect Changes to the 1974 Independence constitution document to abolish appeals to the Privy Council ands to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) the final appellate court in the jurisdiction, to set term limits for the Prime Minister and to make provisions for the post of Leader of the Opposition at all times in Parliament.