A group of calypsonians calling themselves the Calypso Troopers are calling on government to do a forensic audit into the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) as they say claims of mismanagement of funds and lack of accountability continue to surface.
Calypso Troopers, founded one year ago, consists of a group of calypsonians who are members of TUCO.
Vice chairman Kenwrick Joseph, also known as Kenny J, said the time has come where TUCO officials must give answers and must be held accountable for their actions. “Calypsonians have been taken advantage of for far too long.
We must stand up for what is right and fair,”Joseph said.
Joseph told Newsday, Calypso Troopers operates from Palm Avenue, Coconut Drive in San Fernando.
He said the organisation aims seeks to promote events and also raise their own funds so they would be less dependent on TUCO.
He said members sent a letter to TUCO requesting a meeting to discuss their concerns and TUCO requested more details and clarity on the issues they presented. “We sent another letter to them with more detailed information and to date we are yet to receive any feedback,” Joseph said. He said the ongoing issues in TUCO need to be ironed out.
“We don’t want to take over TUCO. All we are asking is that there be some level of accountability.”
He said there is no transparency in the salaries of the executives. “There are calypsonians who put out money to market themselves with hopes that they get back some return.
Many calypsonians are afraid to speak up because of fears of being victimised.
“We are encouraging other calypsonians to stand up for themselves and join with us. We cannot continue like this.” Joseph said over the years TUCO have been offering calypsonians nothing but empty promises. Another member Wayne Modeste, also known as Impulse, said if TUCO continues to operate in such a manner it is only downhill for the organisation.
“They are destroying the culture of calypso.
The members of the executive have been there for years and they have no vision for the artform, they need to give the younger heads a chance now.”
Meanwhile, PRO of TUCO, Steve “Ras Kommanda” Pascall said it is a sad situation when fellow calypsonians are trying to stain the image of the organisation especially so close to Carnival.
“It seems a few disgruntled artistes, for their own intent and purpose, are going to the media to highlight their discontent. Our approach is if you have a problem, come to the meetings and raise your concerns.”
As to calls for an audit, he said it was unfair since one was recently done.