Roy Cape yesterday encouraged children to stay in school and get a proper education in order to be successful in life.
Cape was speaking after he received the key to the city from Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez at the corporation’s chamber, City Hall, Knox Street, Port of Spain.
Cape said, despite being a troubled youth who was put in an orphanage, he conquered many challenges in life and succeeded because he finished school. He said before he could accomplish his music, education had to be the main priority.
“I was very unhappy in being away from home. I only realised my bad behaviour contributed to where I was and I was very unhappy being away from home. I understood what was needed to be done and I did it. It was very challenging, but I succeeded."
He aded, “I also want to say that without Black Stalin I would have not been here today, because he gave my band the name Roy Cape All Stars. To him, I give great credit for where I am today. What he did for me over the years – I am eternally grateful for him bringing me to the people.”
Cape said it was with great pride and honour that he received the key to the city. He told the audience hard work paid off and he was very elated to receive the award.
“I have been looking at everybody who have been getting the key to the city and it is truly an honour to get this award. I thank you, Mayor, for appreciating and acknowledging the work I have contributed to TT's culture.”
Martinez said awarding "Dr Roy Cape" (Cape has an honorary doctorate), veteran calypso saxophonist, was an historic moment, which would form part of the rich and diverse history of the capital city. He said Port of Spain was proud to honour Cape, who had a history of more than 50 years, was a cultural ambassador featured on hundreds of recordings, and had released several albums over his extensive career.
He said coming from a humble background had positioned Cape to "vigorously and purposefully pursue his admirable career. Through music, he brought hope, inspired and empowered many of our youths and at risk youths. He has always adopted a role of mentor, friend and motivator.
“Roy Cape is a name synonymous with success and personal passion within the industry."
He said Cape remained uncompromising in his resolve in delivering quality music and scintillating performances.
Martinez said a symbolic key was the highest award a city could confer upon an individual or organisation, and Cape had certainly demonstrated passion, vision and pride in the development of the capital city and, by extension, beyond the country’s shores, in ways too numerous to mention.