A SECOND London has won a national Carnival title this year.
Rivaldo London, 17, of Pleasantville Secondary school beat 15 other contestants to take the national junior calypso monarch crown yesterday at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Singing in last position, London delivered a powerful rendition of My Purpose, a song where he advised fellow contestants to forget about singing to win money and trophy and focus on country.
He sang that young people need to assist in changing TT and the right way to do it is through the power of calypso, just as the likes of Sparrow, Shadow, Kitchener, Brigo, Bomber, Composer, De Original De Fosto Himself and Maestro did in the past.
London said as he got older, his focus was on spreading positive messages in song. “Kaiso is my sword. My music have the power to build back this nation. Kaiso Forever,” he sang. At the end of his performance there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that he was the winner.
Speaking after the show he said: “With the support from my parents, I knew I had a good chance of winning.”
London was also crowned the NACC’s Pathfinder’s king on the weekend, while his brother Renaldo London was crowned Young King last Monday.
He said: “I had gotten my song real late but thanks to God I pulled it off. I feel very grateful. It’s been a good week for the family.” The song was written by his uncle and calypsonian Brian London who is also a National Calypso Monarch finalist.
London said he personally related to the song because too often his peers came to competition with their eyes on the prize but his mission was to deliver a message to the people.
London’s first prize includes $25,000, a trophy and a trip to Barbados as guest at their Junior Monarch Final. Placing second was last year’s winner Ta’zyah Duane O’Connor, 16, of St Mary’s College who sang Great Trinbago, another Brian London composition.
O’Connor later said, “I am proud and happy. Rivaldo was good competition and I think he deserved the crown.” Earlier, Minister of Education Anthony Garcia said: “It is always a good thing for the ministry to be involved in activities like this. We ensure all aspects of education are included in the curriculum and culture is an important part. If we are to ensure our children receive quality education, culture must be a part of that.”
Noting that 13 contestants were from denominational schools, he said it tells him they are at the forefront of our cultural activities. “We have some work to do where our government schools are concerned.”