Darryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry has won the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) and bmobile’s online Road March competition in a year of no march on the road. And for him, it is a win for the people.
Besides winning the online Road March, he also won the Soca Monarch with a prize of $150,000.
Carnival 2021 was cancelled because of the covid19 pandemic.
He was presented with his $100,000 prize at a ceremony at the TSTT suite, Queen’s Park Oval, Tragarete Road, Port of Spain on Wednesday.
Long-time friend and former bandmate Machel Montano congratulated Farmer Nappy on his win saying, “From day one we knew this will come. ‘Darieeeeeeeee’ ah could hear Miss Virgie and Ma Barbs right next to her crying with joy for their son.
“Congratulations Newton. That little boy from Siparia who grew up to be Farmer Nappy. This is what you call a dream come true. I am beyond proud in this moment. I am Xtatik (playing on the name of the former band...).”
Chutney Soca Monarch Imran “GI” Beharry and Queen of Chutney Soca Nisha Ramsook were also presented with their prizes too.
Farmer Nappy said his win was for the people and he was not going to lobby for the National Carnival Commission (NCC) to recognise his win with the popular Backyard Jam.
“God and the people recognise my winnings...it has nothing to do with NCC…”
The NCC said in a January 20 Newsday article that there is no Carnival 2021 and so the contest results won’t count.
For TUCO’s president Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba it was a beautiful Carnival season. He thanked the artistes saying, “they answered the call of the people and they brought the music to sustain an excitement and a nice atmosphere throughout this covid19 pandemic…”
He also thanked TSTT and its subsidiary bmobile for its “exceptional” support especially in a time of crisis.
He said the organisation looked forward to extending the relationship with the digital operator as it goes forward.
There is no turning back for TUCO in the digital age and using digital platforms in the future, Brother Resistance said.
“We look forward to crafting a number of our approaches and other events within the context of the digital era.”
Telecommunications Services of TT’s (TSTT) CEO Lisa Agard said the pandemic forced TT to be innovative, creative and really called upon the sector’s participants to generate ideas on how to keep various cultural elements alive.
TT did an extraordinary job in that regard, she said.
The company has had a long history of supporting culture in TT and, in particular, Carnival and so when approached to do a few things to “keep the artform alive” it was more than happy to do so, she said.
“TSTT is majority-owned by the people of TT and, guess what, Carnival is we culture. So it is we company supporting we culture.”
Agard said it looked forward to next year when hopefully things will be back to normal.
One of the directors of the International Soca Monarch (ISM) Geoffrey Wharton-Lake said the organisation will recognise Farmer Nappy’s win and will hold a discussion with NCC, if necessary, for their feelings on it then.
He said at the end of the day a year has passed and it has been a different one.
Lake said Soca Monarch went virtual and was assured the virtual event reached more people than it ever did before.
The organisers received feedback from London, South Africa, New York and Miami among others, Wharton-Lake said.
“We felt good about the reach.”
He added that the pandemic year has put the annual event’s organisers on a reset button to see what is going to happen in the future.
“Do we go back to trying to get 10,000 people in the stadium with very, very high overheads or do we kind of keep it in this real virtual position to see how many people we can reach?”
He said it was now about the organisers sitting down as a team and seeing what could happen and if hosting an event be it virtual or otherwise was possible during the July/August holidays.
Asked what he meant by something happening, Wharton-Lake said it could be going back to the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) or Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) and trying to do something virtual again.
“The entertainment industry is on lockdown and if we can find a way to do a similar event in the month of July and maybe try to get artistes to do songs earlier. And we’d love to get the younger artistes involved. This is their platform,” he said.