SOUTHERNERS from politicians to performers alike have all joined in mourning the passing of rapso pioneer Lutalo "Brother Resistance" Masimba.
Masimba lost his battle with cancer, one he was silently fighting, at the West Shore Medical Private Hospital on Tuesday night. He was 67.
San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Political Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah were all generous with their compliments and memories of the late president of the Trinbago Unified Calypso Organisation (TUCO).
Regrello said the simplicity and humility of this great intellect were among his most endearing qualities.
“My first experience with him was back in the 1990’s when I was responsible for a group that travelled to Italy, Rome. He and I sat next to each other for the long flight, so we had a lot of time to chat and gain an insight into his depth, thoughts and perspective on the arts in particular.
“What impressed me most about him was his simplicity and humility. Looking at him, one could not tell he was a university graduate. He did not pretend.”
Regrello recalled as Masimba made his way to the stage, before Charlie’s Roots, featuring David Rudder and Chris “Tambu” Herbert, he asked one of the stage hands how to say raise your hands in their native language.
“The guy told him and he came on stage with his long locks, ringing his bell and took the microphone and used the Italian words for raise your hands. About 60 to 80,000 persons just raised their hands and went wild as the ringing bell resonated throughout the auditorium.”
“His charisma on stage his personality in advocating for the rapso art form, taking over from where Lancelot Layne left off and breaking barriers and treating the system with conscious music – basic poetry in calypso form, speaking about daily lives of our people in a very Trinidadian way, it was transformation we needed at the right time.
"I will really miss him, miss his personality, his stories his presence and his commitment. His epitaph should read, ‘here lies a conscious man’ in the true sense of the word.
Abdulah said he knew Masimba from his very early days when he left the Central Bank to study at the University of the West Indies.
“In those days, Resistance was Roy Lewis. He and “Slinger” were a duo, doing rapso. Resistance was a powerful voice for justice as he rang the bell for freedom.
“We shall miss his performances on the Fyzabad stage on June 19, Labour Day. I thank him for the music, the words and the vibrations. Rest in peace my brother.”
Southex and Chutney/Soca promoter George Singh said “Lutalo was one of the gentlemen of the music industry. He fought for the development of culture in TT. He was well-respected and well-liked. He will be truly missed.”
Ras Kommanda (Steve Pascall) former TUCO PRO, said a great son has transitioned.
“Lutalo Masimba was a fighter, a man who always tried to instil in his membership that wherever there is a will there must be a way, Government subvention or not. He was truly an exceptional artiste, an inspirational leader and was considered the King of Rapso Music, an art form they can lay claim as the pioneers for over four decades and more.”