Newly crowned THA Interdepartmental personality 2024 Dwayne White Jr is calling for the standard of the show to be improved.
White, representing the Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation, won the annual Carnival competition, at the Parade Grounds, Bacolet early Friday morning.
Speaking with Newsday after the show, White said, “Interdepartment is one of Tobago’s biggest events. I often feel like people pay to see quality – quality talent, quality masquerade. My thought is that interdepartment should be more upscaled where contestants are concerned; people are paying to see you perform and it’s not bathroom singing or anything like that, they’re paying to see some kind of excellence.”
White said he was happy to win the competition.
“I feel great. I feel like the win was well-deserved.
“I expected it, seriously; judging from the competition, I expected it. People were paying to see excellence, I wasn’t worried, I just came out to have fun. People paid to see some kind of experience, they didn’t pay their monies to see any try-outs; they paid to see excellence or even upcoming excellence, and that I did give.”
He also secured the best talent prize, which was a monologue written by Rashawn Pierre.
“It was a double entendre of pussy cat, in terms of diversifying our economy, boosting our tourism using the culinary cuisine of cats, so we drew reference to other countries having delicacies. Pierre came up with a brilliant piece on how cat can be served. As Trinbagonians we often laugh at ourselves, we often like to make a satire of political issues or even social issues, so I figured that this piece would have been a winning piece because we’re a country of picong.”
He also secured the best carnival wear award. His costume was created by Marcus DesVignes and Afeisha Moses-DesVignes.
He walked away with $9,000, but for him, that wasn’t his prize.
“My grand prize was acknowledgement of the interdepartment audience crowd to see a calibre of performance they paid for – that was my overall prize.”
In second place was the THA Division of Education, Research and Technology’s Kedanne O’Conor with Office of the Chief Secretary’s Shaquille Sylvester settling for the third spot.
In the calypso competition, the THA Division of Community Development, Youth Development and Sport representative Gary Baptiste walked away with the first place.
“It was electrifying. I tend to not soak up all that energy in the moment until after, but it was very good for me, very good.”
His song, Taste Your Fish, was written by him.
“Putting lyrics together is not an easy thing, it's not done overnight, it needs a lot of time to get that done...My whole thing was that if I’m going out to interdepartment, I must represent well – that’s what I promised my fellow co-workers."
He acknowledged that he is no stranger to the stage, having represented at the 2019 interdepartment competition as well.
“I’ve been a performer for some time now. I started in primary school under the late great Axe Back and his folk group, so I have been exposed from quite a tender age. Coming through the years, he saw me perform at a church function and he picked me up from there and took me into his cultural group. I did some good few hotel gigs with them and then eventually I started to branch off on my own. I do my own writing now. As a matter of fact, the first song I did was in 2019.”
He walked away with $8,000 and the title of most humorous calypso.
In second place was the THA’s Division of Tourism, Culture Antiquities and Transportation’s Daniel Baptiste, while in third place was the THA’s Division of Health, Wellness and Social Development’s Rholda John.