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Antiguan calypsonians need more help from gov’t


ST JOHN’S — A veteran calypsonian has added his voice to the chorus that there needs to be more government involvement in the musical art form, especially around carnival.

Joseph Calypso Joe Hunte said the artistes’ preparations were not as good when compared to previous years when tent operators were able to operate for a longer period.

This year, the tent operators blamed the lack of funds, including the usual government subsidy that was not forthcoming, as the main obstacle to their late opening.

The calypsonian, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award this weekend from the Wadadli Calypsonians Association, said without government involvement the tents will fail. “We have tried the private sector; the private sector is

really overloaded because everybody is going to the same people ever year and the business people too have their own preferences,” Hunte said.

The artiste is also recommending that the Carnival Development Committee introduces a zonal calypso competition among students as a build-up to the annual Junior Calypso Monarch Competition.

He said this would generate much interest among the young contenders.

“Just like how they have educational zones, they should have competitions in the zones and then the best from each zone comes forward to the final,” Hunte added.

Hunte, who has been in the business since 1969, said he was honoured to receive an award from his own.

“To accept any award from your peers, I think it’s very important and I gracefully accepted,” Hunte said.

Also taking home an award from the black tie affair, held at the Grand Royal Antiguan Resort, were Paul King Obstinate Richards who received the Grand Master Award. The award was also bestowed upon Sir McLean King Short Shirt Emanuel and Sir Rupert King Swallow Philo. (Antigua Observer)

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