Untimely passing

by Adonijah

The kaiso community came out in numbers in Trinidad recently to celebrate the passing of Sonny Francois, The Mighty Power.

The veteran kaisoman, known for songs such as Yuh Wasting Yuh Time, Tun Tun, Ah Coming and Culture, died at the San Fernando General Hospital where he was reportedly undergoing tests for cancer. He was 78 years old.

Winston Gypsy Peters, now Minister of Community Development in Trinbago, led the sing-along which turned the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Gasparillo into a calypso tent. Sugar Aloes, Chalkdust, Composer, Allrounder and Ellsworth James sang a medley of Power’s hits, accompanied by a drum.

Father Steve Duncan conducted the service, calling on the calypso fraternity to get rid of all the acrimony, envy and anger that plagues it.

Still in T&T, professor/kaisonian Dr Hollis Liverpool, also known as The Mighty Chalkdust, has called on fellow teachers to use kaiso as a tool in schools. Giving a lecture on nationhood, hosted by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago, Chalkie pointed out that a study of the twin-island republic’s calypsos would reveal the history of the state.

“If all the calypsos of our nation that have been sung were brought to the notice of our students, they would have in their hands the political, social and economic history of the people of TT,” Chalkie said.

“While teachers in Trinidad were teaching Shakespeare, teachers in Grenada, motivated by Bishop’s revolution, were using Trinidad’s calypso to instil patriotism in their children,” he noted.

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