First female Calypso Monarch in 47 years

POSTED: 04/29/16 12:43 PM

Akinerom Charles Arrindell

Akinerom Charles Arrindell, the first female to ever win a Calypso Crown suitably rewarded with the symbol which was placed on her head by Lisa Brown, Senior Marketing Manager at Nagico and assisted by Edwardo Radjouki, from the SCDF. Photo Today / Milton Pieters

Shakiya stays one point ahead of Kaiso Brat

St. Maarten News – As far as the other participants in the finals of the Nagico Calypso competition was concerned, Shakiya, real name Akinerom Charles Arrindell, was just another female in the quest for glory, but at the end of the show, she became the first female in 47 years to be crowned as the country’s Calypso Monarch.

Shakiya, an employee of social insurance agency SZV, immediately received congrats from her employer.

In doing so, Arrindell who finished on 471 points dethroned the reigning King Alberto Arrindell, stage name Fish Da Mega Boss who had to settle for the second runner up position with 446 points. The first runner up position was for Clement Richards, stage name Kaiso Brat, with 470 points.

The one point difference enabled Arrindell to walk away with a $10,000 check compliments of sponsor Nagico. Kaiso Brat is $5,000 richer and Fish Da Mega Boss, will survive to swim another day in the calypso arena with his $3,000 prize.

” This victory as the first female to win this crown is a victory for all ladies, I feel honored because I have been working hard to get this far and I did it,” Arrindell said while still trying to compose herself after the crowning which took place during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

She however admitted that it did come as a shock and she had a good reason for making that point. “Kaiso Brat and Fish Da Mega Boss are both good, but I knew if I give it my best, that I would have been recognized by the judges and I guess it was.”

Arrindell took the opportunity to laud the efforts of the other females in the competition and said that her objective this year was to do better than last year and leaving everything on stage.

When asked about her songs, Arrindell said that in her opinion both had selling points; however her number hit was ‘I Am talking To You.’ “I wanted to walk away feeling proud and I did accomplish that now I can make calypso lovers feel the same way, this crown means a lot to me.”

“This is what we have been waiting for from the time she got involved in calypso, I knew that she could have done it and I am so proud,” said her partner Lysanne Charles-Arrindell. According to Charles-Arrindell, she was the one that wrote the lyrics and that was after they made several approaches to veteran calypsonians. “Fish Da Mega Boss’ was the only person that gave her some advice but she went through a lot of struggles just to win this crown,” she added.

In the Calypso arena, there are no special privileges for females, the playing field is always level and only those accumulating the much needed points in accordance with the criteria could emerge as the winner.

For lyrics, 40 points was up for grabs, 30 for melody, 20 for rendition and 10 for presentation. Empress Zee, the first female on the stage came out with ‘Not For Me’ in round one. King Baro, a veteran followed up with Child Molesters, D’Monitor, said That Will be my Victory and Lady Baker came with For Deh Government.

Lady Upsetter, the former Junior calypso winner did a song entitled Come Straight, Baker Jr., a seasoned campaigner’s song was entitled, Crime Stoppers, Mighty Pepper came with Ant’s Nest, Shakiya’s sang I am talking to you, Kaiso Brat followed up with Don’t Give Up, the Wizzard was next with Who Say He Say and Fish da Mega Boss closed off the round with Bandits.

For the audience, the first round could have been described as a prelude of forthcoming attractions and while only the calypsonians knew what they had in store, it was up to the panel of judges to make their assessments and final decisions.

When the battle for the crown resumed after a break, Empress Zee launched an attack on former Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs during her song entitled The Flock. Instead of attacking the politicians, King Baro spoke about the human race and the manner in which some of them treat each other with scorn.

D’Monitor, came with Give Us a next Moses where he saw the necessity for a more spiritual person to lead St Maarten out of the current political situation. Lady Baker’s Down Town Remedy was her way of touching on some serious social issues and targeted the men by warning them to know their way when they are going down town. Her message was clear as day, but all she wanted was for men to respect their vows.

Lady Upsetter was up next, her maturity was evident when she touched on harassment from a neighbor who wanted her to sing about melee and she refused. Her song was entitled Not Singing That.

His Majesty Baker Jr. is known for his ability to attack the politicians and hitting them below the belt. His song entitled Ship Jumping was one of the strongest attacks of the night as he touched on the unhealthy and infectious diseases that are passing through the island; he called for an emergency antidote to eradicate the infected parliamentarians with help from the Health Department.

The Mighty Pepper, real name Wayne Arrindell was next, in his challenge to the titleholder, he did a song entitled Hook De Fish. However, the Mega Boss was not his only target; he also touched on island melee and the unhealthy practices of many with regards to personal hygiene.

Shakiya, was the third and final female in the lineup. Her song, entitled None Better Than The Next was her way of avoiding bashing of public figures and she stuck to calypso instead: ‘None of them ain’t better than the other so why even bother’. Arrindell refrained from crossing the red line and pointed out that when the smaller fish are getting caught, the bigger ones are getting away.

Up to that stage in the competition, the man to watch was Kaiso Brat and his tune Dung In We Garden; it was a huge hit that saw him leading the way on points heading into the finals. With Ricky da Foxx as his prop man on stage, Kaiso Brat proceeded to do some real forking up with his lyrics and the crowd loved every moment.

Leroy Vlaun, stage name The Wizzard was next, he spared no one in his song entitled Strokes They Getting when he referred to the big boy’ in jail on the hill after getting their hands in the cookie jar. ‘Even when you see them limping and not walking, it means is strokes they getting, but don’t feel sorry for them and don’t vote for them.’

Last but not least was the Mega Boss himself, his song entitled Ain’t Votin’ was his way of pleading with the citizens not to vote regardless of who wanted to get into power. In his theatrical performance, the Mega Boss used extras on stage, while three waited patiently in line, a fourth one sat on a bucket in the polling booth with his trousers down to his ankles and refused to budge.

Arrindell’s roller coaster journey to the crown began back in 2015 when she was among the 10 that advanced to the finals. This time with 221 points, she did it again and in doing so, she has set a bench mark for the other female calypsonians on the island to follow.

However, the top three calypsonians were not the only persons that went home smiling, Nagico also took the opportunity to make available four gate prizes in which the winning numbers were picked out of a bag.

Mrs. Gario, will not have to worry about her cable bills for the next three months, Pedro Rombley will have the option of staying at the Westin Dawn Beach Hotel on any two days he selects; Kevin Turner was the winner of the Nagico prize and Britney Williams was the winner of a travel voucher compliments of Lawrence Lachman Khemchandani, the Director of KK Travels & Tours.

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