BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Tuesday 24th December 2019)-President of the St.Kitts-Nevis Association of Persons with Disabilities and wheelchair user Joseph ‘Awesome Navigator’ Bergan has expressed thanks to his fellow calypsonian Craig ‘ King Calypso Craig’ McDowell who recently donated his winning $1500 prize money to him from the Extempo Calypso Competition geared towards assisting with medical expenses overseas.
Speaking to this media house, Bergan shared: “In relation to that, earlier this year, I attended a meeting with the Carnival committee and I made a plea to the chairman and calypsonians and judges alike that I’d be travelling to Cuba by the ending of January to take care of some physical rehabilitation bearing in mind that I had preparations already planned for January and because of some unfortunate circumstances with my family I had to forfeit the trip so I was most grateful when I took part in that competition that me and Craig and the others spoke about earlier attended with the Carnival committee. He was generous enough to extending his winning monies to me and I’m grateful; I’m thankful for his generosity and this money will help me to go Cuba and receive the physical rehabilitation which I seek to better my conditions.”
McDowell, during a chit-chat with this media house also, talked about why it was easy for him to make the donation.
“…he would have made a plea to the persons present to contribute to his trip and care and I had promised I would and then on the night of the competition. When I realised he was doing so well, I said to a friend of mine that if I make it to the finals I hope it’s with him and if I win or lose I will give him my winnings. He has always been a big supporter of me in calypso and so it was easy for me to make that contribution. I believe in helping if you are able to.”
Commenting on what he would say to the public concerning persons who are differently challenged, Bergan had this to say: “My message to the general public in relation to how you look or how you feel about persons with disabilities, it’s a very hard and struggling road for us so I would like to appeal to the general public to just be as generous as you can in terms of like helping them and making whatever contribution there may be if you can do so and for those who are operating businesses I would like them to make their business place more accessible for persons with disabilities.”
He commended the few places that have got that done including some of the sidewalks that already have the little indenture for persons with disabilities.
“I appreciate it and I welcome it and embrace it and we have a lot more work to be done because we disabled persons patronize just about every business place in town so I would like the others who operate businesses to just get on board and prepare your building for the accessibility of the persons with disabilities.”
Following the Extempo calypso show held on Sunday 24th November 2019 at Vibes Beach Bar and Grill, the Awesome Navigator scored 215 points in the first runner-up spot, coming behind King Calypso Craig who captured 236 points.