Photo: Miss Independent-the reigning Senior Calypso Monarch- is all smiles after winning the Female Calypso Bacchanal crown last weekend (Photo credit: Facebook)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (November 2018)- Under the theme ‘Culture, Competition, Feting- Sugar Mas 47’, the annual St.Kitts-Nevis National Carnival was officially launched last Friday night (23rd November) before an impressive crowd gathered at The Circus in the heart of Basseterre as organised by the St. Kitts Nevis National Carnival Committee.

That night competitors of the National Carnival Queen Pageant, Swimsuit Competition, Mr. GQ and Talented Teen were officially presented to the public and sashed with their respective sponsors via a raffle system.

Sponsor companies who have employees competing were allowed first pick of that individual.

Following the official opening of Sugar Mas, the Female Calypso Bacchanal Competition final was held which saw the reigning Senior Calypso Monarch outshining her competitors.

Government Minister Eugene Hamilton deputised on behalf of Minister of Culture Shawn Richards –who was off island at the time- in declaring the annual festivity open.

In giving a historical recap, he had this to say: “Carnival is an activity in St.Kitts-Nevis which actually started back in 1957. Its predecessor was called Christmas Sports and before that it may have been labelled simply a year end celebrations where slaves were granted time to give reverence in song and they were also given the opportunity to dance and to masquerade and indeed they were also allowed to party-to participate in drinks and food. However, Carnival was not materialised until 1971 and today we are celebrating the Sugar Mas 47 bearing in mind that there was not any in 1993 which prompted Ellie Matt to make a song called ‘Small Carnival’ in 1993.”

While observing this year’s theme, Hamilton highlighted that “Fetes have become an integral part of our carnival and t has served to transform Sugar Mas into a more attractive tourism product.”

Additionally, he encouraged spectators and revellers to be alert at all times in ensuring that there is no harm to each other.

“Please be vigilant. We want a carnival that is incident free and accident free and I suggest to you those of you when you’re feting keep your faculties in gear so that you don’t do things that you’ll regret.”

The National Carnival Queen contestants and sponsors as presented that night are as follows: #1: Anissa Eddy – Coca Cola; #2: Desi Brown: St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank; #3: Merv Ann Thompson – Carib Brewery St Kitts Nevis Ltd; #4: Tawanna Collins – SCASPA; #5: Olivia Walters: St. Kitts-Nevis Development Bank and #6: Aravinda Hughes: The Cable (an employee of that company).

Talented Teen Pageant: Kadeisjah Egen (New Generation); WAHS (Washington Archibald High) T’Shaunté Smith (G-Square Arts);CHS (Cayon High) – Avanya Richards (Dasani Water); CFBC (Clarence Fitzroy Byant College) – Vijhan Woodley (S.L Stage Lighting);BHS (Baseterre High) – Daneika Dickenson (Allies Construction Ltd.) and VHS (Verchilds High) – Siddoyah Warner (KFC).

National Carnival Swimsuit Pageant: # 1: Kersha Martin – Mitcham & Benjamin Barristers at Law’ # 2: Jacynthia Teshiera – Carib Brewery St. Kitts Nevis Ltd; # 3: Dellecia Wilkes – Unicomer (Courts)-an employee; # 4: Brianda Harvey – Royal St. Kitts Hotel;# 5: Sheneka Henry – The Cable and # 6: Saskia Evans – St. Kitts Nevis Development Bank

Mr. GQ Competition: #1 – Nigoe Hamilton (Vallies Tent Rental); #2 – Lorenzo Phillip (Mystique Photo Studio); #3 – Jonah Valarie (Tru Capo Studio); #4 – Javon Dean (The Cable) and #5 – Leroy James Jr. (SKN Vibes).

On the Female Calypso Bacchanal side of things, from a field of eight competitors, Miss Independent was crowned the winner, scoring 246 points with a song called ‘Rat Tat Tat’ which addressed the scourge of violence and crime.

She has dethroned Brown Sugar who followed closely in the first runner-up spot with 243 points.

Placing second runner-up was Queen Kibie, with 229 points while in third runner-up position was Charis D with 221 points. Notably, Queen Kibie is Miss Independent’s older sister.

Following a Female Calypso Tent held on Sunday 18th November at Krave Restaurant on New Street, out of twelve competitors, seven females made the final to go up against the then reigning Queen.

Calypso Queen Donelle Weekes from Barbados was the guest artiste of the night.

Well-known local entertainment personality Chris Moonlight emceed the event and had the audience in stitches at his comical and witty remarks and interactions.

Ras Kelly and D Rhythm Band brought the curtains down with a jam session.