Three crowns in one week for King Zacari

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Antigua & Barbuda’s 2017 Calypso Monarch has won another crown in Anguilla after he dethroned last year’s Leeward Islands Calypso Monarch, Anguillan calypsonian Roxy following his two wins last Sunday in Carnival City.
Trevor “King Zacari” King emerged winner of the 21st edition of the Leeward Islands Calypso Competition on Saturday night after two rounds in the stiff race against seven regional calypsonians.
King Zacari won the competition in 1996 and has now regained the crown in its 21st year.
“I’ve been away from this competition for a number of years but I’ll be back again … I am not going to tell you I’m winning. Even if I have to come here as a visitor, because this show, Anguilla’s show is one that I adore.”
The monarch said he believes his renditions tackle social ills that all Leeward Islanders and blacks can relate to, and that is what sets his performance apart from the other competitors.
“I usually attack the ills of society be it racial, political, economic or anything that might hamper my people or promote my people; the stage is my medium to get that over,” King said.
He continued by saying, “I do that type of song with a passion because it’s a strong belief of mine that as a black individual, not racist but black and conscious individual, that I should enlighten my people about great black heroes around the world.”
King Zacari credits this year’s successes to a strong support base, which include his wife, who accompanied him on his four-day trip to the Rainbow City, and his sick friend Jake who motivates him behind the scenes.
In an exclusive interview after the show, Chairman of the Antigua & Barbuda Calypso Subcommittee, Dion Simmons, said it was the first time in a long time that a calypsonian received a standing ovation during their delivery.
After he was declared the winner, King Zacari treated the audience to a picong verse through which he expressed his gratitude to the audience and the Anguillans who gave a standing ovation during his performance in round two.
Zacari also won the local picong or extempo competition, which was introduced three years ago in the carnival line-up and according to Simmons, that is an impromptu verbal battle amongst the artists, in which they “pick on” each other with a topic given by judges on the night.
In the same interview, Simmons made notice of the turnout at the annual showdown, citing that the attendance has declined by 20 per cent.
“I think that calypso, not just locally in Antigua but regionally needs to be addressed in terms of the numbers, the patrons from a demographic standpoint. It’s something that the cultural departments in the region need to look at,” Simmons said.
He said that this was not a new observation but explained that the turnout reflects the “migration from calypso to soca” across the region.
The organiser Katrina Richardson also said that the show was competing with other events on the night with the Poker Boat Race and Cooler Fete being held at nearby venues.
However, he expressed great satisfaction with the results and despite a late start, results were announced around 1 am.
King Zacari sang ‘Descendants of Uncle Tom’ and ‘The Road Called Freedom’ while the second place went to Roxy of Anguilla and third place to Calypso Craig of St Kitts.

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