Thursday, 09 August 2012 02:31
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Culture Eleston Namba Adams has rejected suggestions that the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) leadership and its relations with popular artiste Tian Winter have compromised the integrity of the 2012 Party Monarch competition.
Winter emerged from the competition the holder of two crowns, for the Jumpy and Groovy categories.
“Is this the first time that Tian has won double?” was the question posed by the Minister in response to public queries about his twin victories possibly being fixed.
“Some people seem to be thinking that because Kayode O’Marde is the chairman of the CDC that is why he (Tian Winter) is so successful this year. And I said no. Even when O’Marde was not chairman Tian won double. It is unfair to say that because Kayode is chairman that (Tian) won double,” Minister Adams said.
The culture minister added that based on his own observations, Winter’s success has come not only from his fame locally but from his ability to effectively integrate the knowledge and skills acquired through travels and international performances into the local arena.
Adams posited that even though he has “sympathy” for the manner in which 2011 Soca Monarch Hard Knaxx was handled during the past season, he does believe that the competition, on its own merits, was fairly judged.
“They have both represented Antigua internationally and I believe they have both done well,” Minister Adams said.
He pointed out that although it was not in the CDC’s scope to dictate who private promoters put on their shows, the committee does have control over who they invite to perform at events sanctioned by them and should have tried to do more for the former Soca King.
“I tend to lean to the idea that the monarch should have been shown a little more respect. I don’t know why he wasn't placed on those shows, but maybe it’s the type of songs he was singing. I have sympathy for Hard Knaxx,” the minister said. He added, “I believe that the CDC should have tried to get him on a few of those shows. The mere fact that he is the monarch they should have tried to do more for him.”
Minister Adams pointed out that rumors of a CDC poster featuring Tian Winter instead of the reigning Monarch of Carnival Queen are unacceptable, since the icons of the year past should be featured above all else.
He added that the slogan ‘In Living Color’ was “unfortunately” pushed above the festival’s longstanding mantra – ‘The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival’.
“It is their choice but I believe the ‘Greatest Summer Festival’ should have stood above the year’s theme,” Adams said.
Although his overall view of how the 2012 Carnival was organized and executed is favorable, the Culture Minister does believe that greater collaboration between the CDC and the National Festivals Office would have made for a better year.
“They look like simple things, but more collaboration between CDC and Festivals Office would have made for a better stage," Adams said.
Moreover, the minister notes that the issues of finance still remain, with government only managing to complete 2011 payments half way through the 2012 celebrations.
“I can’t say right now if artistes will be paid late again. But if government does not pay the money then the CDC won’t have any to pay,” he said.
Government and the CDC have projected 90 days from today to complete all payments to both artistes and service providers for the 2012 celebrations.
“I believe some of them would be paid sooner but at the end of the day the question of whether they would receive the $2.5m that government has promised remains. If this doesn't happen then we might have the same problem as with years past,” the minister said.
Adams also responded to public concerns about the still controversial Burning Flames song ‘Kick in She Back Door’ that was adjudged road march song of the year, having won convincingly over rival songs from Tian Winter and Ricardo Drue.
“I have no problem with the Burning Flames song. The people are not considering violence. I believe that song was prepared for entertainment and that is what I believe people focused on. I don’t see anything violent or sexual about it,” the minister said.
“People want to use their own interpretation. I don’t see the reason why you should ban it.”
He compared the potential effects of the song to the potential effects of a young boy playing with a toy gun.
“The song has become a hit now simply because people are talking so much about it. Women are now laughing at WAR because they don’t see it that way. Carnival is over and the song is over until you go to a party,” the minister said.
Minister Adams said he supports the call for a broadcast commission because while in opposition the United Progressive Party (UPP) had touted the idea.
However, even with this measure, Adams posited that the government cannot be expected to “legislate morality.”