D’ASHE Saul made history on Friday by becoming the first junior calypso monarch of the Tobago Carnival.
The competition, held at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex, featured just six Calypsonians.
The pint-sized pupil from Parlatuvier Anglican Primary School, who scored 452 points, sang a witty yet thought-provoking calypso titled My Grandmother’s Legacy, which discussed the importance of literacy in a modern world.
It was composed by renowned Tobago educator and 2021 national award winner, Dr. Verleen Bobb-Lewis.
For his efforts, Saul received $30,000.
Clorysa Gill from Signal Hill Secondary School came in second with a captivating article titled Advice To the Youths. She got 429 points.
Scarborough RC student Khalea Alfred with Signs of Peace took third place with 407 points.
Gill and Alfred received $20,000 and $15,000 respectively.
Fourth place went to Scarborough High School student Olu Holder, who sang Our Resilience.
Competitors were Daniah Mohammed, from Signal Hill State Primary School and Kayla Taylor from Speyside Secondary School. They sang School Rules and We Are Made Of More respectively.
Performing sixth in front of an audience that included THA Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transport Secretary Tashia Burris, Deputy Secretary Megan Morrison and Tobago Festivals Commission Ltd CEO John Arnold, Saul was a favorite as soon as he arrived on stage.
Dressed in a navy suit with African-inspired accents, he wowed the crowd with his powerful voice and fluid footwork. At one point, Saul also encouraged the audience to wave from side to side.
Saul, who has been singing calypso and reggae since the age of four, sang My Grandmother’s Legacy in tribute to his grandfather, who died last year.
Gill’s debut on the big stage began with a monologue of teenagers getting ready to smoke marijuana. She then urged them to take advantage of the many opportunities available to young people today.
“Young people of today, stand up! This negative stigma needs to stop,” Gill sang.
Alfred, the first calypsonian to take the stage, sang about resolving conflict and urged people to be kind to one another.
The Calypsonians were judged on melody, arrangement, lyrics, performance, and crowd performance.
Earlier, in brief remarks, Arnold told the audience that he could expect exceptional talent.
“It sets us up for a big carnival next week,” he said.
Arnold mentioned several activities, including a tribute to veteran Tobago-born calypsonian Lord Nelson (Robert Nelson) on Monday, the Tobago Music Arts and Culture Festival, featuring Nigerian singer Burna Boy (Damani Ogulu) on Thursday at the Plymouth Recreation Ground and the J’ouvert Mud. Is Life – Mud Festival at Crown Point on Saturday.
“So we look forward to having a great Tobago Carnival, the first ever carnival of its kind and all of you, of course, will have a part to play in welcoming all of our visitors.”