Soca is LIFE and so, in Trinidad and Tobago, amid much shuffling and skepticism over whether a virtual carnival experience should happen, and whether it could even work, there is a powerful hum that billows from the depths of the hearts of true die hard soca fans, appreciative no doubt, of the artistes who, like clockwork, are brining the tunes.
The music is here and while there will be no carnival festival in the usual sense, artistes like Jaiga, Shal Marshall, Bunji Garlin, Nadia Batson, Blaxx, Machel Montano, Farmer Nappy, Lyrikal, MX Prime and others remain committed to the art form.
One of our favourites so far comes from the man who has defended soca music for as long as we can remember. Jaiga’s ‘On De Inside’ is the ultimate limer’s anthem and with no liming permitted in large numbers, this tune on the ‘Backyard Jam’ riddim, is in essence, the epitome of what the real carnival spirit encompasses.
We spoke with Jaiga briefly in the aftermath of confirmation given by Trinidad and Tobago’s National Carnival Commission Chairman, Winston Gypsy Peters that the NCC would not be facilitating any virtual events and is in fact looking toward 2022 for the delivery of its usual carnival festival. Jaiga admitted to being bothered by the chairman’s lacklustre expression but went on to explain that no matter what, the people of T&T will enjoy the music by the artistes and even with that, the artists’ greatest purpose will, in essence, be fulfilled.
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“We Are a Small, But Proud Country.” – TT Health Minister To Trevor Noah.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Health Minister is today being hailed a hero for his professional execution of yesterday’s interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
During the virtual interview with the South Africa born host, Deyalsingh is heard repeating, “Trinidad is a small but proud country.”
The interview was seen as necessary by the team at The Daily Show, according to Noah, to debunk rapper, Nicki Minaj’s claim that someone in Trinidad had experienced testicular swelling after being vaccinated for COVID-19. Introducing the minister to his global audience with a bit of humor and some reference to Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival culture, Noah allowed the minister to deliver his Ministry’s statistics. Minister Deyalsingh noted that some 1 million vaccine doses have been administered in a population of 1.3 million. “We are confident that we have brought WHO approved vaccines to Trinidad and Tobago,” he said, before adding, “of those 1 million doses of vaccines we have administered, there have been only been 5 cases of adverse events, all reported to WHO.” Minister Deyalsingh further stated, “none of them includes testicular swelling.”
In the comments beneath the Daily Show video on YouTube, viewers congratulated the country’s minister on a job well done. One person, Constance Robertson said, “This Jamaican thanks the TT Minister of Health for repping the entire Caribbean.”
HERE’S THE INTERVIEW:
Does Nicki Minaj Hate Trinidad? Artist “Vaccine and Testicles” Tweet Makes Viral Mess.
Tony Chow Lin On- better known as Chinese Laundry, the owner of urban radio station, 96.1WEFM in Trinidad, is baffled by the negative publicity surrounding recent remarks by Nicki Minaj on Twitter as it relates to why she declined this year’s Met Gala invitation. He calmly analyzed the situation on Facebook this afternoon.
Minaj, a St. James, Trinidad born rapper has left international media houses spinning, with even CNN covering her tweet. “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied,” she wrote on the social media platform. Her comment came after explaining that she had not been vaccinated, which was a requirement for all guests attending Monday’s Met Gala.
On the heels of coverage by various media outlets, including Variety, and even a humorous highlight by comedian Trevor Noah, Chow Lin On said, “her words were harmful at a critical time.”
The well known Trinidad and Tobago entertainment industry executive wrote, “All major news agencies, CNN , Washington Post and others including Dr Fauci , all concluded that Nicki Minaj’s baseless claims were irresponsible at best and highlights the issue of when celebrity influence is terribly harmful. So after all the memes, fun and social media engagement, long after it’s not a trending topic , her words were harmful at a critical time , as the world is engaged in the mother of all battles , THE PANDEMIC!!!! and the unfortunate side show , it’s a Trini with missing brain cells , Jed I want us to be famous for our music , our culture, our sporting achievements, our contributions to protecting the environment, a model for multi ethnic societies etc etc . THIS MY FRIEND IS NOT IT.”
This latest less- than -well- thought -out expression by the 38-year-old “Anaconda” singer comes on the heels of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scandal involving Trinidad and Tobago sprinter, Michelle Lee Ahye who called out Minaj on Twitter in July, after she congratulated Jamaica’s athletic team and failed to even mention the Trinidad and Tobago athletes who were also at the games.
Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister meanwhile has debunked the rapper’s statement untrue.
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