Rapso and all round cultural aficionado, Wendell Manwarren’s truth, is the topic of much carnival related conversation at this time. In an interview done with Your Caribbean Guide’s Dionne Baptiste-Clarke, the 3Canal member explained his personal view on the topic of elitism in the carnival landscape.
The expression highlighted the cultural decline and the adoption of a commercially driven carnival product that he believes has led to an exodus of the true spirited ‘grassroot’ audience. “Those people see themselves as special, set apart, and don’t wish to congregate with certain people,” he said, as he spoke about carnival patrons who enjoy ‘all inclusive’ offerings.
In the aftermath of the video’s exposure and viral circulation, the topic has started a conversation regarding the future of Carnival’s creative and cultural embodiment. “The “people” who lived for and loved Carnival and steelpan and tents and shows and kings and queens of the bands have been suffocated out, replaced by corporate posturing for the people who can afford to pay for and look like they are having the time of their lives…..it’s all such fakery! We have lost the plot,” said one commenter. Another wrote, “Carnival has lost it’s true meaning and essence… it’s all about the glam and fashion show….we know change is constant but we must not loose the culture…
The conversation was adopted on the urban radio station RED 96.7FM on Tuesday morning. This led to further discussion on the need for the return of the Soca Monarch product, with host Ryan Sing Hon, best known as Chinee, saying that the Soca Monarch product in essence, must be revamped to engage only new, up and coming artistes.
Here’s the complete interview with Wendell Manwarren, with The Caribbean Guide’s Dionne Baptiste- Clarke.