Ronaldo wins $25,000
By Rachael Espinet Tuesday, February 25 2014
Sixteen-year-old Ronaldo London is this year’s new Junior Calypso Monarch with his song “Hear My Cry”.
London was one of 16 competitors vying for the crown at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of- Spain, yesterday.
As the new Monarch he won $25,000, a trip to Barbados to perform in their calypso competition and a recording session.
“Up till now I’m still shocked about what happened. I don’t have much to say, but I thank God for all. Before the competition I knew that the song was a very strong song, and I just went straight out with it,” London said.
London’s song was a plea to the country to remember the children who were murdered in the past stating the country cannot lose another child to violence.
“We can’t afford to lose more. Remember the children we can’t lose. We can’t let we children go. All the children we have lost before Trinbago, we can’t lose no more,” London sang.
His presentation had a standard with the names of children who were murdered. These children include Keyana Cumberbatch, Rasheeda Gomez, and baby Jacob Monroe.
This is his third year competing in the Junior Calypso Monarch competition.
His first time competing he placed ninth, the second tenth and now he is the champion. London dethroned Marq Pierre who placed fifth with his song “Tot U Diens (At Your Service) Mankind,” a song about the late Nelson Mandela.
London is the nephew of Brian London who will be competing in the National Calypso Monarch Finals.
“I look up to my uncle Brian London. To me he is one of the best. He could be the best there is in the world, not just Trinidad and Tobago. He is my icon in calypso,” London said.
After the show, Brian London said he was proud of his nephew’s victory. Brian said he wrote for his nephew as well as his competitors Kevan Calliste, 14, who placed 15th singing “No Games” and Aneka Collins, 17, who placed fourth with “We Need You.”
Brian said though he was there to support his nephew he was proud of the other competitors.
“We are hearing the sentiments that calypso is dying, and a lot of youths want to gravitate to soca, but to see not just the ones that I work for, but the youths come out today and do what they did, it is a proud moment,” Brian said.
London’s song was not the only one whose theme was ripped out of news headlines. Seven out of the 16 finalists sang about the crime situation, with a strong emphasis on the murder of children.
The first performer, 14-year-old Reshawn Goodridge from St Mary’s College, placed 12th singing “He Was A Good Boy,” about how many parents say their sons were “good boys” yet they commit criminal acts. Goodridge’s presentation began with a murder on stage, the news coverage and ended with a forensic team carrying a body off stage.
Joel Anderson Jones, 18, from Presentation College San Fernando, sang “Trouble Shoot” with a clever play on the words “when there is trouble – shoot.”
Jones’ presentation also began with a double murder and a shootout between the police and the assailant. Jones sang, “Put on your bullet proof, because when you are in trouble — shoot.”
Sasha Ann Moses, 17, who won the Junior Soca Monarch crown last Friday, placed second with her song “A Mother’s Love.”
Moses sang an ode to her mother who she said was always there for her and supportive in all her ventures. “You are there to shine a light in the darkest days. Oh mother I knew you will always love me and still,” Moses sang.
Shervonne Rodney, 16, placed third with her song “Save the Family.”
Rodney sang about the breakdown in the nuclear family structure. She said the song was very personal to her and hopes that no child has to live without either of their parents.
President Anthony Carmona was in attendance for the whole show. At the end he shook the hands of each competitor congratulating them. Carmona then invited each junior calypsonian to have lunch with him after the event.