The local foreigner perspective of Nevis Culturama 43 [new blog post]
Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing updates of Culturama. Also known as “de Caribbean’s greatest summer lime!” As the official blogger for Culturama, here is my round up of the festivities which are officially over. The local foreigner perspective of Nevis Culturama 43 [new blog post]
Culturama 43 Wet Fete
The last of the pre-event Bacchanal Corner was quiet, probably because the current went off in town. That’s a file (check my previous post on Nevis lingo). The Cultural Village was full and everyone was enjoying the fete and jamming to songs like Wootoop TV. The fete was nice, the organisers did a really good job. The chairman of the Culturama Committee was admittedly sceptical about the first ever wet fete but proclaimed that it was a success. Hon. Mark Brantley also enjoyed the good vibes, from the dry zone.
Everyone was talking about the fete. Even if they weren’t planning on attending, people were still talking about it. The mixture of Soca Monarch artists, DJ’s and local bands playing, was enough to give the entire crowd a little bit of everything musically.
Nevis can sometimes be a hard crowd to please but everyone commented how nice the vibes were. There were all sorts of outfits from swimsuits, to scuba diving wet suits, and even cartoon characters. Even some of the shower caps men and women wore, stood out.
Local Soca Monarch contestants DJ Woodis and Selecta Mad performed and DJ Woodis had some entertaining costumes on the night. The Kore band also graced the stage and held the crowd. During Grand Masters band performance, the water ran out. The band said they were not going to stop playing until the water came back. You can’t have a wet fete without water! When the water returned, the vibes were turned up a notch, yet again. The fete finished with New Vibes band played until the sun came up.
Overall, for a first event, this was a success. The promoters built up a lot of momentum in advance and a lot of people showed up to the village, made an effort and partied until the morning.
Grand Opening Of Culturama 43
The Grand Opening of Culturama 43 marked the beginning of the official Culturama 43 activities. The Junior Kaiso Contest started shortly after the opening. Hon. Mark Brantley joked about Culturama having so many openings of one festival. Admittedly, it is overkill but this opening was a good opportunity to showcase the talented youth on the island. Young women eloquently performed the story the legend of Eden Browne (including the narrator).
Hon. Mark Brantley presented a number of people with awards for their contribution to Culturama. The co-hosts on the night were very entertaining. The Japanese Girls performance celebrated the intertwined the culture of Japanese people who previously visited the island with Nevisian culture. The girls from the Nevis Dance Ensemble performed in traditional Japanese attire for added effect. ‘Caribbean Unity’ performed by the Von Art School of Dance dancers, gave a lively performance with current soca music from artists down to the legendary soca artists. Culturama 43 had officially, officially begun!
Following the Grand Opening, 10 Junior Kaiso contests performed for the village audience. The winner of the competition was Terron Webb aka Invincible! He performed a song about social media addiction, something I’m sure many of us could all do with some rehab in that department. The first runner up was Shomari Mitchell: Mighty Sookie and the second runner up was Zyon Harding: LegaZ.
The young people who performed were confident, made good use of props and were wise in their messages. They should all be proud. Odisi Band and Extacy Entertainment finished off the night with musical entertainment.
Mr. and Ms. Talented Youth Pageant
If you read my previous post, you will know that I was looking forward to the Talented Youth Pageant. I saw the confidence shine amongst the young stars at the Pageant launch. To celebrate three decades since the show started the theme for this year’s show was rising stars.
Seven schools, fourteen young contestants, competed in four segments – Best Sponsor Appreciation, Best Creative Costume, Best Talent, and Best 30th Anniversary Ball Attire.
During the Talent segment, the contestants were entertaining and the participants put a lot of effort into their performances. The children were confident, well prepared, and made good use of props on the stage.
As the hosts reminded the participants and the audience, all of the contestants are winners. On the night, it was St. Thomas Primary School who took home the crowns. They won three out of four of the segments. Well done to Ky-Manie and Darica, the new winners of the 30th anniversary of Mr & Miss Talented Youth 2017.
Students from St. James Primary School won the Best 30th Anniversary Ball Attire. The beautiful white and gold ball gown and the matching white suit served well to compliment the duo.
On the night, there was a variety of entertainment. There was folklore, vocal performances, and dancing during the intervals. The National Anthem was beautifully performed. The new Junior Kaiso winner, Terron Webb aka Invincible sang his award winning song warning the audience about social media addiction, during the interval.
During the costume segment, the Nevis Academy School had the complex on the edge of their seats. It appeared as though they were about to dance to the soca song, “Bruk It Set It”. Everyone’s heartbeats resumed to normal when the Kore band hit song “Pressure” played through the speakers. Jocelyn Liburd Primary School costumes have names missing in the stars over the years, as the Culturama Archives are incomplete. They asked the crowd to help them complete the stars with the missing names.
St. Thomas reigned the king and queen of the competition. Runners up, Jocelyn Liburd Primary School students Eldon Liburd followed them and Shante Hendrickson placed the first runner up. Second runner up Ivor Walters Primary School pupils Dakari Browne and Jahniya Wilkin followed them. Third runner up was Charlestown Primary School represented by students Samuel Clarke and Sheniel Rodney, in the finals for the crown.
A number of improvements could make the show run smoother in the future. Firstly, the schedule for a 7 pm start for a youth show is late, especially when the show starts closer to 8:45 pm. That’s a file.
Secondly, better use of technical equipment. The first segment was a video of sponsor appreciation. The viewing of the two-minute videos failed for nearly every school. The equipment stopped again just as the crowd were about to see the new house that the Bank of Nevis had enabled the Charlestown Primary School contestants to purchase.
Thirdly, the time management needs improvement. At 10 pm, the show was still on the first segment which played the pre-recorded video and the display of the costume segment. The long costume descriptions could have been read out during the hour and forty-five minutes that the audience were waiting for the show to start, or whilst the contestants were on stage. It was 11:45 pm by the time the next live segment began. St. Thomas Primary School were crowned the winners shortly after 2 am.
Congratulations to all fourteen students who participated in the 30th Anniversary of the Talented Youth Pageant. Despite the time delays, technical difficulties and even the appearance of rain did not stop them from excelling on stage. All of the children represented their schools, families, and friends with grace, professionalism, and confidence. They are all aspiring stars. Well done to St. Thomas Primary School contestants for becoming crowned Mr. & Mrs. Talented Youth 2017.
The Culturama 43 Home Coming Night was a chance to see the contestants of the Senior Kaiso Contest down on Herbert’s beach. The Small Axe band performed after the local kaiso calypso artists. The beach was fortunate enough to have current but not much energy from the crowd. On Saturday the Culturama 43 Cultural Food, Art and Craft Fair was on Pinney’s Park. The park was filled with people, although the sun was hot. There was something for everyone, food, crafts and culture.
Jouvert morning to last lap
On Monday 7 August, the jouvert started before dawn. It is the biggest street party in Nevis for the festival. It was just how I remembered it in 2008 (photo below on the left). Jammin’ on the road to the loudest, soca band, on the road. This year we jammed with Grand Masters band and they didn’t disappoint. As you can imagine, the weather was hot and full of people dancing, eating, drinking, in the centre of town. Later on, we went to Herbert’s beach to hear Small Axe band perform. It rained a lot during the evening. We could have definitely done with the rain to cool off during the day.
Tuesday was the official last day of Nevis Culturama 43. The festivities closed off with the street parade, full of costumes with feathers, tie dye and Madras material. It was also the last lap, to jam behind the live bands. The fun didn’t stop here, it was over to the Cultural Village for Small Axe band who were the main entertainment. I can’t imagine life without soca. As soon as I hear the beat, my waist automatically moves.
Nevis Culturama has been sweet. From the launch in June, right down to the last day in August, I had a nice time. My favourite fete had to be the Wet Fete. The show I really enjoyed the most was the Talented Youth Pageant. Whilst improvements can be made to make the festival even better, the committee and the crowd did a good job in making Culturama 43 a success. Thank you to the Culturama Committee for having me as the official blogger for the event. Sorry, there was not more pictures but I was having too much fun!
“The LOCAL FOREIGNER”
Find out more about Nevis Culturama including photos from the festival: