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Posted by mylime
Stalin’s grandson is Junior Extempo King
St Benedict College's Kevan Calliste celebrates his victory in the inaugural national junior Extempo Monarch at SWWTU Hall, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
St Benedict’s College student Kevan Calliste is the National Junior Extempo Monarch. The grandson of veteran calypsonian Black Stalin (Dr Leroy Calliste), Kevan won the title at the final of the inaugural competition, presented by Friends of the Youths of Trinidad and Tobago, at the SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
His prize package included $5,000, a challenge trophy and trip to Tobago for two with accommodation. Keishon Phillip, of Belmont Boys Secondary School, placed second to win $3,000, a trophy and trip to Tobago for two, with accommodation. In third place was Brenrique Richards, of St James Secondary School, who took home $2,000, a trophy and a guitar.
Fourth place and a prize of $1,000 and a trophy, went to Isaiah John, of Barataria South Secondary School. Twelve contestants, extemporising on a variety of topics, appeared in the final before an adjudication panel comprising Carl Jordan, Vorbin Cordice, Michael McIntyre, Ezekiel Benjamin, and Dianne Marshall-Holdip, with Jennelyn Hamblyn-Raphael and Earl Duncan as co-ordinators.
Aaliyah Jeffrey, of St James Secondary School, created history when she became the first contestant to appear in the first staging of the National Junior Extempo Monarch Competition. Eight were selected and paired from the first round to compete in the second.
They were Kevon Calliste/Isaiah John, Josiah Kennedy/Rivaldo London, Keishon Phillip/Brenrique Richards and Josiah Du Barry/Toni Glasgow. Their topics included My Favourite Calypsonian, 2015 Calypso Monarch, Soca Monarch and Soca Warriors.
The four advancing to the third round were Calliste, Phillip, John and Richards, extempoing on the topics Foreign Food versus Local Food and National Birds. John and Richards were eliminated, and the final contested between Calliste and Phillip in a North versus South extempo war.
Patron of the event, President Anthony Carmona, in an opening address noted it was the first occasion on which secondary school students were participating in “an important quintessential feature of our art form.” He said the competition provided an opportunity for the younger generation to learn the importance of perseverance, vision and belief in self in order to accomplish great things.
“We underestimate the impact extempo has on the world,” he contended, adding this was the only country in the world this genre of the art form was alive and well. He referred to extempo as “the gayelle of calypso,” in which words and music were used as opposed to the sticks used in the stick-fighting gayelle.
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