SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) – Reigning Calypso Monarch, Rumini ‘The Protégé’ Rogers has embarked on a mission to revive the Junior Calypso Competition in St. Maarten and NAGICO Insurances in collaboration with the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (“SCDF”) have decided to partner with him to keep culture alive.
According to Rogers, he wants to re-develop and bring back the Junior Calypso Show. “By encouraging and stimulating participation through the various elementary schools, it is my goal to get youngsters involved because for the artform of Calypso to survive in St. Maarten, we need succession,” he said.
The intention was to kick off the program for Carnival 50, but time is not permitting. Rogers will begin the ground work to introduce and launch the program in the new school year.
The SCDF wasted no time in supporting the Calypso King in what the foundation called a “worthy and extremely important undertaking for culture and Calypso.” With NAGICO being the official sponsor of Calypso during Carnival for more than a decade, the SCDF approached NAGICO to request that they consider supporting the Junior Calypso Initiative to which the company wholeheartedly agreed.
All three stakeholders will be partnering on this project going forward. “We have always said that for Calypso to survive and thrive, we must find a way to boost the artform amongst the youth. We also believe that the artform is better served when senior Calypsonians such as Protégé nurture and mentor young singers. So when this idea came up, we were more than happy to support,” President of the SCDF Alston Lourens said.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” NAGICO said in an invited comment, “by facilitating this Junior Calypso competition, we are giving an opportunity to the youngsters to explore and showcase their talents and also providing them with a platform to formulate and voice their views.”
SCDF will be keeping the public informed of this initiative in every phase of the project and are urging parents and teachers to the support the children “as we strive to bring back juniors to Calypso.”