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Kaiso! Kaiso!

Maria Bhola wins National Calypso Queen Competition

Maria Bhola sings 'I Love You' Maria Bhola sings "I Love You" Reporters
Event Date: January 29, 2007
Posted: January 31, 2007

Maria Bhola's "I Love You" was the winning song on the evening of Monday 29th January, 2007, at the 23rd National Calypso Queen Competition. Bhola, with her humorous interpretation of the alleged use of obscenity by Point Fortin MP Larry Achong, has immortalized this scandal which took place during a public symposium about the ALCOA aluminum smelter plan at the Chatham Youth Centre. In her performance, Bhola did an excellent job at impersonating Achong and mimicked him by putting her hand by her mouth and uttering softly, "I Love You" instead of the alleged obscenity. Audience members at the St. James Amphitheatre were in an uproar and cheered with approval at the Calypso which embodied humor, social and political commentary. 
Before the start of this good quality production, Sister Dela Obika expressed her excitement about this competition which has been going on for 23 years now. According to Sis Obika, because of the hard work of the NWAC, the support of NJAC, their sponsors and the intervention of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, prize-monies have increased from $60,000 last year to $100,00 this year. The quality of Calypsos this year, as stated by the NWAC president, is superb, and the caliber of judges would make the difficult task of judging a bit easier. 
Also addressing the gathering was Mrs. Hermia Tyson Cuffy, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs on behalf of Minister Joan Yuille-Williams. She expressed gratitude on behalf of the Minister to NWAC for allowing women's voices to be heard on this forum, which was once a domain that was dominated solely by males. She also expressed best wishes to the contestants and that she looked forward to an evening of good Kaiso music. 
NWAC, before the competition started, honored a few deserving women in the Calypso business. Challenge Trophy Replica Awards were presented to Shirlane Hendrickson for the period 1998-2001 and Heather Mac Intosh for 2002 and Caribbean Queen Awards were presented to Marjorie Johnson of the March of Dimes and Tonicia 'Queen Anastasia' Hodge-Martin of St.Kitts & Nevis. 
The first Calypsonian was the vivacious Abbi Blackman who started things off at a heated pace, followed by Marva Mc Kenzie whose extravagant stage props stimulated much vibrant energy. 
Some of the other Calypsos that were popular with the audience included Terri Lyon's "Ah Feel It", Monique Hector's "Why We Lost" and Heather Mac Intosh's "Check I" which all ironically placed in the top three positions after Maria Bhola. 
The huge gathering were also entertained by the Kishan Seenath Dance Troupe during the intermission which added to the overall success and enjoyment of the NWAC production.
The top thirteen placements of the NWAC's 2007 Calypso Queen Competition are as follows: 
Place / Calypsonian / Song 
1st Maria Bhola / "I Love You" 
2nd Terri Lyons / "Ah Feel It" 
3rd Monique Hector / "Why We Lost"   
4th Heather Mac Intosh / "Check I"   
5th Sonia Francis / "The Final Crossing"   
6th Marva Mc Kenzie / "What are You" 
7th Karen Eccles / "A Mother's Response"   
8th Karene Asche / "Conversion" 
9th Joanne Foster / "Yuh Cyah Take Nothing"   
10th Eunice Peters / "Blow Yuh Whistle"   
11th Shereen Caesar / "Forgive Me Africa"   
12th Abbi Blackman / "Tantie Merle Recipe"   
13th Wendy Thomas-Garrick / "Another CEPEP Gang"   
Other Calypsonians that did not make the top thirteen and their songs are as follows: 
Calypsonian / Song 
Natasha Nurse / "Quit! You're a Winner"   
Alicia Massey / "Pepperpot"   
Alicia Richards / "Creative Woman"   
Giselle Fraser / "This is my Prayer"   
Kathy-Ann Sargeant / "Live the Anthem"   
Candice Antoine-Roberts / "Suddenly" 
Shanaqua / "Carnival is Party"   
Lynette 'Lady Gypsy' Steele / "She" 

NWAC Calypso Queen Competition 2007 in pictures: