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Govt escapes unscathed in South J’Ouvert parade

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Carnival 2015
A reveller from the J’Ouvert band D Play Boys during yesterday’s Ole Mas competition on Harris Promenade, San Fernando. Photo: TONY HOWELL

Fits of laughter were few and far between along Harris Promenade, San Fernando, yesterday, as the usually comedic J’Ouvert ole mas characters failed to capitalise on the political drama over the last 12 months. 

With the many upheavals and scandals on the political landscape one would expect creative and clever characters for 2015, but only a handful of the portrayals were able to elicit chuckles. 

Luckily, veteran comedian Tommy Joseph was among the select handful capturing laughter from spectators who lined the promenade. San Fernando deputy mayor Junia Regrello declared the festival open at 5 am. 

Joseph, dressed in full cricket gear and wicket in tow, portrayed Lara still breaking records, as he mimicked cricketing legend Brian Lara’s on field antics. Spectators clapped and laughed heartily as Joseph struck invisible deliveries and spoke to invisible umpires and players. 

After mimicking Lara’s signature batting pose, Joseph whipped out a handful of music records and started breaking them loudly before the judges’ panel perched on the newly refurbished San Fernando bandstand. Much to the delight of the spectators, Joseph concluded his portrayal kneeling and feigning a kiss on the roadway. 

Surprisingly, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar escaped with light picong, but West Indies all rounder Lendl Simmons did not as characters poked fun at his sex scandal.

One of the more popular characters—UWI student get a grade from D Play Boyz 2015 presentation Whats App @T&T—led by David Campbell also drew laughter yesterday.

The character, dressed in a white doctor’s coat over dirty clothes and dragging a black cardboard house behind him, paraded before the judges.

At first glance it appeared that he was making comment on the recent UWI protest by students demanding the release of their grades. 

However, that was not the case as the character opened the windows to his house to reveal shelves of potted plants and the signs “UWI have high grade’.” He was promptly joined by an eager crowd of buyers, all of whom received foil packets. 

The portrayals began at 6.41 am with the first individual character, Ah change in meh cabinet, performed by Tyron Nanan. Nanan, dressed in a yellow sari, rummaged through drawers in his cardboard cabinet/dressing table and pulled out names of ministers on pieces of cloth. Some he crumpled and discarded, others he kissed and folded neatly. 

San Fernando Carnival Committee member Walid Baksh said there was a disruption to the smooth flow of proceedings. 

“We had a little problem with the generator. It was giving us some problems. 

It was defective and we could not have audio. That was the only problem that we had this morning (yesterday,)” Baksh said. 

Poor pan turnout

Pan lovers were only treated to the musical strains of five bands this year out of the ten that traditionally played in the annual bomb competition. Baksh expressed disappointment with the poor showing. 

“The steelbands did not turn out. Usually we would have ten bands coming out; we only had (six) today and I do not know what was the reason for that. The traditional mas was up to standard. We had the regular three bands and only band did not turn up this year was Sugar Boys,” he said. 



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