St Kitts and Nevis: Irvin Sweeney, known in the local calypso circles as King Sweeney, has adopted the Junior Calypso Monarch Competition for the next three (3) years. The proposal, which was submitted to the St Kitts Nevis National Carnival Committee (SKNNCC), includes the donation of trophies and cash prizes for the winners starting during Sugar Mas 51 with the FLOW Junior Calypso Competition.
Dr Sweeney, who was a major influence in the advent of the Junior Calypso Competition, stated, “I should quickly confess that although I had great success in competing from 1970 to 1983 for the Senior Calypso Monarch, my greatest satisfaction was my contribution to youth calypso, and being afforded the opportunity to pilot the introduction of the National Carnival Youth Calypso Competition in 1973”.
He continued, “I also acknowledge with gratitude that the mission of identifying and molding our emerging talent in the 1970s, served to elevate the overall standard of the calypso art form, throughout our Federation. Considering the extraordinary challenges we face, at this time, to motivate our young people struggling to cope with this “new
normal” resulting from COVID-19; and in light of my anxiety over the continued advancement of Youth Calypso in St Kitts, I wish to offer a small incentive”.
The Youth Calypso Monarch Awards will include De King Sweeney Youth Calypso Monarch Trophies and a cash award of EC$1973.00, symbolic of the year in whichthe National Carnival Youth Calypso Competition was officially introduced.
The cash prizes will be broken down into the following denominations…$1000 for the Winner, $550,00 for the first runner-up, and $423 for the second runner-up. All three (3) cash prizes and trophies will be distributed on the night of the competition.
SKNNCC Chairperson, Shannon Hawley expressed her gratitude to King Sweeney for his contribution to an area of Carnival that has had major challenges for quite some time. In her view calypsonians such as Kut, Starshield, Ranger, Monarch, Jackie, Konris, and Hollywood, to name a few, would not be with us today without the input of King Sweeney.
The FLOW Junior Calypso Monarch will be held at The Circus, downtown Basseterre on Friday, December 9, 2022, as part of the the first Festive Friday.