St Kitts and Nevis: Senior Calypso Monarch finalists shuffled as lady diva is disqualified

The St Kitts Nevis National Carnival Committee (SKNNCC) received a formal complaint from a finalist in the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition against Kimara “Lady Diva” Martin who placed second runner-up in the Competition that was held on Thursday, December 29, 2022. 

St Kitts and Nevis: Senior Calypso Monarch finalists shuffled as lady diva is disqualified
St Kitts and Nevis: Senior Calypso Monarch finalists shuffled as lady diva is disqualified

St Kitts and Nevis: The St Kitts Nevis National Carnival Committee (SKNNCC) received a formal complaint from a finalist in the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition against Kimara “Lady Diva” Martin who placed second runner-up in the Competition that was held on Thursday, December 29, 2022. 

The complainant claimed that the song entitled “D Power of Black” sung by Lady Diva in the second round of the Competition, was previously performed in a competition in Trinidad by Curlissa Charles Mapp and as such was a violation of the rules of the Competition.

Article 3(b) of the rules of the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition states, “Calypsos entered in the SCMC must be original and must not have been entered in any previously SKNNCC-organized Junior or Senior Calypso Monarch Competitions and Soca (Groovy or Power) Monarch Competition and any calypso or soca competition whether regionally or internationally”.

The rules further state that “where a calypsonian violates 3(a), (b) and (c) the penalty shall be disqualification of the Calypsonian from the Competition” in St Kitts and Nevis.

As per the rules, The SKNNCC appointed an independent Arbiter to review this complaint and to decide whether Lady Diva violated the rules of the Competition in St Kitts and Nevis. The Arbiter received all documentation pertaining to the matter including the formal complaint with supporting documents as well as a letter from Brian London who is the writer, composer, author and owner of the song “BLACK”, dated January 3, 2023. 

The letter from London stated that the song in question was written in and around 2016 and given to Curlissa Charles Mapp to perform at that time. He further confirmed that Martin paid him for the song ahead of the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition without knowledge that the song was used previously. London stated in his correspondence that upon hearing that there was a complaint that the song was used previously by Charles-Mapp, he contacted Charles-Mapp and she confirmed that she had previously utilized the song. He stated that the error of the situation was created entirely by him and was no fault of Martin or Charles-Mapp.

The SKNNCC shared London’s correspondence with Lady Diva as well as the complaint and Diva was given the opportunity to respond to the complaint that was brought against her.

The Arbiter provided his ruling on the matter on January 11, 2023 and indicated that despite this unfortunate situation, Lady Diva should be disqualified based on the rules of the Competition that were signed off by her prior to the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition in St Kitts and Nevis. 

The new positioning for the FLOW Senior Calypso Monarch reads as follows:

𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗖𝗮𝗹𝘆𝗽𝘀𝗼 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵: 𝗤𝘂𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗜𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁

𝟭𝘀𝘁 𝗥𝘂𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿-𝗨𝗽: 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀

𝟮𝗻𝗱 𝗥𝘂𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿-𝗨𝗽: 𝗤𝘂𝗲𝗲𝗻𝘆 𝗚

𝟯𝗿𝗱 𝗥𝘂𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿-𝗨𝗽: 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗴