Keith “Dis N Dat” Scarborough destroyed a field of nine other contenders to register another victory in the Senior Culturama Calypso Competition on Sunday night, (3rd August), at the Cultural Complex in Charlestown, which was packed with calypso fans.
In a year when expectations were high for history to be made and for the first time there would be a “two-peat” Culturama Calypso King, all that was destroyed by the short-comings of the defending monarch, Binghi.
It has happened in every other Caribbean island with carnival and a calypso competition, but not in Nevis. Never has a senior monarch been able to successfully defend his title in the following year. Going into this year’s contest however, it was strongly felt that C-40, Culturama 40 would be different and that the reigning king had the songs and experience to once and for all break the “calypso boogie”. This was not to be, much to dismay of the fans from Brown Hill.
Binghi ran into difficulty and faltered in one of his renditions, for which he was severely penalized by the judges. Ironically, the man who eventually went on to wrestle the crown away, Dis N Dat, also had his weak moment on stage with a “verbal stumble’ but obviously the judges did not think his was significant enough to impact his changes.
Scarborough’s victory was huge, putting a distance between himself and his nearest rival, the First Runner-up, Astro, whom he defeated by 38 points.
The top four winners included Black Hat as Third Runner-up with 755 points; Second Runner-up was Nutsy with 777 points; First Runner-up was Astro with 792 points; and Dis N Dat King, with 830 points.
There was no place for the defending king, Binghi.
Participation trophies were distributed by the island’s Minister of Culture and Deputy Premier, Mark Brantley, while the newly crowned Culturama Queen, Akiesha Fergus facilitated the coronation of the C-40 Calypso King.
As King, Dis N Dat received a brand new Toyota Yaris motor car, donated by TDC, and said to be worth approximately EC$80,000. The First Runner-up gets $10,000, Second Runner-up $8,000 and the Third Runner-up, $6,000.00.
Throughout Did N Dat’s many years of competition he has been supported by his wife and in a show of respect for her loyalty, King Dis N Dat handed over the keys of his grand prize to his wife. It brought tears to her eyes as the thousands in the venue applauded and praised “De King” for his generosity and public display of affection.
In many of the years when Dis N Dat himself was denied the opportunity of a two-peat, one of the calypsonians that stood in his way, was his arch-rival, King Meeko. But on Sunday night it was Meeko who stepped forward to help his calypso rival to win the crown, when he appeared on stage with Dis N Dat, as part of his stage presentation. It was a scene that many will remember when discussing proud moments of Culturama.
The last time Dis N Dat won the crown was in 2012. His reign in that year began in controversy with the Culturama Committee and the Minister of Culture, at the time Hensley Daniel, were accused of refusing to allow the king to represent the island in the Leeward Islands Calypso Competition that was held in Anguilla the week after. It was later argued that the decision was taken by the then local government which decided to punish Dis N Dat, (who the year after, 2013, became a political candidate), for lyrics he sang in his song, attacking the premier at the time, Joseph Parry.
With a new government in place and a new Premier and Minister of Culture, it is now likely that Dis N Dat would be able to join other sub-regional calypso monarchs in the Anguillan capital in a few days’ time.
This is the 10th crown to be won by Dis N Dat, who first captured the title in 1984.