Basseterre, 17th June, 2020 (MyVue News.com)– It was a celebration of calypso and carnival on Tuesday night when the National Carnival Committee staged a virtual concert, to honour some of the top calypsonians, at all levels, from St. Kitts and Nevis.
The event was held at the Carnival Village on Victoria Road, Basseterre and was hosted by the Chairman of the SKN NCC, Noah Mills.
During the broadcast, the ceremonial ‘baton’ was passed from the outing Minister, Shawn Richards, who had been responsible for carnival since 2015, but on Tuesday night he symbolically transferred those responsibilities to Jonel Powell, who on Sunday, 14th June, was sworn-in as the new Minister of Education, Youth, Sport & Culture.
Richards described Powell as someone who has the skills, enthusiasm, and youthfulness, to take culture to the next level in St. Kitts and Nevis. Richards also promised Powell that he is willing to provide any advice necessary to advance the carnival.
Richard said, that his tenure as Minister of Carnival was a success, but one made possible by the outstanding support from the various patrons who continue to contribute to the development of culture.
He promised that though he is no longer the Minister of Culture, he intends to continue to support in whatever way possible, to enhance both carnival and culture generally.
“Carnival is only as good as we individually make it. Without our participation, carnival would not be what it is,” Richards, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, opined.
However, like so many other major events, not only in St. Kitts and Nevis, but throughout the Caribbean, Sugar Mas, as the local festival is now called, has been severely impacted by the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
“Tonight, it is my pleasure to officially pass the baton to the Honourable Jonel Powell, your new Minister of Culture. Just as you would have given me the best of your support over the last five years, so too, I expect you to give full support to the Honourable Jonel Powell,” stated Richards.
In response, Powell embraced the promised support and guidance offered by Richards, and revealed that during the past five years he has been close to the Ministry of Culture, having served as a special ambassador to Richards.
He added, that given his background in the ministry and also as a mas player, serving in the new capacity comes natural, and that he is looking forward to the continued work with, not just the carnival committee, but the ministry and department of culture, and all those that play a role, whether directly or indirectly.
“We know that we’ve had a difficult year, so far with COVID-19, but it is good that we could come here tonight, to preserve the culture, and to entertain people, even if its virtually. We realize that we can’t kill the culture, we can’t kill culture in St. Kitts and Nevis,” stated the new Minister, who is the Member of Parliament for Central Basseterre.
He encouraged the Carnival Committee to continue doing the good work and to make the best of what is left for 2020, build, and move on to higher heights in the years to come.
Main Photo: Hon. Jonel Powell (L) Present Minister of Culture and Hon. Shawn Richards (R) outing Minister of Culture, at Calypso 19 vs COVID-19 on Tuesday, 16th June, 2020.