New calypso monarch as Scholar wins crown for a 9th time

Scholar takes the Calypso Monarch title

by Linda Straker

  • Scholar is 2nd calypsonian to win national calypso monarch title 9 times
  • Ajamu was the first to win the national crown 9 times; did not compete this year
  • Just under 100 calypsonians competed

Finley Jeffrey on Sunday night became the 2nd calypsonian in Grenada to win the national calypso monarch title 9 times, when he dethroned defending monarch Kelly “Rootsman Kelly” Clyne who was seeking a 3rd title.

Known as Scholar in the calypso world, Jeffrey’s 2 renditions earned him 531 points: a one-point difference between himself and the 2nd place Micah “Baracka” Joseph who scored 530. The defending monarch had to settle for 5th position with 497 points.

Thanking all his fans and supporters after the announcement, an elated Jeffrey said, “I never win by one point yet, but I lost by 5 points. I will be dedicating this crown to someone, the person who came up with the idea. He is not here, he is home, he gave the idea, and I just run with it and put things together, that is Brian Griffith, I will be bringing he crown for him.”

Griffith is a well-known culture and calypso enthusiast who served on the executive of previous calypso associations writes calypso and generally assists with the growth and development of artform.

Jeffrey’s 9th win puts him on the same winning level with Edson “Ajamu’ Mitchell who was the first to win the national crown 9 times over the years. Mitchell did not participate in the 2018 competition.

The final competition saw 11 of the top calypsonians as adjudicated by judges in the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the competition. Just under 100 calypsonians competed in the 2018 season.

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