by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Calypso – an artform with precision
- Scholar has won Dimanche Gras 9 times, matching Ajamu
- Not sure about 10th crown at the moment
Heavy is the head that wears the crown, may best describe the demeanour exuded by Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey as he dethroned reigning Dimanche Gras King Kelly “Rootsman Kelly” Clyne following his performance of 2 of his renditions “Walk on water” and “Pum Pum.”
Jeffrey who recently took up the post of Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Education and most recently is acting in the capacity of Chief Education Officer for the past 4 months, says this has been the hardest he has ever worked preparing for competition.
“It was tougher for me because of the fact that I have just gotten into being PS, but there is no Chief Education Officer and so I have for the past 4 months been doing 2 full-time jobs, so this crown means a lot. Usually when August comes around I am on holiday. I only got one practice with the band and I had to squeeze it in based on my packed schedule.”
Scholar has now matched the achievement of veteran calypsonian Edson “Ajamu” Mitchell in winning Dimanche Gras 9 times. His closest competitor Micah “Baracka” Joseph placed second, scoring 530, short by 1-point difference.
Jeffrey had some words of encouragement for his fellow competitors. “Baracka, Sour Serpent and Big J and so on, we are seeing improvements. Sour Serpent, as usual, he is a staple in the Dimanche Gras and I just simply want to say to all of the artistes to keep going. Calypso is not a dying art form, it is the most important of all the artforms…All of the other artforms like Groovy and Soca is one song, but Calypso tests the mettle, because it is 2 songs and on top of all of that, Groovy and Soca artistes when they get tired or cannot remember parts of their song, they can just stop the band, but calypso you cannot stop since it is an artform with precision.”
Scholar also commented on the resurgence of veteran calypsonian Elwlyn Mc Quilkin “Black Wizard” by commending his spirit to continue to make his contribution. “It was interesting, but you can see there was ring rust, because when you stay out for very long, there is always ring rust and Wizard was kind of rusty tonight. But if he keeps on give him by next year he would be at the top of his game, because once you doing this thing you don’t forget it for long.”
When asked whether he will attempt to attain his 10th crown, Scholar said, “I don’t know. I have been looking for 10 a long time now but my mind is not on that now and this will not determine what I do from here.”