Booster Shot: Fay-Ann's Soca Monarch Prize Money Slashed!

>> Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hey All...

Latest scoop...Mrs. Lyons-Alvarez won't be getting TT $1 Million for winning the International Soca Monarch crown during Carnival. According to a letter sent to Fay-Ann (dated March 5) by Caribbean Prestige Foundation President, Gregory Fernandez, the amount is $750,000.  Seems they're trying to soften the blow by saying she's getting a car.  Even in Trini dollars, I'll take the d@mn money, thanks.

Well let me be the first to say: That is total BS. We all remember the announcement in 2008 stating that the 2009 prize for the category would increase to seven figures.

I was at the Soca Monarch shows in two other Caribbean countries where all competitors were well aware that a win at their local Soca Monarch show would mean a chance at a $1 Million prize.

So what happened? My guess is, the same foolishness that caused appearances fees to be quietly slashed unbeknownst to the mainstream media in years gone by.

The official word, however, and I quote and excerpt of the letter to be printed in Kristy Ramnarine's article in tomorrow's Express :

" We write to the statement made by the Honourable Marlene Mc Donald of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, that the first prize of the International Soca Monarch will be to the value of $750,000 and not $1,000,000 due to the economic downturn in the country.

"We regrettably wish to advise that the Ministry is responsible for the payment of the prize money, as such, the organisation has no option but to comply with the Minister's position as failure to do so will jeopardise the payment of the prize money which is due to you. All other prize money due to you remains the same."

Well, ain't that something! They basically saying...agree to it, or get nothing. That reeks of banana republic corruption to me. (Who vex, loss! This kind of governance reminds the world that the Caribbean still has a long way to go.)

Bad economy or not, if I as a journalist print false information I can (and will) be held accountable. So who holds the Trinidad goverment AND the Caribbean Prestige Foundation accountable when they mislead an entire nation as well as hundreds of thousands of soca afficionados around the globe? Who, you may ask? I do.

Pay the woman her dues.

Nuff said.

Love and Soca, 

(Nurse) Karen

P.S.  The Prize-giving ceremony is March 20.  I'll keep on the job to see how much she really gets.  I don't think de Alvarez camp are the type to take it lying down.

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