The night belonged to Macomere Fifi (Eulith Tara Woods) and she did not want it to end.
She not only captured her third Calypso Monarch crown and second in the past two years, she also marched off with the bulk of the individual titles at the Organization of Calypso Performing Artists (OCPA) 31st annual event last Saturday night at the Ontario Science Centre.
“This is the sweetest of the three,” said Fifi, who bolted into the audience after she was announced the winner to hug arranger and 1991 Calypso Monarch Winston “Skippy” Maingot. “He’s the man and I am extremely happy for him. This is the third year that I have worked with him and I am quite happy that I made the right choice.”
Maingot also composed the melody and co-wrote with Carlyle Bailey the lyrics for her two songs, ‘Haiti Will Rise Again’ and ‘Your Turn to Die’, which addresses youth violence in the Greater Toronto Area.
Fifi won her first crown on her debut in 1998 and had to wait another 10 years before regaining the title. She, Tracey Ann (1989 and 1990) and Lady Pearl (1992) are the only female national calypso champions.
Ottawa-born Naki (Zunaki Tuitt) and Fifi were the only two females in this year’s finals.
“There was definitely some pressure to represent the females more this year because there was just two of us as compared to let’s say four or five in previous years,” Fifi said. “I always want us to be visible and that’s why I push myself to do well all the time. This year, I felt good in the tent. I was quietly confident that I would do well. I know there were a lot of other good calypsonians and previous winners in the field and I could not be over-confident.”
The three-time champion also won the Best Lyrics, Melody, Rendition, Arrangement, Most Original Calypso and People’s Choice awards while Structure (Bryan Thornhill) and Penshioner (Trevor Quammie) secured the Best Composition on a Local Topic and Most Humorous Calypso titles.
Last year’s winner Redman (Michael Thomas) and four-time champion Structure were the first and second runner-up respectively.
Webb (Hamilton Alexander) was fourth followed by Smokey Burke (William Burke), Guney (Guney Cedeno), Naki, DeCarra (Leslie Carrabon) and Penshioner.
England reigning calypso monarch Akima Paul (she was on our cover last week) made a guest appearance at the event.