Georgetown: As Guyana gets ready to celebrate its 48th Republic Anniversary this year with a grand Mashramani celebration, Minister of Social Cohesion, with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton, Monday announced that after a two-year hiatus, the Carib Soca Monarch competition is back on the Mashramani Calendar of Events. “Music is the bloodline of the Mashramani festival, as such the Ministry is pleased to be reintroducing the Soca Monarch competition to its schedule of activities [as] we believe that the competition also provides an opportunity for artistes to showcase their talent and to contribute to the development of our creative industries,” Dr Norton said, at a press conference held in the boardroom of the Ministry at Main Street, Georgetown. The theme for Mashramani 2018 is, “Let’s cooperate and celebrate Republic 48”.
Dr. Norton said that the competition, which was previously administered by Ansa McAl group, would now fall under the purview of the Central Mashramani Committee. He said that given their commitment to the development of culture, and intimate involvement in the promotion and popularisation of the Soca Monarch competition in Guyana, the company is partnering with the Government and will be the main sponsor of the event, which they will promote under their Carib Brand. The Minister also called on radio and television announcers to play their part in making sure that this aspect of Mashramani is a resounding success by endorsing each contesting artiste’s music by playing their songs on the airwaves.
Meanwhile, Brand Manager of Carib-Ansa McAl, Mr. Sean Abel said that the company was pleased about the partnership. “It is good to see that a brand can do so much for local talent in Guyana. For a couple of years, the competition was not held and we are happy this year to inform Guyanese that Carib beer is here again and is here to support the local talent in Guyana and ensuring that Guyanese can see the real talent behind every artiste,” he said.
Mashramani Coordinator, Mr. Andrew Tyndall said that initially there were 18 entries for the Monarch crown and $1.5million prize, but after an intense in-house judging session, three were eliminated and the remainder advanced to the semi-finalists spot. The semi-final is slated for February 10, 2017 at the Linden/Georgetown Municipal Park, Linden, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) and the Finals will be held on February 17, 2017 at Durban Park, Georgetown.
The semi-final contestants are Ms. Alisha “Sasha Melody” Hamid, Mr. Brandon Harding, Mr. Colwin “Lil Colwin” Blair, Mr. Colwyn “Soca Cwyn” Abrams, Mr. Delon “Soca Del” Azore, Mr. Jonathan “Lil Red” King, Mr. Keron “Norek Mas” Sam, Ms. Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, Mr. Quacy “Avalanche” Coates, Ms. Roshauna Fraser, Ms. Samantha Grant, Ms. Shellon “Fluffy” Gallay, Mr. Stanton “Cardiac” Lewis and Ms. Diana Chapman. Some of the semi-finalists, who were present during the press conference, encouraged the public to listen to their music and to follow them on social media.