In 2014, the International Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch competition, held on Fantastic Friday annually in Trinidad and Tobago, will be no more. Caribbean Prestige Foundation for the Performing Arts Chairman, William Munro, speaking exclusively this afternoon with ETCETERABUZZ.COM said he was tired and fed up of it all.
Munro, the franchise holder of the international competition hosted across the Caribbean, during carnivals in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and T&T among other Caribbean destinations, said he would not sell the T&T mecca franchise to any other country- maintaining, “the competition belongs to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”
On Tuesday, news broke that Munro- a promoter who has hosted numerous events, making a name for himself in entertainment for over two decades, would be bowing out of the cultural competition. He told us he would now leave it up to the government of Trinidad and Tobago, to see first hand, the hard work, overall financial expenditure and dedication, that goes into creating what he terms, a competition that is still growing.
With artistes still awaiting their cheques from this year’s competition, Munro said he was told by ministry officials that the entertainers would be paid by next week. “The public thinks a lot of money is made but they don’t truly understand what goes into making this show happen every year,” said Munro, explaining that the product is one that has enhanced the country and promoted tourism for many years. He emphasized that many jobs are created from a show of this magnitude and caliber, noting that it took $23 million to pull off the competition in 2012.
Lamenting that even some of the artistes hardly ever walk away with anything following their large-scale presentations, the CPF boss said it has been an investment for the enhancement of the country and to help the tourism industry strive. He argued that even the product that is Carnival has deteriorated and said he is saddened and disappointed by the lackluster approach by various governments to the country’s cultural and tourism attractions. “They need to be serious. I am not hitting any particular government but they need to be serious about things of this nature- things that bring attention to the country. The world is not accepting mediocrity and so we have always worked hard at building the product every year.”
When asked whether the competitions across the other Caribbean islands would continue, Mr. Munro said they would. He said while Barbados had approached him some time ago, to purchase the Mecca competition, he had indicated that the show belonged to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and added that this still stands.
Stay tuned to ETCETERABUZZ.COM, we’ll be bringing you more coverage of this story in the hours and days ahead.