St. Kitts & Nevis National Carnival Committee, Friday 13th January, 2023 -- On Friday 30th December 2022, The St Kitts Nevis National Carnival Committee (SKNNCC) received a formal complaint from a finalist in the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition against Kimara “Lady Diva” Martin who placed second runner-up in the competition that was held on Thursday, December 29, 2022.
The complainant claimed that the song entitled “D Power of Black” sung by Lady Diva in the second round of the competition was previously performed in a competition in Trinidad by Ms Curlissa Charles-Mapp and as such was a violation of the rules of the competition.
Article 3(b) of the rules of the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition states,“Calypsos entered in the SCMC must be original and must not have been entered in any previously SKNNCC-organized Junior or Senior Calypso Monarch Competitions and Soca (Groovy or Power) Monarch Competition and any calypso or soca competition whether regionally or internationally”.
The rules further state that “where a calypsonian violates 3(a), (b) and (c) the penalty shall be disqualification of the Calypsonian from the Competition”.
As per the rules, The SKNNCC appointed an independent Arbiter to review this complaint and to decide whether Lady Diva violated the rules of the Competition. The Arbiter received all documentation pertaining to the matter including the formal complaint with supporting documents as well as a letter from Mr. Brian London who is the writer, composer, author and owner of the song “BLACK” dated 3rd January, 2023. The letter from Mr. London stated that the song in question was written in and around 2016 and given to Ms Curlissa Charles Mapp to perform at that time. He further confirmed that Ms. Martin paid him for the song ahead of the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition without knowledge that the song was used previously. Mr. London stated in his correspondence that upon hearing that there was a complaint that the song was used previously by Mrs. Charles-Mapp, he contacted Ms-Charles-Mapp and she confirmed that she had previously utilized the song. He stated that the error of the situation was created entirely by him and was no fault of Ms. Martin or Mrs. Charles-Mapp.
The SKNNCC shared Mr. London’s correspondence with Lady Diva as well as the complaint and Diva was given the opportunity to respond to the complaint that was brought against her.
The Arbiter provided his ruling on the matter on January 11th, 2023 and indicated that despite this unfortunate situation, Lady Diva should be disqualified based on the rules of the competition that were signed off by her prior to the Flow Senior Calypso Monarch Competition.
The new positioning for the FLOW Senior Calypso Monarch reads as follows:
Calypso Monarch - Queen Independent
First Runner-Up - King Socrates
Second Runner-Up - Queeny G
Third Runner-Up - King Craig
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