Mashramani 2013 kicked off on Saturday evening last with its National Chutney Competition which was held at the National Culture Centre, and saw the first ever Afro-Guyanese winning the first prize and a chance to compete in the much anticipated International Chutney/ Soca Monarch Competition in Trinidad and Tobago for TT$1M.
Young Bill Rogers, the reigning Calypso Monarch copped the first place prize of $550,000, a trophy, and is guaranteed US $10,000 for representing Guyana in the Twin-Island Republic.
Roger’s performance was about a man coming from India to sing a chutney song for his “larki” (Hindi word for girl). His song was titled “Chutney for my larki”. He was the only African Guyanese who performed last Saturday and judging from the reaction of the audience it was soon clear that he was one of the favourites to cart off the crown.
However when his name was announced as the winner, it was greeted with some amount of displeasure by some who had their own choice. After being named the winner a few minutes before midnight, Young Bill Rogers told the media that he is very much elated, especially since it was a different genre of music that he is accustomed to.
He explained that he has always been a fan of chutney music. While this is his first time competing in the Mashramani Chutney Competition, Rogers had participated in two other competitions before.
He has promised to up his game as he heads to Trinidad and Tobago for the International Chutney/ Soca Monarch Competition slated for January 26.
“I’ll have to up my game because the Trinidadians are very competitive…even in their own country. I’ll have to have extra armory to go over there and do my thing. But I am well prepared for it…I have many chutney tapes home and I have been looking at Chutney for a long time,” Roger’s said.
See the performance here: