Tuesday, May 16, 2017

As strong as Steele *


If Lady Gypsy (Lynette Steele) was a stick fighter, she would have had many scars to show from the blows she's received in the cultural landscape. But it is said that scars are a warrior's beauty marks. Steele has been resilient over the years. She is celebrating 40 years in calypso this year. She is one of the more prolific female calypsonians this country has produced yet she has never made it to the finals of the Calypso Monarch competition in a career spanning four decades.

Steele will perform one of the more popular calypsoes of the season at Calypso Fiesta, Skinner Park in San Fernando (The semi-finals of the Calypso Monarch Competition) tomorrow. And for the first time in her 40-year career she is in the semi-finals with her brother, former culture minister and veteran calypsonian Gypsy (Winston Peters).

Steele's hard lashing calypso, “Plight of My People”, chastises the ruling People's National Movement (PNM) political party. Steele is prepared for the backlash. She said the artform has become too politicised with less room for calypsonians to function as the mouthpiece for the public. “My calypsoes have been bypassed for years. I have had good songs over the years, but I have been overlooked. I've never made it to Dimanche Gras. Calypso Fiesta has been my Dimanche Gras for all these years,” Steele said.

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