Black Immigrant Daily News
Young masqueraders from the band Festival Dances get ready to cross the stage at Scarborough, Tobago. – Photo by Corey Connelly
The junior parade of the bands got off to a slow start in Scarborough, Tobago, on Saturday.
By 2 pm, only two small bands had crossed the judging points at Bar Code, Milford Road and at Old Market Square on Wilson Road.
The event was scheduled to begin at 10 am.
Under brilliant sunshine, Carnival Jumbies Production, Smithfield Jab Jabs, with its 2023 presentation, the Patriots, Defenders of TT, appeared before the Bar Code judging point shortly after noon.
Designed by Linda and Lesley Ann Benjamin, the band was led by Marissa Wharton Hector. The presentation, which featured whip slinging jab jabs, dressed in black, white and red stripes with face masks, highlighted many of the country’s social ills. The exuberant male masqueraders, in their portrayals, “whipped away” kidnapping, illegal drugs, covid19 and gender inequality while the young girls, under the leadership of Keisha Ramsingh did the same to gender-based violence, human trafficking and sexual abuse.
Marissa Wharton Hector leads young nasqueraders from the band Patriots Defenders of TT during the parade of the bands on Saturday in Scarborough, Tobago on Saturday. – Photo by Corey Connelly
Child labour, bullying and sexual predatory were also “whipped” in the presentation.
Wharton Hector said Smithfield Jab Jabs is essentially a traditional band.
“We realise that traditional mas is dying so we decided that we want to teach our children a little more about traditional mas. So our presentation is jab jabs,” she said.
Wharton Hector said her father-in-law’s father was the king of the jab jab in the 1960s and 70s and her children decided they wanted to carry on the legacy.
“So our presentation is basically the Defenders of TT, the Patriots, where we are whipping away crime, gender violence. We are teaching the children that crime does not pay. We are whipping it away and defending TT, we are cleaning up TT with our whips.” She said the family band has been around for the last five years but not as a children’s band.
“This is the first year we got into the kiddies carnival. We have done night mas and J’Ouvert.” Wharton Hector also said they decided to keep the band small in order to reduce the threat of covid19. She said the masqueraders came from Scarborough, Smithfield and Lambeau. Also crossing the judging points was Liz and Friends with their presentation, Festival Dances, A Tribute to Shadow and Calypso Rose.
The band featured four colourful sections, Morions, Higantes, Spring and Jewellery.
A spectator told Newsday the Tobago House of Assembly should do away with the Carnival in February altogether and focus on the October Carnival. “Look at the time and where are the bands? she asked shortly before 1 pm.
Tobago hosted its inaugural carnival from October 28-30, last year.