Karen dominates ole mas in San Fernando

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chareela James, of San Fernando Girl’s AC Primary School, portrays former minster of finance Karen Nunez-Tesheira, at the San Fernando Junior Ole Mas competition at South Park, San Fernando on Saturday. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

PICONG, satire and politics – both local and international – dominated the first San Fernando Schools’ Grand Ole Mas ReJouvertNation finals at South Park Mall on Saturday.

Former government minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira’s storming of the funeral of former prime minister Basdeo Panday, at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA), earlier this month, was one of the more prominent portrayals.

It earned Chareela James, of San Fernando Girl’s’AC Primary School, the Individual of the Year (female) title.

Raed Mohammed of Presentation College, San Fernando, who took a regional/international spin on the Guyana/Venezuela border issue, was named Individual of the Year (Male).

Mohammed’s portrayal was Maduro Marks his Territory under the Presentation College, San Fernando, banner, No Boundaries.

Presentation College San Fernando student Raed Mohammed portrays Maduro Marks his Territory at the San Fernando Junior Ole Mas competition at South Park, San Fernando on Saturday. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

With 267 points, the boys from Presentation College placed third in the competition which saw some 300 students representing ten primary and secondary schools in San Fernando, competing.

In second place with a total of 272 points was Reform Presbyterian Primary.

RJ Ramdeo of the Reform Presbyterian School portrays a pothole at the San Fernando Junior Ole Mas competition at South Park on Saturday. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Taking the 2024 title, and promising to return, to defend and win for a second consecutive year in 2025, was San Fernando East Secondary School, Pleasantville. Their winning presentation was Sweet, Sweet, T&T.

San Fernando East demonstrated their creative spirit by commenting on social and political issues ranging from the cost of living, crime. Massy Raising the Spirits, Ant-E say empty the clip, and Ant-E say, light dem up were some of the portrayals – referring to the platform statements of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar –  TTUTA give we 4% relief but 96 % back pain,  as well as violence in schools with the portrayal of  School under fire.

San Fernando mayor Robert Parris and convenor of the San Fernando Carnival Committee Dawad Philip said they were very impressed and saw it as a legacy to pass on to the younger generation.

A total of 300 primary and secondary students participated in the competition, which was sponsored by South Park Mall. All the schools will receive a cash prize of $500.

A student of the San Fernando Girls’ Primary School portrays Dela Ford (Tobago), at the San Fernando Junior Ole Mas competition at South Park on Saturday. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

South Park Mall’s director Stuart Rahael said he was proud to partner with the city for Carnival.

“The reason for building South Park was not just to build a mall for retail and entertainment purposes. Yes, it is also for these things, but also to have a space for the people of San Fernando to come together to have events like this.”

Rahael said the mall jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the more traditional aspect of Carnival, which seems to be slowly dying.

“We all know that pretty mas is alive and well, and we jumped at the opportunity to do something that grows the spirit of Carnival, to educate the youth and have a bright future because of it.”

Paris said partnering with the business community will bring about an economic spinoff.

“The city is under a transformation and we are using our competitive advantages to attract new markets like we have never had before.”