Three ‘Karens’ jump fence at SAPA for South J’Ouvert

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

An ole mas portrayal by “D” Blue Boy depicts former Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira scaling the fence at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) during the State funeral for former prime minister Basdeo Panday in January. – Photo by Rishard Khan

Punctuating scenes of revellers jumping up to showers of paint, mud, powder and even chocolate in San Fernando on Carnival Monday, were depictions of the now-infamous moment of former Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira scaling the fence at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) to attend a state funeral.

Mere feet from where the original incident occurred, three masqueraders took to the stage to put their spin on the event in the ole mas portrayals for J’Ouvert celebrations.

First up was a series of portrayals by “D Blue Boys,” two of which simultaneously poked fun at Nunez-Tesheira’s newly-launched political party HOPE.

A man dressed as political leader Timothy Hamel-Smith entered the stage holding a hat as if begging for donations. He then stooped over.

The portrayal of Nunez-Tesheira is then seen rubbing his back.

In a performance titled “Pan dey by storm,” the Nunez-Tesheira character is seen wearing a sign around her neck which read, “I had no invitation.” The masquerader goes on to re-enact the original incident, even helping another portrayal of Hamel-Smith over the fence prop. One masquerader held a placard saying “Paris in San Fernando, new mare in thong.” Present at the time, the city’s mayor Robert Parris exited the tent to laugh and applaud at the sign in good spirits. The other two depictions of the funeral storming incident came during Phillip and Friends’ “D truth is…” portrayal. First up was a depiction of Nunez-Tesheira hopping the fence by a person dressed up with exaggerated feminine features, much like a dame Lorraine in a performance titled “D truth is ah ha 2 get een.”

The second depiction by the group titled “D truth is Karen really jump de fence?” showed the character portraying to be a die-hard People’s National Movement member but quickly changing sides to the HOPE party as she jumped the fence. There were some 24 bands registered for the city’s J’Ouvert celebrations, down from last year’s 32, Newsday was told by a judge. Despite the fewer bands, Parris said those who registered were much larger than previous years indicating that Carnival is growing in the city.