Decorated veteran Calysonian Findley ‘Scholar’ Jeffrey has affirmed his intention to take part in the national Calypso Monarch competition this year after announcing his decision to bow out of the race after winning his 10th title in 2022.
At that time, the Chantimele-based singer told reporters that his exit after competing for 28 years would allow him to take on a more administrative role in the artform.
However, Scholar, a stalwart in the calypso arena returned to competition last year suffering a shocking defeat to Kelly Clyne ‘Rootsman Kelly’, placing in position 7th.
Scholar justified his decision to compete again this year, as he reflected on this rare setback in his illustrious career, in an interview with reporters after coming out victorious in the recently held Independence Calypso Monarch competition.
“I will be planning very hard because the seventh that I got last year, I took it personally…I will be honest with you while people would bellyache and quarrel about the judge’s decision, and so on, I don’t do that, “ he remarked.
“And, truth be told, people should be happy that I am still around because when I came in 1993, (those) who I met in Calypso, they are all gone (now). I am the only one. I have the greatest longevity in Calypso. So, somebody has to stay and keep the thing going, and guide the others, he said.
In a previous interview with reporters, Scholar, who is currently the leader of the Kaiso Bards Calypso tent, which launched the Fireworks Calypso tent in July 2019, emphasised the importance of longevity in the calypso fraternity, cited need for a longer tent season.
Noting his role as a guiding figure for the younger generations of calypsonians, Scholar emphasised the need for the Calypso artform to be taught in schools as an industry to ensure that the knowledge is passed on.
“What I am doing for Kaiso Bards, I can do it for the whole kaiso fraternity – it’s just for them to buy into it. I would want to manage all the tents because I think it makes more sense, and I’ll get more from them, and this is something that I want to push coming up,” he told reporters.
The 10-times Calypso Monarch has left an indelible mark on the calypso landscape, throughout his career spanning nearly three (3) decades, with notable victories in the national Calypso Monarch Competition in 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2016, 2018, and 2022.
Scholar has also distinguished himself as a one-time Soca Monarch and a one-time Groovy Soca Monarch, solidifying his legacy as one of Grenada’s most iconic calypsonians.