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Pierre family dominatesdowntown J’Ouvert

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, centre, with 2018 J’Ouvert King and Queen Rondell Pierre, left, and his niece Lynelle Pierre. Photo by:AYANNA KINSALE

Rondell Pierre retained the King of J’ouvert title yesterday while his niece, Lynelle Pierre, was named the 2018 Queen of J’ouvert.

The two were selected following the Old Mas competition, Port-of-Spain. Yesterday’s crowning marked a second consecutive win for Rondell who copped the title in 2017. Meanwhile, Lynelle’s win saw her winning the crown from last year’s title-holder. Lynelle previously held the title in 2016.

The two were selected from a field of 21, which also featured several other relatives all vying for the winning spots. Minutes after she was declared the winner, Lynelle hugged her grandfather Herbert “Natty” Pierre as she said he was the one behind her success.

“Everything comes from the mastermind who is my grandfather,” she said. Lynelle credited the 70-something-year-old for her inspiration.

“He just has the ideas and comes to us and says this is what you are playing, instructs us on what props we will need.”

The senior Pierre also managed to take second place in the male category, while his grandson, Ronaldo Pierre, placed third. Rondell’s winning presentation titled “Wayne Chance Have Real Belly, He Not Getting Fed Up,” featured him wearing an adult diaper complete with a pacifier in his mouth, crawling to a make-shift bed where a bottle containing milk was tied to a stick high above him.

His antics proved to be amusing to the spectators, judges and competitors alike as he attempted to reach the bottle of milk after lying on his back and crying for the formula.

Rondell’s frantic crawl to rescue the bottle after it came loose prompted people in the crowd to shout-out words of encouragement as he got hold of it and rolled onto his back and began drinking frantically.

Lynelle’s presentation was titled “U.N. See After Kamla Knock D Anti-Gang Bill, She Has A Big Change of Heart.”

Clad in a black pants, black vest and light-yellow jacket — Lynelle’s act opened in Parliament with a debate on the Anti-Gang Bill.

Other props in her presentation included pieces of wood, bricks and even tyres which acted as “blocks” to the legislation which were depicted on a sign tied atop a remote-control car. Lynelle managed to conceal the signs until the last few seconds of her presentation.

Lynelle said she grew up watching her mom and cousins win the ole mas competition. Herbert “Natty” Pierre said in the last 12 years, the family managed to produce nine Queens and seven Kings. He said he was first asked to produce a presentation for a friend years ago and hit upon the idea to get the family involved because he wanted to keep the traditional artform alive.

“I don’t want to win. I only look at the numbers,” he said.

Asked how he selected topics, Herbert said they would come to him as he read the newspapers and focused on current affairs.

A former television host/producer/entertainer, Herbert said, “I have been into humour and drama for a very long time,” but he laughed as he admitted, “Like I don’t want to give anyone else a chance, I have to jump out.”

Rondell said yesterday’s win was just a continuation of the great achievements they had managed to secure in the past several years. He said, “It is hard work but we are dedicated to it.”


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