Nigerian Afropop star Timaya will headline the third annual Swawé Kwéyòl Sent Lisi, an event established by the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries in 2013. According to the event’s official description on its Facebook page, Swawé Kwéyòl Sent Lisi is a festival which packages Saint Lucia’s Creole celebrations and lifestyle in a way to enable patrons to have a memorable experience at various locations across Saint Lucia—another way of saying that the Ministry of Tourism knows far better than the FRC how to make Jounen Kwéyòl palatable to foreign tastes. The event is also a slap in the face to authentic jounen creole organizing communities who for years have been crying out for greater financial support. Swawé Kwéyòl is costing the government, and by extension the people of Saint Lucia, over EC$200,000. Timaya’s cost, the STAR has been reliably informed, is US$20,000. This does not include travel and other allowances. But, let’s move on.
This year’s festival will be held on Saturday October 24 at Fond D’or and is expected to feature food and art. And creole, of course. A kiddies’ corner will be established for the free entertainment of children under the age of 12 years.
The Evalucian band, featuring vocalist and groovy soca monarch Arthur, and DYP will be among the featured local entertainers. The event will be headlined by Timaya, who has been making a name for himself on the world music stage. With hits songs like “Bum Bum,” “Go Down Low” and “Sanko” the singer has garnered a lot of fans across the globe, including Nigeria. Alas, his career has not been without controversy—the latest being allegations of rape.
His accuser alleges the singer raped her in a hotel room in Atlanta, Georgia. Timaya has denied the woman’s accusations. He admits having sex with his accuser—but with her full consent.
A statement attributed to the singer: “I am a young man that is doing very well and I guess she had expectations that I didn’t meet up to and she decided to use rape because she knows that’s the fastest way to bring anyone down.”
In an earlier published interview Timaya shockingly revealed that before he made it in the music business, he had been a sex slave: “When I had nowhere to stay, I had to go and live with a woman friend who turned me into a prisoner. I had to live by her rules. I could not go anywhere until she allows me to. I could never stay out after 7 pm, or else I am in trouble. She was older than me by four years and I did not have a choice. Anytime I complain, she threatened to throw me out of her house. If I failed to make love to her, she would accuse me of sleeping with other ladies, and she will again threaten to throw my things out. It was not easy for me then, but what could I do? It was when I was able to save some money to get another place that I was able to escape.”