It was a story that only the STAR would touch last week, when we received word that Nigerian Afro-pop star Timaya would headline a Creole event here in Saint Lucia dubbed “Swawé Kwéyòl Sent Lisi”.
The activity is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism, through its heritage tourism arm, and is slated for today, Saturday, at Fond D’Or, Dennery.
In last Saturday’s STAR we noted that the popular singer, known for songs like “Bum Bum,” “Go Down Low” and “Sanko”, was facing allegations of rape by a woman in Atlanta. However, all of last week the island’s tourism officials were busy promoting the event billed as the third annual Swawé Kwéyòl Sent Lisi and geared towards the entire family.
The festival, which is now in its third year of existence, is also expected to feature Creole music, food and art as well as Saint Lucian performing bands DYP and the Evalucian band. The price tag for staging the event will be approximately EC$200,000 with financing from the Department of Creative Industries.
In an interview with the STAR on Monday, Creative Industries consultant Christopher Hunte distanced his department from accusations on the selection of artistes for the event. Many St. Lucian performers were of the view that an event of this nature should have featured more Saint Lucian artistes as opposed to having another event (like the Jazz Festival) where foreign artistes were contracted to perform. Some even felt that the event appeared to have very little “Creole” authenticity judging by the headline act.
“We were approached to support the event by the organizers of Swawé Kwéyòl, which is the Heritage Tourism, and they are the ones who chose who would be performing,” Hunte told the STAR.
However, on Friday we received word that Timaya would no longer headline Saturday’s event. Instead, Barbadian artiste Rupee and Jamaican Reggae singer Jah Cure will be on the show. But judging by these two additions, it would seem that organizers are more interested in drawing music lovers to the activity than engendering any appreciation for Saint Lucia’s heritage and Creole culture. The month of October is being observed here as Creole Heritage Month and this weekend major “Jounen Creole” activities will be held across the island. The main communities that are expected to come alive this weekend are Canaries, Boguis, Ti Rocher Micoud and Laborie.