Defending National Calypso Monarch Maxwell “Tajoe” Francis.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Defending National Calypso Monarch Maxwell “Tajoe” Francis is confident that he will retain the crown on Sunday, although he is expecting strong competition from four of the 10 other finalists.

Tajoe told I-Witness News on Tuesday that while he has not heard the second song of all the other contenders he is expecting a tough challenge from Poorsah, Brother Ebony, Joy-C, and Fya Empress.

“I think I have a pretty good chance because I have a strong song that is very current,” Tajoe, however, said of “Read Between the Lines”.

The song deals with violence against women, a topical issue, Tahoe noted, and mentioned the killing of two women over the past two weeks.

“It will be left to my performance on the night,” Tajoe said of the song and added that he is “working on a presentation that will help to bring it (the song) alive even more”.

His second song will deal with world hunger, “an international topic”, which Tajoe said has not been adequately highlighted in calypso.

He said many people do not know of populations, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where drought has led to failed crops and severe shortage of food.

Tajoe, a history and social studies teacher at the Sandy Bay Secondary School, has been writing calypso for 15 years and competing for nine years.

He is probably the only person to write winning songs for the primary and secondary calypso monarch the same year, a feat he accomplished in 2003.

This year, Tajoe wrote three of the songs in the junior competition.

He penned “Making A Dream A Reality”, sung by Abigail “Abbi” Alexander of the Fancy Government School, which was second in the primary school competition; “Island in the Sun” sung by Deroney “The Messenger” May, who placed third in the secondary school calypso segment; and for Kurtney “The Soca Man” Pompey of the Sandy Bay Secondary school.

Tajoe also rewrote one verse of “Jail Them”, sung by Iran “Calypso Rasta” Pommry, who competed in the secondary segment of the calypso competition.

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