By RHONDOR DOWLAT Thursday, February 7 2008
It has been a bitter-sweet Carnival for Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez who won the 2008 Road March title but placed third in International Power Soca Monarch competition, which went to her husband Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez.
But Lyons-Alvarez is ready to put the season behind her and yesterday expressed greater concern about the growing number of street children, deplorable road conditions and the lack of airplay for fellow soca-artistes who, she said, “did their best just like myself and Bunji did.”
While celebrating the victory of her song “Get On” which DJs and music bands played 331 times on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, Lyons-Alvarez took the opportunity to call on the Government to establish homes and not shelters for street children.
“This issue is closest to my heart. I wish that the Government use some of those dilapidated buildings throughout the country and restructures it to homes for homeless children,” she said at her Roystonia, Couva home. “We need so much for social workers to go to house to house and check out families and provide counselling where needed. We also need counselling in schools because the youths of today seriously need a sense of direction.”
Lyons-Alvarez said she had spoken to three female students of Debe Secondary School who had thought about dropping out.
“After that talk I learnt that they had changed their minds from dropping out of school and I want to applaud them for being positively focused.”
Lyons-Alvarez also expressed disappointment that the media, both electronic and print, failed to give fair press coverage to soca artistes and air play to their songs. “You can’t just accredit one person because he or she won a major title but all of us worked hard the same way and deserves fair play.”
The couple was watching television when the NCC announced the results of the Road March.
“I was sitting next to Bunji on the couch looking at the television and when the results were announced he and I began running in excitement around the centre table of the living room. Then one of my cousins called and I told her to come over. The rest of the day would be spent at Bunji’s mother’s place in Arima where we will have a big cook and lime,” said Lyons-Alvarez. This is her second Road March win, as she won the title in 2003 with “Display”.
In spite of this victory, Lyons-Alvarez insists she won’t return to the Soca Monarch competition next year. Although he won, Garlin had previously said he felt his wife had beaten him. “This year definitely was my last year in entering the Soca Monarch, so my focus is to continue progressing in music and otherwise. In two weeks time we tour to Guyana, from there, to Orlando, New York and in May, Germany. So Bunji and I have a lot in store for this year and well, we will see for next Carnival, this is something we cannot plan, it just falls into place.”