Bunji’s back for 2k8 Int’l Soca Monach
After a one-year hiatus, three-time International Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin returns to the competition in 2008 to challenge defending champion, Iwer George, with whom he once shared the coveted title.
This was the most significant revelation at Tuesday’s launch of next year’s editions of the International Power Soca Monarch, Groovy Soca Monarch and Schools Soca Monarch at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, where the main event, the Power and Groovy Soca Monarch competitions, will be staged on Carnival Friday.
Garlin, who shared the title with Iwer in 2002 and won it outright in 2004 and 2005, last competed in 2006, when he placed second to Shurwayne Winchester with “The Bomb Song”. He announced at that final that he would no longer compete and stayed away in 2007.
Garlin’s manager, Ian Pantin, reported that Garlin is looking forward to the competition, which he has always enjoyed whether as a competitor or a member of the audience looking at the show live or on television.
“Bunji has always been a Soca Monarch person. He loves the elaborate presentations and pageantry of the event, as well as the high level of competitiveness in the Soca Monarch. He always intended to return and is seeking to regain his competitive spirit through the competition,” Pantin said.
Bmobile is again serving as the title sponsor, with substantial support coming from, among others, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Carib and the National Lotteries Control Board.
The prize structure, however, has not yet been revealed for any of the three competitions. The semi-final round of the Power and Groovy Soca Monarch competitions clash with the National Panorama semi-finals on January 20, and a venue for this has not yet been given.
As for the Schools Soca Monarch, the semi-final takes place at the Port of Spain City Hall on January 12, while the final comes off at the Jean Pierre Complex on January 25.
The preliminary round for the Power and Groovy Soca Monarch competitions are scheduled to take place on January 5 at the Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s. This is the 16th edition of the International Soca Monarch, the first of which was won by SuperBlue, who is expected to compete next year.