Trinidad loses another calypso giant

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De Orig­i­nal De Fos­to Him­self (Win­ston Scar­bor­ough) died of a sus­pect­ed heart at­tack on Thursday morn­ing.

(Trinidad Guardian) Just three days af­ter the ca­lyp­so fra­ter­ni­ty said farewell to the Mighty Shad­ow, De Orig­i­nal De Fos­to Him­self (Win­ston Scar­bor­ough) died of a suspected heart at­tack on Thursday morn­ing.

De Fos­to, who suf­fered from heart prob­lems, was dis­cov­ered at his Mor­vant res­i­dence by his son Gabriel, who al­so re­sides with him.

Yesterday, in shock and too dis­traught to say much, Gabriel said: “I was dad­dy’s boy. I lived with him in Mor­vant and this thing is a re­al shock as dad­dy hasn’t been sick. Last night (Thurs­day), he com­plained of not feel­ing well and this morn­ing I al­ready had on my work clothes when he died. I still have on my clothes for work.

“Dad­dy and I were very close, like how a fa­ther and son are sup­posed to be. He used to ask me my opin­ion on the ca­lyp­soes he would com­pose. This Fri­day re­al­ly isn’t go­ing good for me.”

De Fos­to, 64, al­so had an old­er son, Mar­vin, who re­sides in New York.

Na­tion­al Car­ni­val Com­mis­sion (NCC) Win­ston “Gyp­sy” Pe­ters was one of the first cul­tur­al of­fi­cials to ex­press sad­ness at De Fos­to’s pass­ing.

“I am in shock; ut­ter shock. I haven’t even got­ten over Shad­ow as yet, and now Win­ston gone too,” Pe­ters said.

“I spoke to Win­ston up to last night (Thurs­day), for more than an hour. He told me that he was feel­ing good. I asked him to write some mu­sic for me. He told me he would do so next week as he was go­ing by Ibo Joseph this morn­ing (yes­ter­day). So you could imag­ine the shock that I was in this morn­ing when they told me they found De Fos­to dead in bed.”

He added: “De Fos­to and I had a very close re­la­tion­ship and we have been friends for years, al­though he sang a cou­ple songs mak­ing pi­cong of me. But that is how ca­lyp­so is sup­posed to be. In fact, I was the one who gave him mon­ey for some of his med­ical bills.

“The fra­ter­ni­ty is that much poor­er again. We used to joke about the name Win­ston be­ing the most pop­u­lar name in the fra­ter­ni­ty and we have now lost two in quick suc­ces­sion. I am think­ing of chang­ing my name to James.”

De Fos­to has been one of the head­line acts at Tu­co’s Kaiso Kar­a­van ca­lyp­so tent at La Joya, St Joseph, for the past sev­er­al years. The tent’s of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tor, Cur­tis “Dirty Cur­ty” Conyette, who is al­so the Trin­ba­go Uni­fied Ca­lyp­so­ni­ans’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s East Zone trea­sur­er, said: “De Fos­to was one of the stal­warts in our tent, hav­ing joined us many years ago, with peo­ple like Singing Francine and John­ny King.

“De Fos­to was one of a kind and maybe be­cause he was a prod­uct of the or­phan­age, was a kind hu­man be­ing. He was will­ing to help any ca­lyp­son­ian and I have seen him com­pose a ca­lyp­so for an­oth­er ca­lyp­son­ian who even­tu­al­ly beat him in a com­pe­ti­tion.

“De Fos­to epit­o­mised the nin­ja war­rior that he was and re­al­ly loved ca­lyp­so and all ca­lyp­so­ni­ans. When I first met him in 1993, be­cause of his dance moves and spins, I used to call him ‘the Whirling Der­vich.’”

An­oth­er Kaiso Kar­a­van vet­er­an, John­ny King, said: “De Fos­to was one of the most pro­lif­ic ca­lyp­so writ­ers there was. He was ex­treme­ly pa­tri­ot­ic in his com­po­si­tions.

“He shared the view of Shad­ow that peo­ple didn’t treat ca­lyp­so­ni­ans and the art form with re­spect or fair­ly. In the tent, De Fos­to was al­ways an ami­able, laid-back and re­spectable artiste. Of late, I found that he was in­ter­nal­is­ing the treat­ment he has re­ceived over the years by the pub­lic, the me­dia and cor­po­rate Trinidad. He re­al­ly took that to heart.”

He added, “When I got the news this morn­ing of his pass­ing it re­al­ly rocked me hard. On Tues­day at Shad­ow’s fu­ner­al he was look­ing very good, so I fig­ured he was on a rise from the things that had been wor­ry­ing him for a long time.”

Gabriel said the fam­i­ly is still com­ing to terms with De Fos­to’s sud­den pass­ing and fu­ner­al arrange­ments will be made and pub­li­cised short­ly.

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1 COMMENT

  1. My condolences to his sons and Trinidad.

    By the way St Vincent and the Grenadines who are not as strong financially as the ECONOMIC POWER HOUSE donated US40k to Trinidad and Tobago in their time of need

    How did the independent economic power house that is preaching CCJ and promoting CARICOM unity and burning more fire on the now colonial Masters assist Trinidad and Tobago in their time of need?

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