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Mighty Sparrow gets $2 million for personal memorabilia

Published:Wednesday | March 23, 2016 | 3:00 AMShereita Grizzle
The Mighty Sparrow
1969: The Mighty Sparrow and his 15-piece calypso band, the Troubadours on arrival at the Palisadoes airport from Nassau on September 26. He was met by Mr Patrick Alexander (in suit at centre), then Entertainment Manager of the Courtleigh Manor Hotel. At right is Mr. Cyril Shaw (Manager of the group).
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Slinger Francisco, more popularly known as the Might Sparrow, was over the weekend presented with a 2 million dollar check by Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.

According to local website www.newsday.co.tt, the Calypso singer received the money as payment for memorabilia from his personal collection, which is currently on exhibition at the Ministry of Culture in Port-of-Spain.

Speaking to members of the media on the deal struck with the entertainer, Gadsby-Dolly said it took some time to push through all the details.

tangible appreciation

"You know, legal disputes are always take a bit of time to work through them and so it really was a push to try to get it through," she said. "It's rare that we get the chance to show real, tangible appreciation to our cultural icons directly and Sparrow has been with us for a long time and we wanted to make sure that we had this done while he is still here to enjoy it."

Gadsby-Dolly, also told Trinidad media that the Ministry wanted to showcase Sparrow's work because of its authenticity.

"In a time when entertainers are becoming mere brands, the Mighty Sparrow remains an authentic calypsonian," she explained. "This collection of treasures, artifacts and memorabilia from the Mighty Sparrow, gives the public a rare insight into the icon who has been our orator and our champion and has been bold enough to tell a wide range of our stories."

A thankful Sparrow, told the media there, he was pleased to be able to contribute to his country in a meaningful way.

"All I can say is thanks a lot. I am as pleased as punch and I hope that I may be able to contribute a little bit more at least with what is happening now worldwide."

Sparrow spent most of his life in Trinidad and Tobago and is arguably the most popular calypsonian from the Caribbean and is known internationally as the Calypso King of the World. His career spans over four decades.

In 2014, Sparrow was given Trinidad and Tobago's highest award, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, for his contribution to culture. In June, the 79-year-old singer was conferred with the Order of the British Empire, also for his services to culture.