After a two-year hiatus, the 2018 Carib Soca Monarch was launched at the Department of Culture, Education Ministry.The competition, which is slated for February 10 and 17, will see 15 performers competing for the grand prize of $1.5 million.At the press conference on Monday, Minister with responsibility for culture, Dr George Norton highlighted that the competition will now be under the purview of the Central Mash Committee. Minister Norton also stated that music is the bloodline of the Mashramani festival and urged local deejays and promoters to get involved in the publicising of the competition’s music.Minister with responsibility for culture, Dr George NortonCompetition Coordinator, Nigel Worrell, noted they received a total of 18 entries which was fine-tuned to a total of 15 semi-finalists. Those semi-finalists are Alisha “Sasha Melody” Hamid, Brandon Harding, Colwin “Lil Colwin” Blair, Colwyn “Soca Colwyn” Abrams, Delon “Soca Del” Azore, Diana Chapman, Jonathan “Lil Red” King, Keron “Norek Mas” Sam, Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, Quacy “Avalanche” Coates, Roger “Young Bill Rogers” Hinds, Roshauna Fraser, Samantha Grant, Shellon “Fluffy” Gally and Stanton “Cardiac” Lewis.These 15 contestants will be heading to the mining town of Linden on February 10 for the semi-final leg of the competition, where five contestants will be eliminated. Then the remaining 10 will head to D’Urban Park in Georgetown to compete for the grand prize on February 17. They will be judged on lyrics, melody, rendition, diction and musical arrangement.The first prize winner will receive $1.5 million, 2nd prize $700,000; 3rd prize $500,000 and 4th prize $400,000. The Ministry is seeking to collaborate with a local telephone company to implement a People’s Choice Award which will see the winner receiving one hundred thousand dollars. The eleven newcomers will all be vying for the US$1000 prize of Best New Comer.
I’ve been running a lot this summer. I live in the New York metro area. I like sports.I also write about the magazine industry, and am blessed (or saddled, depending on your perspective) with a bit of an old-school mentality of journalistic integrity. That is, church-state separation, where magazine editors and ad salespeople are divided by Plexiglas and the cover is an untainted, pristine piece of real estate. (That wall, as you know, is crumbling every day, as the pressure mounts for more and more magazines to bridge the gap between editorial and advertorial, art and commerce.)It’s with this as a backdrop that I picked up a copy of the latest issue of Metro Sports, a free monthly magazine covering outdoor sports like running and rock climbing and mountaineering in the New York area. The company also publishes versions in D.C. as well as Chicago (Windy City Sports), Denver (Rocky Mountain Sports), Boston (New England Sports Mag) and elsewhere.The cover features Sarah Reinertsen, the first female leg amputee to finish an Ironman triathlon. She’s wearing one Nike shoe and a Nike t-shirt, with the words “Where Will You Be?” under the date “08.31.08” emblazoned on her chest. In the bottom left corner, Nike’s swoosh logo accompanies a cover line—“The Human Race 10K”—and a callout to “See page 12.” The inside cover features a two-page ad for Nike Plus’ “Human Race” taking place on, yes, August 31. On page 12, Bob Babbitt, publisher and founder of Gen-A, the magazine’s parent company, writes what only can be described as brochure copy for the event. (“Seventeen million runs have been logged on the site since early July. Some people have been running with music on their iPods, while folks who would rather do without tunes are logging miles with a Nike+ Sportband, All are pointing towards The Human Race.”)Product placement, particularly for outdoorsy titles, is nothing new. (See Outside’s treatment of a Bode Miller cover feature in 2006 just before the Winter Olympics.) But I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an advertiser’s logo incorporated into a cover line.But that’s the old-school mentality talking. As a “runner,” I wanted to know more about this Human Race thing. Didn’t matter if it came from Nike or a publisher pimping Nike. I didn’t care.This is rare, though. I can’t imagine I would have the same carefree attitude if Esquire or Vanity Fair or Wired ran a cover feature that read like marketing copy, or incorporated a movie’s logo into a coverline.But like I said, the walls are crumbling. And I wouldn’t be surprised.
Morgan Stanley has reduced the value of Flipkart’s share by 27 percent in a mutual fund managed by it, indicating that global investors now see India’s largest e-commerce firm as overvalued.The reduction means Flipkart’s valuation now stands at $11 billion, which is in contrast to the $15.2-billion valuation claimed by the online retailer recently, The Economic Times reported.At present, Morgan Stanley owns 1-2 percent stake in Flipkart. It had acquired shares in Flipkart in 2013, when the Bengaluru-based e-commerce major raised $360 million.The Morgan Stanley fund had trimmed the valuation of its stake in Flipkart to $58.93 million in December last year from $80.62 million in June 2015, according to a regulatory filing by the fund.Domestic online retailers have come in for severe criticism by industry-watchers and investors for their expensive valuation, as they post massive losses due to high discounts offered to lure customers to online shopping.Flipkart’s losses escalated to Rs 2,000 crore in the fiscal year ending March 2015, up nearly 180 pervent, compared to Rs 715 crore in the previous year, according to the company’s filing to the Registrar of Companies.Morgan Stanley’s move comes at a time when fund-raising has become difficult for e-commerce firms, including Flipkart.After investing billions of dollars in the past two years, venture capitalists (VCs) are now taking a cautious approach on Indian start-ups as their valuations soar and losses escalate.Investment by venture capital firms in the country fell $600 million to $1.51 billion in October-December 2015 against $2.12 billion in the same period in 2014, according to a report by CB Insights and KPMG International.