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Secondary School Chutney Soca Monarch Paris Coutain performs his 2020 song Happy Chutney during the competition at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.

Even with no transportation due to a Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) protest, students and teachers from as far as Toco and Tamana journeyed to the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain yesterday to participate in the 2020 School’s Intellectual National Carnival Chutney Soca Monarch Competition.

It was a commute President of the National Chutney Foundation Dr Vijay Ramlal-Rai was appreciative of.

“I want to thank you for taking the steps that you have taken to be here,” He said.

Dr Ramlal-Rai said the drivers cancelled at 3.30 pm on Monday, less than 24 hours before the competition. He said he does not believe their protest was intended to affect the competition but said 21 schools and close to 2,000 students and teachers were left without transportation.

Amid the difficulties, the show went on with 11 performances in the primary school category and ten in the secondary school group. Samananthia Toppin of Bishop High School in Tobago did not show up to perform.

Ten-year-old Avindhar Singh defended his crown at this competition with a whopping 443 points, 39 more than the second runner up. He also won the People’s Choice title for his song Parents Take Heed.

The Tamana Hindu School student rode to the stage on a horse as the entire Grand Stand cheered him on.

But his win wasn’t an easy one as Sekel McIntosh of Arima Boys’ Government School put his best foot forward with his performance of Chunkay. He placed second with 404 points.

It was then time for the older students, this year’s winner of the Secondary School’s category, Paris Coutain, dethroned Mackhaydon Charles, last year’s winner, by just five points with his song Happy Chutney.

But Charles did not go down without a fight, the young star was lifted from the stands to the stage and as he entered he gave some advice to a younger version of himself.

“It’s okay to want to be a king but it’s the responsibility and hard work of being one,” he said.