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IN THE midst of merriment in the Carnival Season, the calypso fraternity was plunged into mourning following the death of veteran calypsonian and former president of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) Seadley “Penguin” Joseph. He was 70.
Joseph died yesterday morning at about 2.30 am, at his Beaulieu Gardens, Trincity home. He breathed his last on his bed surrounded by relatives and close friends. His death came four days after he was discharged from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope after suffering a stroke on New Year’s Day and another on January 4.
Joseph, a former Calypso Monarch and Road March king was known for such timeless hits as “Deputy Essential”, “We living in Jail” and “Woman doh like sorf man”.
Joseph is one of only seven Calypsonians with the distinction of winning both Calypso King/National Calypso Monarch and Road March titles. He won the Calypso Monarch in 1984 with “Woman doh like sorf man” and “We Living In Jail”. Two years earlier, his hit “Deputy Essential” ruled the road on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, winning him that year’s Road March crown.
Speaking with Newsday yesterday at their home, Joseph’s wife of 35 years Rosyln said her husband’s passing had left her in a state of shock, but she is trying to be strong for her family.
She recalled her last moments with her husband, saying he was very glad to be home after almost a month at the hospital. “On Wednesday last, he came home and was very happy to be here. You could see it in his face. By Friday morning we found that he wasn’t getting into his regular rhythm and seemed to be getting back sick. Then at about 9 pm on Saturday he began breathing laboriously. And this symptom would come then go.
“Seadley wasn’t looking good. We took turns watching him and sometime before 2 am, he was back to his regular breathing pattern and the atmosphere lightened in the house because we thought he was pulling through. A half-hour later, he was gone,” Roslyn said.
“Calypso played a big part in his life. It was part of his heart. But he never saw himself as just a Calypsonian. In everything he did he saw himself as a teacher and a nurturer,” she said.
She fondly recalled that Joseph got his sobriquet from the Penguin Group — a book publishing company in the United States. “He was a literature man, hence his name Penguin. Many of his favourite books were from that publisher and he was an avid reader.”
Among Joseph’s other hits were “Slipper”, “Magnificat”, “Bouncing Christmas”, “Sweet in Goat Mouth”, “Telco poops” and “Devil”.
TUCO president Lutalo Masimba (aka Brother Resistance) said Joseph’s death was a loss to not only the calypso fraternity, but the entire country as he described Joseph as a “national treasure”.
“He would be surely missed at TUCO. It is a sad moment and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and business associates,” Masimba said.
The man was a real treasure,two of my favorite hits were " woman doh like sorf man " and "a deputy is essential" he would be deeply missed not only in the calypso world but in the entire world.He has found peace at the end of the day, God wanted him now so he set him free.
He will be missed. I knew him when he taught at Barataria Boy's RC school where I attended for a short while.
Marilyn I just realize that many of our Calypsonians are educators in schools and life.
THIS BROTHERS MUSIC IS PART OF MY LIFE'S SOUND TRACK!
GIVE MY REGARDS TO Mr. Aldwyn Roberts LORD KITCHENER,
Rest In Peace
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