DICE celebrates win in 2006
DICE celebrates win in 2006

It was one for the over sixty-year-old Calypso history books when Denison 'Dice' Joseph was crowned Calypso Monarch of Dominica for the tenth time in his illustrious career.

He also broke records by winning his ninth crown in 2019, his eighth crown in 2017, his seventh crown, and his second tri-peat in 2015.

There is no doubt that Dice is the strongest calypsonian the country has seen in decades, and his star-studded journey mirrors this. Yet, the number ten has a certain ring, an expectation, and an oomph to it.

The Dominica Calypso Association (DCA) is tasked with sourcing prizes for those participating in the annual national Calypso competition. Therefore, on this unprecedented occasion of a tenth win, should the DCA also be responsible for providing the King with something more than the stipulated prize money?

At the recent Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) press conference to recognize the winners of the 2024 carnival season, King Dice stated bluntly, "If I came there as the ten-time Calypso King to a press conference DFC is doing, which is Dominica Festivals Committee, which deals with culture, and they came there with their hands swinging without nothing to give King Dice for the ten times, this is a big shame."

Looking at the history books, one would see that Dice was offered something based on his milestone achievement of five crowns in 2012. The government of Dominica announced it would gift the young monarch a piece of land. Could it then be expected that plans were in the works to bestow upon him something else, but he jumped the gun in making it public that he expects a more significant gift for being the prolific performer he is?

A curious bystander said, "This shows our country's lack of regard for male entertainers/winners. When women win, they get scholarships to develop themselves. Why can't something of similar value be implemented for men?" Yet another Calypso follower opined, "Isn't it on the DCA to get a more substantial gift for him? After all, they are the ones who organize the show."

But, as Dominicans have been saying over the years, 'the country brokes'. If that is the sentiment, should Dice sit on his laurels and expect nothing for his hard work?

The DCA secretary, Daryl' De Bobb' Bobb, chimed in to support Dice on his success as a ten-time Calypso King.

"We urge all to support Calypso events and our calypsonians. When you hear Calypso events occurring, check it out and contribute. Stop Dice on the road and put something in his pocket because our economy cannot pay this man what he deserves for all those years of success and representation of our brand."

Feedback on what Dice could receive for his record-shattering success was mixed:

"Maybe if it were someone else, they would have celebrated him already," said one observer. Why would the government go out of its way to promote someone who is against its policies?

"How about having him inducted into the Hall of Fame?" suggested another bystander.

"A diplomatic passport, Goodwill ambassador status, a national award of honour, a piece of land and US$10,000," chipped in a die-hard Dice fan.

"If he had won the crown ten times in a row, then sure, but this? Nah."

"They offered him land and a scholarship, which he rejected. What does he want again?" added a Calypso veteran.

Despite lacking a gift worthy of royalty, King Dice pledged to use his crown and title to promote Dominica locally, regionally, and internationally. "When they are done seeing me, they will be proud of Dominica and interested in Dominica. They will say,' Waw, we should see if Dominica has more like him. ' So, don't worry about it. I will seriously play my part."

Only time will tell what Dice receives as he and the country wait (not with bated breath) for what may finally be brought to the King.