KIja Gani the Goddess reigns
Local Vibes
June 18, 2004
KIja Gani the Goddess reigns

After being affected directly by violence in her adopted country Trinidad and Tobago, Arlene “Kija Gani-The Goddess” Legair decided to sing about it.
It was a good idea, as her song “Jaws” helped propel her to the top position in the East St. George 2004 Carnival Calypso Competition, held last Friday at Club Marcomay in Villa.{{more}}
Kija Gani, a Vincentian by birth who grew up in Laventille, Trinidad, says that at the tender age of ten she sang in establishments such as the “Miramar Night Club” and as a result saw a lot of violence. She recalls being attacked but was, and still is, very capable of defending herself. “I’m a good defender,” she says, “and I’m even better now.”
Her song “Jaws” speaks about defending oneself from rape and burglary by biting and leaving marks so that the police may be able to identify your assailant.
Kija Gani sings: “If you give them a chance they taking you six feet and that is why I decide to use my teeth.”
Another line says: “They come to molest your drawers and then cut you down, but is jaws in they skin ‘till the police come, biting them, bite in they tail till the police come.”
The tall lady returned home in 2000 and began singing calypso. She says that although in the past she took part in the national Queen of Calypso competition, she opted to stay out this year as she, “Don’t want to deal with the controversy,” that the competition brings. She says that in the past she has written songs for other artistes and at one time she even had three songs in the semi-finals of the Queen of Calypso competition.
She recalls being beaten by someone who “bust” during their rendition one year as well as having to hear persons use her lyrics in their songs. She says that her songs are always well written and that she is capable of adding humour to a serious situation in her songs.
The designer, who sews for the Melbourne Artisans Mas Camp, said that she feels good that the judges saw her as having the best calypso in this particular competition. Her other song was “House Party”, based on Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ controversial statement, “Wash yuh foot and come,” which was an invitation to the opening of the Prime Minister’s new residence.
Part of this song goes:
“Wash yuh foot and come in the party;
too much invitation to write,
too much people to invite;
so I invite them through the news,
you could come without shoes,
just wash yuh foot and come.”
She will definitely defend her crown next year.
Placing second in the competition was Kahalia “Kalaijah” Beach, while last year’s winner Gosnel “GC” Cupid was third. The other calypsonians were Roland “Chico B” Cato and Tump-I.