(Trinidad Express) Veteran calypsonian Fred Mitchell (Mighty Composer), 83, who had been hospitalised for the past two weeks with a heart condition and other health issues, died on Wednesday morning.
Both Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) president Lutalo (Brother Resistance) Masimba and TUCO welfare officer Carlton Kerr (Calypso Kerr) had called on Trinidad and Tobago to “lift Composer up in prayer”.
Kerr told the Express on Tuesday that Composer was in Ward 312 at Mt Hope Hospital.
“He is taking a little soup and has been eating a bit,” he said.
Kerr said, “We need to pray for him. We want him to recover quickly. I know Duane O’Connor visited him. I know a number of artistes have visited him.”
Kerr paid tribute to Composer for his superb composing and emceeing skills.
He also said Composer was instrumental in strengthening TUCO.
And Brother Resistance added: “Composer has always been dedicated to calypso. We want to wish Composer a speedy recovery.
“We are asking the nation to lift Composer up in prayer. We want to get him to a state of recovery.”
The singer was born Fred Mitchell but was also known as Agba Olu Sino Amono.
His calypsoes were popular in the 1960s and 70s. He offered hits such as “Workers’ Lament”, “Supposing”, “True or Lie”, “Black Fallacy” and “Child Training”. He was also a master of ceremonies, comedian, impresario and tent manager.
As a pioneer, he was a foundation member of the first Calypsonians’ Association in Trinidad and Tobago. He was also a TUCO founding member and an executive member for many years.
Composer is known for portraying the Red Indian character, parading in the traditional mas category on Carnival Monday and Tuesday in San Fernando. He is fluent in Warao (Warahoo) speech. Apart from Warao, he is proficient in patois and he is also fairly versed in Yoruba which he uses at every opportunity.
On July 30, 2018, the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) dedicated a concert titled “Shikamoo – Ancestral Rhythm” to Composer for his contribution to the art form.
The Swahili word Shikamoo means “I respect you”. ESC said the concert was in keeping with this tradition of respect and reverence for elders and ancestors.