By Melissa Doughty, Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
Tributes continue to come in from many sectors honouring the contribution Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes Millington made to Trinidad and Tobago, the region and the world.
Singing Sandra died on January 28. She was 64. She won the Calypso Monarch contest in 1999 and 2003.
Regional media, including the Jamaica Observer and Nation News, Barbados, also recorded her passing.
The Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) joined many who sent condolences to her family, friends and the calypso fraternity. Its media release said she was a mother’s voice rising over the hill and stood proud and strong like a giant in a field dominated by men.
“Her words always aimed at speaking her truth and confronting society’s wrong, Singing Sandra can never be accused of anything but her steadfast love of her culture, African heritage and her steadfast need to speak on behalf of the forgotten or advantaged in society,” it added.
OWTU said she was a close friend, honorary member and mother to the organisation. It said too often TT honoured heroes after they have gone.
“In the physical world the sun has set on the life of this giant like many others before her. Her legacy however is strong and shining extremely bright. As a nation it is imperative that we as a people and all with the responsibility to govern do all that is within our powers to ensure that her life’s work isn’t lost and that the sun not set on a legacy so bright,” it said.
Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) president Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba, in a personal message said, “She walk tall and majestic and always carry de flag for Laventille/Morvant wid every step she make on dis journey.”
His message said she exuded royalty and humility.
“She moved wid de ancient riddum of de Oral tradition and stayed grounded wid de power of de drum. Chanting songs of love ,songs of liberation ,songs of praise and power. A leader in de spiritual house of de conscious artistes and de cultural activists of de region. Calypsonian, Queen and warrior …Sandra.”
The Emancipation Support Committee also sent its condolences to the singers’ friends and family, saying she always stood out in her stunning ceremonial African dresses, showing pride in her heritage.
“Her songs touch on subjects such as love, humanity, independence and God. She uses songs and her soulful voice to share inspiration and encouragement to all,” the release said.