By Stephen Spark
Photograph By Gerard Larose (STB)
Saturday 3 March 2012 : 9:10 GMT
Lima Calbio set Seychelles alight in 2011 when she wowed the crowds in true Trini style at the very first Carnaval International de Victoria. And she did it again last night at the carnival opening ceremony.
In fact, Lima had already given fair warning of her intentions the previous night at the formal opening of a new five-star hotel, the Kempinski, at Baie Lazare. She turned the occasion into a real party bacchanal on a stage perched over the hotel swimming pool. It didn't take long for some of the Notting Hill masqueraders to join in, along with members of CSI steelband and eventually the girls from the Seychelles Tourist Board and even the glamorous Miss Reunion.
Huge numbers of Seychellois and visitors - including some of the passengers from crippled cruise ship Costa Allegra - flocked to the country's capital for the opening day of the carnival. They filled the streets in all directions and waited patiently as the speeches started. And waited. And waited some more, as speaker after speaker rattled off different versions of essentially the same speech, in English, French and Creole. Perhaps someone needs to have a gentle word with the organisers that you don't need nearly two hours of talk to get a carnival on the road!
It fell to local singer Jean Marc Volcy to replace the chat with something we actually wanted to hear - music, which in his case was the official song of the event, Sa Carnaval. It's a catchy, danceable number, as were all the songs by the Seychellois artistes. While the music, sega, has some similarities with its counterpart in nearby Mauritius, the dance style is a lot sexier.
Still, the hottest moves on the night, gaining big cheers from the crowd, were from Notting Hill's Paraiso do Samba, who certainly didn't let costumes get in the way of showing off their fancy fast-paced footwork! But it was Lima who made a big impression with her flag-waving style and even called up on stage the STB girls who'll now be known as the 'Kempinski Crew'! Plus there was a Marilyn Monroe moment when she went up to Seychelles President James Michel and planted a kiss on him.