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Take Him Or Lump Him – He Is Bongo

Take Him Or Lump Him – He Is Bongo

WHILE AT SCHOOL he was the only one of his friends without a nickname, not to feel left out it was agreed that he would be called Bongo and since then he has come to love his moniker even more than his real name, which is Walter Whitney.

In 1992 he joined the calypso fray with the song Take It Or Lump It, and sixteen years later when he performed it at the grand finale Banks/Cable & Wireless Cavalcade in the car park of the National Stadium it was still a hit. "It was awesome", he told us. "The people were singing it better than me."

He wrote Take It or Lump It as an up tempo number in order to stand out from the other calypsonians he knew would have penned songs about the eight percent cut which was under the stewardship of the Democratic Labour Party government, led by then Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford. "I knew everybody would have been criticising Sandy, but Sandy has told me personally that it is one of his favourite calpsos. I've even sung it at functions in his honour."

To date Bongo is the winner of the Barbados Workers Union Calypso Competition, and a member of the Trimart Hit Parade. His involvement in the local, kaiso arena has been intermittent, with him taking several breaks in the last dozen years or so. This year his contribution is It Ain't Calypso and Tribute to Rihanna. "Calypso has changed, more young people are involved and they are making music that they like. I am not criticising  their version of calypso, we need something for the party and we need the serious stuff as well."

The former hotel worker is now working with the maintenance of arcades. " I love my job and the same hard work I put in when I was at the hotels I put in now I am at the arcades." And his name tag carries...Bongo.