After being banned from the country in 2008 due to the supposedly violent and sexually explicit content of his lyrical repertoire, the artiste was finally allowed into the island to perform last Tuesday. He headlined RF Promotions' 'A Better Tomorrow' concert that was held at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
Promoter for the event, Roy Francis, said he had been trying to get the ban lifted for years and was finally given the permission merely days before the event.
"For years we tried and we end up going through the proper channels like the government and the government realised that he changed up his lyrics. That's how they decided to lift the ban. They only gave us one week to advertise. The concert pull off real nice," he told THE STAR.
However, there were restrictions. Francis said Mavado was only allowed to sing his positive songs. In addition, he was not allowed to put out flyers, as only radio promotion was permitted.
"We had a smooth crime-free concert. The government even said he could come back and I am bringing him back on the 30th of July. I feel good 'cause for years we fight and it finally come through," he said.
When the next concert is held in July, Francis said, "it will be better 'cause people had doubts that he could come to Trinidad."
Mavado was also pleased with going to the island neighbour after such a long hiatus.
"Trinidad was alrite enuh because I was banned like for four and a half years. Because people didn't really believe that I was there, the crowd turnout wasn't as large as I had expected but we're supposed to go again soon and next time I know it's going to be bigger. It's just like in Guyana when that ban was lifted. When we first went back it was like 4,000 people and the next time was like 25,000 people," he told THE STAR.
Mavado's manager, Julian Jones-Griffiths described the ban being lifted as a positive move.
"The ban being lifted, albeit temporary, is a very positive sign even for other artistes," he said.
In addition, he said the issue of Caribbean countries banning Jamaican artistes from performing in their islands needs to be addressed.
"Other Caribbean countries have other bans and I am working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address it. The music industry deserves the government's support and lobbying, especially with CARICOM and CSME. The legality of banning CARICOM citizens working in CARICOM territories needs to be addressed. Mavado does not have a criminal record so there are no grounds to ban him on," Jones-Griffiths told THE STAR.
He added that Mavado is still unable to perform in countries like St Vincent and the Bahamas.