Calypsonian Ashanti tied the knot on Saturday at a ceremony at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and has promised a major comeback in the calypso arena.
“That was one of the best days of my life,” the three-time calypso Monarch said of Saturday’s wedding, adding that the ceremony and the reception that followed at the Folk Research Centre (FRC) went well.
He revealed that several of his relatives from overseas were present along with a number of well wishers.
“I know to myself that I have a good wife,” Ashanti, 59, said of his 51 year old wife, Merlene who works at the Folk Research Centre.
Ashanti, whose real name is Herman Hippolyte, told the Times that he and Merlene had gone through their ups and down.
Formerly addicted to crack cocaine but now drug free for the last five years, Calypsonian Ashanti explained that he recognized that having a wife involves responsibility, so he decided to get a job.
He is currently employed by the Castries City Council.
Ashanti told the Times that Merlene is part of the change in his life.
He disclosed that another motivation for him to change was when he received a Piton Silver medal from the government in 2015.
Ashanti, who has been off the calypso scene for some time has vowed to return soon.
“I have to sing a song called ‘Change’,” he declared, telling the Times that he has to “take back” the Monarchy and become Calypso King one more time before retiring for good.
He indicated that song about ‘Change’ has been inspired by his own life-changing experiences.
The former Calypso Monarch said he no longer has a craving for drugs and has even quit smoking.
“I overcome that a long time already,” he asserted.
According to Ashanti, he gets down on his knees and prays every night and attends the Catholic church every Sunday where he is a member of the Cathedral Choir.
He said he and his wife also pray together.
“Substance abuse not even in my mind, in fact I more trying to see how I can help those who are abusing drugs,” Ashanti told the Times.
He said he had been to rehab about eleven times.
As Ashanti spoke to the Times, a colleague approached and good-naturedly broke out in an impromptu melody:
Yes I am so disappointed in the Ashanti:
He get married and didn’t even invite me!