Mastana Bahar: the longest running (45 years) local TV talent show in Trinidad and Tobago
The theme of this year’s edition of our magazine is “Mastana Bahar.” This magazine captures the history and evolution of Mastana Bahar [Joyful Season] which is unquestionably the longest running, locally-produced TV talent show in Trinidad and Tobago, and perhaps even in the Caribbean. It is the longest running talent show when compared to competitive and non-competitive, Indian and non-Indian cultural TV programmes. Its closest competitor is Scouting for Talent which ran for 30 years (1963 – 1993) hosted regularly by Holly Betaudier. Mastana was first produced by Sham Mohammed on July 4, 1970 on Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT).
Renowned US musicologist Peter Manuel (2000) stated that “Mastana Bahar has evolved into an institution in Trinidadian culture.” And in her book entitled Music in Latin America and the Caribbean (2004), Malena Kuss wrote that since the 1970s, the local talent TV show has been a central feature of local cultural life.
At present, Mastana is aired on GISL TV 4 on Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. It is also broadcasted on IETV Channel 1 on Sundays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.