Zulu Int’l 2018: Hidden In the Stars



Um is me.

I’m back to review your fave bands and some of the ones you love to hate as well. After a lacklustre Trini Carnival experience due to illness, I’m dying for some diamantes, feathers and aspirational bodies back in my life.

So here we are with Zulu leading the pack once again by launching early as France. I’ve been busy with work so the launch almost caught me unawares but wunna know there is no stopping the dibby.


My buddy, Paula, and I arrived around 5 pm to the venue which enabled us to get a decent parking spot (or so I thought because when I left my car was covered in bird shit ugh). Even though there is limited parking available it worked because Zulu management capped the number of launch patrons this year so there wasn’t any double parking or anything to make yuh fling up yuh skirts and carry on.  The parking attendants were super polite and even parked some people’s cars for them.


Queen’s Park.

I have not been to the park since I gave up going on Christmas morning with my grandmother (God rest her calypso loving soul). I think this venue was boss because there is a lot of Barbadiana attached to it. If you haven’t been to fairs, primary school sports, Agrofest or parading your Xmas outfit there then you’re either not Bajan or were very sheltered. There was a cool breeze the entire time and it was just plain old nice to be somewhere different for a change.



No gin.

But I’ve accepted my fate as an alcohol pariah and I’ve learned to lower my expectations and there will never be any gin when I go to fetes.

After being searched at the door, which I was glad for cuz there are just too many mad ass people out there, we were given a chit for a complimentary drink. I thought that was great especially since the launch was free.

I can’t comment on the prices of the drinks because I’m cutting back on my alcohol consumption and just had the one drink.


So Zulu tried something different this year and I think it worked. They opted for a smaller crowd with a more intimate setting. They experimented with limited patrons, in a more intimate setting at the legendary Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre.  Despite the very late start, the vibe was appropriate for the setting.m I didn’t come expecting to pooch back and fling my braids around but I did expect to be entertained and they delivered on that.


Hidden In The Stars  is this year’s theme. I came in expecting costumes depicting the signs of the zodiac but what we got was just as interesting. Most of the costumes were named after celestial bodies, space expeditions and solar systems. Each section was preceded by an explanation/ skit by Simon Alleyne. The nerd in me really appreciated that.

The costumes were…nice. Just nice. Kind of like having a vegan brownie when you really wanted to have a ridiculous one covered in fudge and cheesecake. I didn’t have that “Oh gawdddd I must have that” moment once during the presentation. The main designer was David Dewer, with other designs by Natalie Fonrose of Fonrose The Brand, Kat Gittens and Janiece Springer.

The male costumes…lmao…night sky board shorts in different colours but the guys who jump with Zulu are usually into the juck downs and not the aesthetic anyway so I guess it’s ok.


Aurora- Northern Lights would definitely be an option for me if I decide to jump with Zulu. Love this cut out monokini style.


Milky Way Frontline by Fonrose. I knew this was her work without being told. Definitely her aesthetic and my first choice for Zulu.


You can view all of the costumes on Zulu’s Facebook page


As usual, Zulu gets high ratings for their models.

I got my entire life from the models. First of all, they don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t strutting on stage like they are the next Jourdan Dunn (not shitting on anyone’s dreams btw.

The male models were very entertaing and showed us what the bar was for Zulu revellers i.e ripped bodies and stiff jucks.


Nandi Yard was, again one, of my faves this year.


You ever heard of winning the genetic lottery? Well, the mother-daughter team of Rose Hategekimana and Mutamuliza Cutting won it like 4 times. Flawless.


Rose’s melanin popping so damn severely *insert longest yass ever*


Mutamuliza wearing her costume flawlessly.

I do have one caveat though…it would have been great to have plus-sized models as well.

*Disclaimer (cuz people love to run dem mout): Do Dixie is affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I do run Juck Down, a 12- week women-only training program designed to make women Crop Over sexy and do dixie on the road during the season (and yes this is a completely shameless plug)*



Zulu International Band Launch : Wanderlust



*uses Foghorn Leghorn voice*


Yes. I’m back. With slightly more manners than last year but I’m back. I’ve finally gotten over the Carnival flu I picked up in Trinidad this year and nursing a serious tabanca. When I tell you this tabanca bad I am not even kidding. There were a couple of days I was considering just giving up everything and using Gofundme to take me to the next carnival (but I have shame sometimes so no).

Despite the tabanca, I was shocked when I heard bands would be launching in March and fete tickets being sold already for the last week of Crop Over. Bajan promoters not making sport this year. They’re like “Yeah I see the economy in shambles so I giving y’all two extra months to get your coin together for Crop”. I’m not mad at them at all.

Zulu International tout themselves as the “fun band” so I was curious to see if the launch would live up to the slogan.



We parked on what we discovered to be the outskirts of the venue, mainly because there was no one to direct patrons to the more than adequate parking closer to the venue. No big thing though because as long as I’m not robbed I really don’t mind walking a bit to the fete.


Belleview Plantation. This was my first time at this location and I really like it. It was spacious and there was a cool breeze the entire night.




No gin.

Qu’est-ce que le fuck? I mean why? Why do y’all continue to oppress me like this? You don’t have gin but you have Passoa, like it’s 1998, and Ponche Kuba.

Yes, you read that right. Ponche Kuba was on sale by the bottle. I didn’t see any great-aunts in attendance so who was that Ponche Kuba for? I guess that’s what your sponsors gave you but… bruh no.

A friend and I ended up buying a bottle of vodka (regretting this currently)  because the bar was only selling by the bottle and the other friend drank Guinness.


The vibe was ok. I mean just ok. You could tell the DJs were working hard to hype the crowd. It’s too far outside of Crop Over for a full hype fete.


Zulu’s theme this year is Wanderlust. I went to the launch expecting to see the usual suspects for a wanderlust theme, China, India and Africa. I was kind of surprised at the depictions presented because they kept it mostly regional and didn’t do an African theme despite being named after an African ethnic group.

Each section, except the last, was preceded by a dance or martial art from the country being depicted.


Barbados (Queen of the Band)


Coachella Frontline


Holi Frontline


Chinese New Year Backline


Jab Jab Frontline


Rio Frontline Option B (Female Only Section)


Passa Passa Backline


The overall production of the show was well done and the costumes are definitely a cut above last year but I didn’t see anything that made me gasp and immediately want to sign up. I’ll be going to the band house to look at them more closely, though. Most of the costumes were designed by Trinidadian duo Richard and Anthony who are fresh off the heels off Trinidad Carnival and a bacchanal with their section in Fantasy Carnival (maybe I’ll write about that in the near future).

You can view all of the costumes on Zulu’s Facebook page




This is where I give Zulu full ratings. They models represented a wide spectrum of complexions, a variety of sizes and were mostly homegrown beauties.

The models sold the costumes and I find this to be sadly lacking at band launches. The Zulu models as soon as they touched the stage brought vibes and danced and carried on like it was Kadooment Day already.  When “Do It Fuh Daddy” comes on a model gives you a full juck down to the song then, yes, your models have sold your “fun band” slogan.


*Disclaimer (cuz people love to run dem mout): Do Dixie is affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I do run Juck Down, a 12- week women only training program designed to make women Crop Over sexy and do dixie on the road during the season (and yes this is a completely shameless plug)*