It was carnival that helped a float-maker stay positive in the difficult time he went through when his kidneys stopped functioning and he was on the verge of dying.
Tonio Scerri is grateful to have survived a kidney transplant allowing him to continue to work toward the Carnival he so loves. This year his trailer will be joined by fourteen other trailers, which will be exhibited in Valletta and in various locations around Malta.
Tonio Scerri seems to have been born again after a kidney transplant. In an interview with TVM he said that were it not for the intervention, he was in danger of dying.
Tonio is 36 years old. Two years ago his kidneys stopped working which required him to go to the Renal Unit in Mater Dei for dialysis, three times a week. He recounted that in this difficult period he had to stop working on his own and let go of his employees. “I spent two and a half years in the renal unit, and I believe that carnival helped me move forward, because you forget your problems. I managed to get a transplant from someone who passed on. Because of him, I’m living again. ”
It was the carnival artwork that kept him positive during this difficult period. But now that the storm has passed, Tonio and his twin brother Alfred, through their company Twin Carnival Company, are working on the installations that will be exhibited in Valletta since Carnival this year won’t take place because of Covid.
“We’re doing something on a small-scale, trying to keep positive, people are at an all time low because of the pandemic,” Tonio said.
Despite the downsizing, this year’s Carnival will still have King Carnival. As has been done for the past 26 years, the King is being built by Landa Carnival Company. “It’s far less work but we tried to make the best of the time lost and introduced the subject of the pandemic and created the trailer you are seeing behind me,” Clyde Axisa explained.
Carnival director Jason Busuttil said the Carnival this year will be both on TVM with productions such as Qarċilla, as well as trailer installations in Valletta and in various locations. “We will be having carnival exhibits and installations in Valletta and also by former students of the University in various places around Malta.”
Mr Busuttil said that a costume exhibition will be held virtually at St. James Cavalier. A documentary on the history of Carnival will also be shown on TVM. Mr Busuttil said that pandemic permitting, in the summer there will be a big Carnival celebration with big trailers. “If mass events are being allowed, we’ll have a big carnival celebration in the summer which will be a stepping stone for the 2022 carnival.”
Float-makers and all those who love carnival are already working on next year’s costumes and trailers, hoping to make up for the sacrifice that everyone is having to make because of the pandemic. .