Alivia Providence walked away with the “Miss Jennés Kwéyòl” title Wednesday at the St Joseph’s Convent, and it was undoubtedly a well-deserved victory for the teen.
Although it was her second pageant, Alivia easily won the hearts of attendees. The 14-year-old went up against four other students (Mikalah O’Reily, Kayannah Fanus, Jalanie Jules and Tamara Constantine), however, this was no deterrent for Alivia, who “knew” she’d emerge victorious.
The pageant was a success. Students turned out in large numbers to support their peers, and participants were greeted with ear-piercing screams (a sure sign of devotion) whenever they graced the stage. The contestants appeared in various segments ( Kwéyòl
Wear, Interview and Drama amongst them), and they all performed heartily in an attempt to win the judges over. Each contestant had a strong command of the Kwéyòl language and that of course, certainly wowed the audience.
Though they all tried to capture the hearts of the judges, one girl stood out more than the others. Alivia was a cut above the rest.
“The competition was tough, but in the end I came out on top. My experience was a good one,” Alivia told us in an interview shortly after she’d won.
“I want to participate in more pageants. Also, I would really like to build the culture in my community. Our Queen of Culture is from Mon Repos and I’m from Mon Repos, so it just makes sense to build upon that legacy. I intend to do that by educating the little ones about the Creole dances, songs, etc. I also want to build groups,” she added.
SJC’s Kwéyòl pageant started many years ago.
According to the school’s principal, Sister Rufina Donat, “we were looking at something to develop culture and to bring that consciousness so we decided on the Jennés Kwéyòl show which has grown over the years.”
“When we just started, there were fewer children participating and coming to view but now we’re seeing a full house. During this month I think what helped was bringing about that awareness of our local culture. (We had) the Creole Spelling Bee, we played Creole songs before school and at lunch time, and I think all of this planning has made this day the success that it is,” Sister Rufina told YO! in an interview.
“I’m very happy with how it turned out. I think the children learned something new, whether it’s to spell a word or to name a Creole song or to learn a proverb or a phrase, and I’m happy with that. I’m just hoping that as we organize our Creole Heritage Club, that most students will see the need to be part of that club so that the culture doesn’t die and it will grow among the young people,” she added.
SJC’s “Jennés Kwéyòl” pageant was held under the theme “Mété Kò’w An Kilti-A”. And though there was only one winner, all of the girls were rewarded for their efforts. It was a lovely event and already many are looking forward to next year.–story by R. Marvlin
Best dressed: Jalanie Jules
Best interview: Kayannah Fanus
5th place: Mikalah O’Reily
4th place: Jalanie Jules
3rd place: Tamara Constantine
2nd place: Kayannah Fanus
Winner: Alivia Providence