Celebrating their 25th Silver Jubilee, Miss Heritage Personality will be nothing less of spectacular says Sharon Phillips, the show’s coordinator. The second largest exhibition in the Festival, Ms Heritage Personality will be done as a production this year in order for it to be marketed internationally. Traditionally, the Tobago Heritage Festival, which officially opened last week, was a month-long event but this year it will run for six weeks under the theme: Yours, Mine and Ours: To Preserve and Protect.
Even though the event will be filled with jubilee and excitement, the whole objective is to inform the people. “The festival is so important because of what it is. It is a formal avenue for everyday life in Tobago,” said Phillips. “Everything that is showcased is actually part of the culture and the day to day lives of Tobagonians, but at one point of the year we focus all our energies on broadcasting it to the world. Educating the young and uninformed and keeping those who are already exposed to it informed. Adding to these sentiments is the reigning queen of Miss Heritage Personality, Kadisha Kent, the youngest Ms Heritage Personality ever. Kent was enrolled into the University of the West Indies (UWI) in the faculties of Humanities and Education and is now pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Theatre Arts as a result of partaking in the festival. Her goals of becoming a history teacher one day is well on its way and even though she will pass over the crown this month she believes that she will continue to be an ambassador of culture for her country. The Miss Heritage Personality 2012 Contestants are as follows:
• Mandisa Jack (Mason Hall Village Council Folk Performers) – When I win, my mission is to have Mason Hall youths more involved in the culture and festival alike.
• Kalifa Hislop (Carnbee/Mt Pleasant) - Participation in this competition is very important, as it builds self-esteems, camaraderie and builds you as an individual.
• Trudy-Ann Baptiste (Speyside) - Being a part of this show made me a more responsible individual and I learnt a lot more about my culture.
• Christelle London (Heart Beat Folk Performing Company) – Working with the coordinators of the show I felt at home. They took care of us throughout, being good foster parents.
• Shenise Jack (L’Anse Fourmi) – Winning for me will mean I will be able to educate the youths of my community and T&T and by extension our country and culture.
• Cavel Cordon (De Kulture Klub Ensemble) – Being apart of this festival helped me intellectually. Things I wasn’t aware of before, I am now aware, e.g. different dishes.
• Kemba Winchester (Bago House of Kulture Stars) - I feel slightly burdened knowing that the reigning queen is from Kulture Stars but I know I have the potential to do what she did.
• Shenell Felix (Les Coteaux Close Connection Cultural Club) – Even if I do not win I will take away friendships that’ll last a lifetime, the etiquette and cooking training, as well as a lot of positive memories will be things I hold dearly.
• Keifa Des Vignes (Moriah) - Camaraderie and friendships are so important because we coping, bonding and adapting skills that will last a lifetime. Therefore being here and making new friends was one of my positive experiences.