Tag Archives: Kemal Osmel Nicholson

More (Unnecessary) Wadadli Pen Trivia

I was curious to see which of the winning Wadadli Pen stories were proving to be most popular among visitors to the site. Thankfully, Wadadli Pen spits up info like that routinely. So, here they are, the Wadadli Pen Top 10:

The Legend of Banana Boy by Chatrisse Beazer (2011)

Road Trip to Paradise by Angelica (Ayoka) O’Donoghue (2006)

Sands and Butterflies by Devra Thomas (2011)

The Scary Night by Zuri Holder (2011)

Ma Belle by Kemal Osmel Nicholson (2006)

The Lost Coin by Orique Gordon (2011)

The Curse of the Kumina by Shakeema Edwards (2011)

Stray Dog Prepares for the Storm by Gemma George (2004)

Skin Deep by Shakeema Edwards (2010)

The Village Obeah Woman by Verdanci Benta (2006)


So, that’s the top 10 based on views and clearly 2011 is a popular year. Some years, like 2005, don’t even come close to the top 10… no indication, I assure you, of the quality of the stories. So check ‘em out. And it’s early days yet for 2012, but the winning story Smitten is gaining ground fast, only two spots away from the top 10 of most viewed winning Wadadli Pen stories.

And there you have it, your days’ installment of unnecessary Wadadli Pen trivia. As you were.


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Ma Belle by Kemal Osmel Nicholson

Kemal Nicholson

Kemal Nicholson

[2006 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize honourable mention]

She was a character, the old woman, and the villagers feared her. She lived alone through a small dirt road at the backside of the village. Hardly anyone walked so far back into the village.

Her house itself was small but neat looking. Somehow when you saw it (her house) you would think of the old lady who lived in a shoe. It was surrounded by a small yard which was unfenced. Behind her house “cassi” trees flourished.

Now, no one in the village was really that close to Ma Belle. Baysiders thought her queer and commonly referred to her (though not to her face) as “Medusa.” Occasionally one would say a quick “howdy” to her when she paid her rare visits to the shop, and even then she was avoided. No one was of blood relation to Ma Belle, an uncommon occurrence in Bayside where family was kept for generations. But as far back as any one could remember Ma Belle had existed.

Bernie, the oldest man in Bayside (almost 90) claimed that, “When me a likkle bwoy, she (ma belle) min dun owl a ready.”

The brave in heart attributed Bernie’s theory to loss of memory.

Others took heed…

In the front of her yard, Ma Belle kept a white ram. She called him “Rambo”, he looked fierce, and if he saw any one coming into the yard he would charge. Some of the more boorish Bayside youth noted that there was strong resemblance between Ma Belle and Rambo. They hypothesized as to whether there was any blood relation between them. Any way…

The superstitious of the village have it that at nights, Ma Belle can be seen riding on “she ram goat” wearing all black, and searching for souls. Once again the brave hearts dispelled this, saying that Ma Belle was a poor old soul and should be left alone.

“She no trouble nonbady, ayu ha fu ‘low she”

And what does Ma Belle think of the villagers…

“Dem people in dis village ya weird, fifty years me a lib ya and not one smady a talk to me, a good ting me ha you see Rambo, no dem weird, ugly one dey,” she said chuckling; she gave the goat a little pat and fed him some grass. The Ram bared his teeth as if smiling.



Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse – coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, and author of The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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