Tag Archives: youth

Youth Enlightenment Academy Articulates its Plans in Antigua and Barbuda

I overheard Lawrence Jardine and members of the team he’s put together on the radio yesterday, sharing their ideas re an education-adjacent programme they’re planning to launch here in Antigua and Barbuda. I’d had some pre-knowledge of this programme and the intent to create a more fully rounded, creative thinking, thoughtful type of citizen. I’m using one of the platforms at my disposal to share it with you. I chose Wadadli Pen rather than my personal blog because Wadadli Pen, like this programme, is youth-specific.

“YEA is principally a finishing school for all genders to assist primarily the public sector school system to instill values of teamwork, self-esteem, pride, conduct, behavior, civility, humanity, performance and commitment for national development in our students. YEA will escort students from Grade 6 to Grade 11 (Form 5)…

“YEA’s mission is to synchronize the community of students to adopt, internalize and implement common core societal and humanistic values to produce common performances…

“…we must place more emphasis on teamwork. We must teach the youth etiquette and civilities, and engage them in activities to develop their cognitive skills. We need to instill in their consciousness an indelible sense of pride, responsibility and commitment to contribute to the nation’s development.”

READ THE FULL DOCUMENT OUTLINING YEA’S PLANS: Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy_Draft_1

UPDATED TO ADD their website link.

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DYA Seeking 2014 National Youth Award Nominees

This means that you, yes, you, reading this, if you live in Antigua and Barbuda, are challenged to look around for deserving young people, submit their names and be a part of getting them the recognition and encouragement they’ve earned through their effort, attitude, and achievement. So, get to it.

Here’s what they’re looking for:

Nominees …

*  Between 10-35 yrs.

*  Nationals of Antigua & Barbuda

*  Resident in Antigua

*  in good social standing

…who have excelled in the following disciplines –

Media – up for grabs two individual awards to young media practitioners (one nominated by the DYA, one by the public) and one for a media house who has made a significant contribution to the development of our young people as well as the positive portrayal of youth in media.

Cultural & Performing Art – up for grabs two individual awards (both nominated by the Department of Culture and the general public).

Literary Arts – both the literary community and the general public are encouraged to submit names for this award.

Visual Arts – Departments of Education and Culture as well as the general public are invited to present nominees.

Entrepreneurship – the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Association, and the general public are asked to submit nominations.

Community Service – two awards are up for grabs – individual and youth group.

Young professional – to a young professional who through excellent and professional practice upholds the standards of his or her profession; nominations invited from the business sector and various professional associations.

Young Artisan – this includes painters, blacksmiths, masons, seamstresses, craftsmen and women of all stripes. Nominations invited from the public.

Young Pioneer Award – to a young person/group who is breaking new grounds in areas such a film; information technology, manufacturing etc.

Phoenix Award       – to a youth who have overcome the odds and like the Phoenix has risen victoriously out of the ashes!

Young Activist – awarded to a young person who has mobilized community support and action around some issue they felt strongly about.

There will also be awards, nominated by the applicable bodies, in the areas of Education, Agriculture, Tourism, Sports, and for Barbuda’s Best.

Rounding out the awards are –

Corporate Awards – given to corporate citizens for youth development initiatives; nominations are invited from sports and youth groups.

Lifetime Achievement Awards – honouring adults who have contributed to youth development – 5 such awards to be handed out – nominations are invited.

All nominations should reach the Department of Youth Affairs, at the Prime Minister’s Office Drive (off Factory Road) by August 29th 2014. For more information, call  462-6781 or email wadadliyouthdept@gmail.com

National Youth Awards Nomination Form 2014

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DYA Workshop: Hopes and Highlights

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I’m posting here about the Media Workshop I was commissioned by the Department of Youth Affairs to conduct instead of posting it at my Jhohadli blog because as a youth specific event, it seemed a good fit for the Wadadli Pen blog.

It was an all-absorbing two weeks (July 14th to 25th) – by which I mean I got very little else done during that time, writing included. In fact, the only writing I remember doing was the writing that came out of my field trip with the kids from the writing workshop I was facilitating. In the end, though I’d like to think that we got a lot done during those long days.

The focus of the workshop was feature writing; and the goal given to each participant, to produce an article by the end of the second week, was achieved by almost all – and what was produced was quite thought provoking. The best of them consistent with our mantra for the two weeks: “this is not talk as yuh like but back up yuh chat.”

Each day we began by reading and discussing a feature article, pulling it apart: DYA readinghow it approached its subject, how it used language, the attitude of the writer to the subject, how the story made them feel, how the writer achieved that, what sources were used, were they effective, how was language used, was that effective, and so on. We also discussed themes and the articles covered a wide range of them – touching on girls/women/human rights and patriarchy; on female representation in parliament; on the brutality meted out to the indigenous people of the new world – this actually wasn’t a very well written one (but that too was a learning opportunity); articles on environmental activism; the marine environment; subtle forms of censorship including self-censorship; diversity (or the lack thereof) in popular culture products – books, TV, film; bullying and cyber bullying in particular – this one caught on as a number of them ended up writing on this very topic. Sidebar: won’t break any confidences but we really need to pay attention to what our kids are going through; it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world out there and confident as their posturing is, they’re really just trying to feel their way through it. Writing their experiences is one very profound way of bringing clarity and/or catharsis, and I applaud the DYA for the initiative and hope they find the funding to make it continuous.

???????????????????????????????The weeks were punctuated by a couple of field trips, one a city walkabout, one exploration of the former sugar plantation cum open air historical museum that is Betty’s Hope??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????– in the former case, the challenge was to observe and practice descriptive writing and in the latter case they were expected to journal the experience – and from that we did a pretty successful group writing exercise when we returned to base.


One said of the field trips, in the written reviews at the end of our two weeks :??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“I learned how to describe things through this experience.”


???????????????????????????????This same person added that they also enjoyed the “Morning discussions – I was able to open-up and state my views and [be] heard.”

Another approach to edutainment was video screenings of films, music videos, and mini-docs – followed by discussion and critiques. These provided opportunities for comparative analysis of different tones and styles, even or especially when there are common themes. One of the 20 or so participants said on review at the end of the two weeks that his/her favourite activity was surprise, surprise “…the movies and the discussions because I learn better that way and it is fun and entertaining.”

I don’t know what I expected of the last day but it was wonderful. Most completed their articles as mentioned; others had articles in various stages of progress. Three were selected to present. That went very well – the three presented on women’s rights, women’s representation in parliament, and corporal punishment. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I think in preparing the articles, they learned it’s easy to have an opinion, it’s much more challenging to articulate that opinion in a coherent and artful way, to back up yuh chat by putting in the research time and doing the appropriate sourcing (and crediting said sources), and just sitting down and doing the work – no shortcuts.

There were tears and procrastination, complaining and contradictory behavior – never let it be said that only old people are set in their ways; we challenged each other – prove it, I would say in the face of every conspiracy theory or wild statement and I’ve never heard “Miss” said with so many variations of whine before. So perhaps we were both a little surprised at the end to find that we had enjoyed our time together. “What did you learn from us?” one asked me at the end. “Patience,” I quipped. And that’s no joke (between lack of focus, resistance, and more I had to put it to use) but I learned more too. By finding ways to engage the reluctant learners especially, during the summer months, for six to seven hours per day, when they’d rather be outside (in theory, since even our outdoor games attracted some whining), I continue to learn (the hard way) how to teach what I love to those who may not love it as much and to those who love it maybe but need to realize that it’s more than just bursts of creativity but actual work. In this regard, as in so much else, I continue to be a work in progress.


I was in line at the ATM when I got around to reading their evaluations of the two weeks. I’d done everything I could to assure them that their feedback would be anonymous and it was. So I’ll take it at face value that they had as good of a time as they said they did. I’m not surprised that highlights for them included the films and field trips, the friendships and the music, so much music (blame me for that, I love music and it is a form of storytelling that kids can relate to). But some of their comments did reassure me that for them it was also a productive two weeks filled with learning and, surprisingly, fun.

They wrote about gaining confidence, learning the basics of journalism and how to express themselves via the written word, how to edit what they’d written, and indeed how to back up yuh chat – “balancing my thoughts with facts”. One that jumped out at me was, “after being reluctant to come, I actually learned a lot. My writing skills have improved.” And, this person went on to say, he or she, I’m not sure which, had also learned a lot about him or herself. Sidebar: I also hope they learn to question more before swallowing everything wholesale…whether it’s the finer points of history or today’s conspiracy theories.

So, let’s see, let’s see, what else did I learn…that teens are contradictory, so conservative about some issues, so off hand about other things, and seeing no irony in it at all… treating journaling like a chore (why? Why? Why? Do you journal every day????) and then naming it as one of their favourite activities…go figure…what else, what else…oh that I am “a funny teacher” … which is a neat trick considering everything else that was going on in my life at the time.

Educational…fun were the two words repeated most often in their reviews, and you know what, that’s an okay mix.

Viewing the offshore islands from Seatons.

Viewing the offshore islands from Seatons.

Potworks, empty during this sustained period of drought, a visual extension of our discussion on the environment.

Potworks, empty during this sustained period of drought, a visual extension of our discussion on the environment.

“P.S. Ms. Hillhouse, I love your approach to criticism. You never just state what needs improvement but what was great already, thereby making you approachable.”

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????(Photos courtesy the Department of Youth Affairs)

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight,  Fish Outta Water, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Poetry writing competition:

You can enter once in each of the categories or you may decide to write a poem for only one category. It is up to you. We would like each of our young people to submit at least one piece. The winning poem will be used on cards printed for distribution in the parish on Mother’s Day and on Father’s Day.

Write a short poem using not more than 10 lines and not less than 4 lines to expresses your feelings for

(a) Fathers

(b) Fathers who have no biological children, but who have cared for many.

(c) Mothers

(d) Mothers who have no biological children, but who have cared for many.


Art Competition: Send us a design that can be used to create

(a) A Father’s Day Card

(b) A Mother’s Day Card.

Note: There should be no words on this. It should be pure artwork. It can be drawn by hand – on white Bristol board/cardstock – or created electronically, but must be original work completed by the young person, 18 years or younger. The Winning artwork will be used on cards printed for distribution in the parish on Mother’s Day and on Father’s Day.

All work should be submitted to the Sunday School Supervisor or organization leader or can be brought to The Deanery, St. Johns Street.

Deadline for submission Mothers’ Day: _On or before 27th April, 2014 _

Deadline for submission Fathers’ Day: _On or before 25th May, 2014 _

Other prizes will be presented to our outstanding young writers and artist.

Prizes will be awarded in the following category: Poems and artwork: 6-10Years; 11-15years; 16-18years

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Playwrights and Screenwriters (the Antigua-Barbuda connection)

I wanted to create a separate page for playwrights and screenwriters. You won’t find these in the listing of Antiguan and Barbudan writers or any of the genre listings, unless they’ve written books. This list refers specifically to contributions as writers for screen and stage. It is a work in progress, so please inform me of any ommissions/oversights. T’anks.


 (Playwright?)           – Rising from the Ashes. Performed by Popular Theatre Movement. (formed 1988)

Antigua Community Players – This group was inaugurated in 1952. Musical dramas written and performed by the players include Priscilla’s Wedding and Celebration in the Marketplace. The group eventually morphed into a choral group well known for its folk music presentations and musical productions.


Eleston Nambalumbu Nambalala Adams (play titles?). Performed by Rio Revealers (started 1979).


Barbara Arrindell – Dreams…Faces…Reality. Performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group. (2001 debut)

Barbara Arrindell speaks with the audience after a performance of the AIDS themed ‘Dreams…Faces…Reality’ performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group


Edson Buntin – (Play titles?). Scaramouche Theatre. Also plays at the Antigua State College such as Conjugal Bliss.


David Edgecombe – As far as I know, Edgecombe, a theatre and public speaking lecturer at the University of the Virgin Islands, is not Antiguan and Barbudan but his play Lady of Parham, now a Caribbean Reads publication, is set in Antigua and based on the mystery surrounding the ghost of Parham. Per the Caribbean Reads description, it “introduces the audience to five revellers who have come together to form a Carnival troupe but settle for dramatizing the tale of the Parham ghost. In the telling of the ghost legend, Justin, Tulip, Sauna, Kyle, and Mabel must confront the demons that threaten to derail their lives.” Lady of Parham premiered in St. Thomas and has since played in other Caribbean countries like Dominica and Montserrat, where Edgecombe was a founder of the Montserrat Theatre Group. His other works include For Better For Worse, Making It, Coming Home to Roost, and Heaven.


Oliver Flax – A Better Way (1976) and The Legend of Prince Klaas (1972). Performed by Bobby Margetson’s Little Theatre.


Owen Jackson – As writer/director with the National Youth Theatre, Jackson produced several plays including After 9/11 and My Birthright the throughout the 2000s and ongoing.

Owen Jackson taking high school students through a drama warm up exercise.

Youth drama club – tableau in downtown store window …and attracting a small crowd doing it


George ‘Rick’ James – Various plays including the one man play Oulaudah Equiano and the all-star-cast Our Country in 2007 tracking the life of Antigua from pre-Columbian times to present.

Our Country: an arawak chief Our Country: Slave ship scene

slaves at market

Performed by Theatre Ensemble (which included many prominent persons in Antiguan and Barbudan society). Also an actor in the British theatre

James performing in Sit Quietly on the Baulk

for many years and an award winning costume designer in local mas.


Colin Jno Finn – playwright and director with the Nazarene Drama Team – On the Block (2008) of a young man’s struggles with the church; Nine to Five (2009) about challenges in the work place; It’s Too Late (2010) of a strained relationship between a father and son; and Power Struggle (2011) of one person’s attempts to boost another from office.


Edgar O. LakeSome Quiet Mornin’; Matters of Antiguan Conspiracy: 1736; The Stone Circle; The Killing of Arthur Sixteen; more… (dates unknown)


Iyaba Ibo Mandingo – ‘He is a Poet, Painter, Writer, Sculptor, Actor, Teacher, Mentor, Author and “continued work in progress”, as he puts it…His “Self-Portrait”, a one-man play performed in his studio, speaks of his life through poetry and prose, concurrent to him painting his self-portrait during the show.’ – from this interview with the artiste which also references his chap books (41 Times and Amerikkkan Exile), his company (Iyabarts), his art series (War, Spirit Drawings), in addition to his plays (Self-Portrait which has grown into unFRAMED, his first full length play), and forthcoming work (novel Sins of My Fathers, chap book 30 Days of Ink, ad the off broadway run of unFRAMED). As his biography shows, he is a native Antiguan who migrated to the U.S. as a boy.  These roots as well as his experiences in America infuse unFRAMED as seen in this excerpt.


Motion – Canadian of Antiguan descent, Motion’s stage productions include  Aneemah’s Spot/The Base, 4our Woman, and Dancing to a White Boy Song –  featured at several renowned venues such as the International Black Playwrights Festival, Cross Currents Festival,  the Rock.Paper.Sistaz Festival, and the Summerworks Theatre Festival.


Dorbrene O’Marde –  – synonymous with quality theatre in Antigua and Barbuda in theatre’s heyday (i.e. the 1970s to early 1980s), his Harambee Open Air Theatre is “considered the most important group of recent times” (from The Cambridge Guide to Theatre by Martin Banham). On stage, O’Marde – also a calypso writer, publisher of Calypso Talk magazine, social and political commentarian and activist, and more – wrote and directed Badplay, Homecoming, For Real: A Caribbean Play in Three Acts (1976), Fly on the Wall (1977), The Minister’s Daughter, We Nativity, Tangled Web, and This World Spin One Way; and directed several others (in addition to his other cultural and artistic work)BIOGRAPHY deo 2010 .



Eustace Simon – several plays including Crossroads, The Awakening, Betty’s Hope, and Illusive Dreams. 1990s. Modern Theatre.


Lester Simon – Obeah Slave. Performed by the Grammarians. 1969.


Leon Chaku SymisterVoices of Protest, 1976; and Time Bomb, 1977; Tilting Scales, 1980. Third World Theatre.


Stage One – This youth drama collective led by Kanika Simpson-Davis favours adaptations (which involves some re-scripting) of popular tales like Cinderella , Snow White, and Anansi and Snake. 2004 – present.

Stage One: Anansi and Snake

Stage One: Cinderella Reloaded 2007 Stage One: scene from Cinderella

Stage One: scene from Cinderella


Various writers – Women of Antigua – playwrights/actresses/directors Linisa George and Zahra Airall shepherd this femalecentric brand of theatrical activism. The original production When A Woman Moans  (see Review here http://www.365antigua.com/cms/content/arts-live-performance-review-when-woman-moans-29-may-2010) was mostly scripted by them with inputs from Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Floree Williams, Greschen Edwards (another WOA founding partner), Melissa Elliott, Marcella Andre, and Carel Hodge. It has become an annual production with new writers and new themes each time. The group debuted with Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues in 2008 and this locally conceived, similarly themed production, which debuted in 2010, is the successor to that. Airall is also founder and director of Zee’s Youth Theatre which produced, among other things, the well-received School Bag.

 Amber Williams-King Love and its Dialects (2011) – ran in the Paprika Festival at Tarragon Theatre.


Zahra Airall – When No One Is Looking (2012, short film, an ABS TV Production in collaboration with the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS) – also co-director. My review/report, here.


Howard Allen (also producer/director) – (w/Jermilla Kirwan) Diablesse (2005, HAMAfilms); and The Skin (2011, HAMAfilms) – reviewed here.


Alexis AndrewsVanishing Sail. Not sure if this documentary about the Carriacou sloops and the culture surrounding them is completed and released as yet but here’s the trailer.


Oteh Thomas Anyandjuh (African born, resident in Antigua) – Love that Bites (2010,  OTA Entertainment and Third Eye Studios) – also director.

Shashi Balooja (also an actor, director, casting director, and producer on stage and screen) – w/Cecile George and Michael Sandoval, film short Ariana  (2004, ABC Film & Video/Andrisk Inc/Media at Large, USA); w/Roger Sewhcomar, documentary The Altruist (2009, Media at Large/ABC Film & Video, USA); w/Caytha Jentis Exposed (2012, Media at Large, USA) – winner feature film award and genre award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival; w/Stephen Kelleher, film short Promises of Home (2012, Media at Large/Reverse Momentum Films, USA). UPDATE! Balooja plans to extend Ariana into a feature film.


Francoise Bowen conceived and wrote Back to Africa which she describes as a “short documentary (depicting) a little piece of my island’s history. Antiguan slaves always thought Africa was nearby. Thanks to my director, photographer and editor Mr. Anderson Edghill for his time but most importantly his patience and thanks to Antiguan Historian Paddy Simon for sharing with me so much info about Antigua’s History. You are a book that need to be publish and used in all schools on the island from Pre-school up to Universities in the Caribbean, pure solid history is a must to be known to all.”


Cinque Productions (Chris Hodge and Melissa Gomez, also producer, director) Deaf Not Dumb (2000, short fiction film), 2 Dolla Picture

Melissa assessing a shot as her camera man looks on.

(2001, animated short), Share and Share Alike (2008, documentary – 2010 winner of Best Documentary Production at the Berlin Black International Cinema Festival), Changing Course (2009, film short), and Silent Music (2012, documentary) silent-music-poster[1] co-writer/producer/editor Jay Prychidny.


Alvin Glen EdwardsOnce in an Island

on the set of ‘Once in an Island’  Jermilla Kirwan in a scene from Once in an Island

(2009, Wadadli Pictures) – also producer. The film has since been adapted into a book (released 2012).


Noel Howell – He was the co-writer (with Courtney Boyd), director and producer of Redemption of Paradise (2009, Color Bars Production) – best actress and best Caribbean film at the 2010 Jamaica Reggae Film Festival; as well as a video producer and independent publisher on projects like Once in an Island (co-producer/co-director).


Roland ‘Mayfield’ Hosier – He didn’t work from a written script but he’s the pioneer behind Antigua and Barbuda’s earliest forays into (largely improvised) film production producing The Fugitive, 1972, and Midtown Robbers, 1978.


D. Gisele IsaacThe Sweetest Mango (2001, HAMAfilms); and No Seed (2002, HAMAfilms).
Isaac also writes regularly for the stage in the form of the skit included in the annual Programme put on by the Professional Organization of Women in Antigua and Barbuda; usually a political satire.

POWA’s Programme


Tameka Jarvis-George – Dinner

On the set of Dinner, Tameka with her co-star and husband.

(2010, Cinque Productions w/Chris Hodge directing and Jarvis-George also acting and serving as co-executive producer) – film short versed on her poem of the same name from the collection Thoughts from the Pharcyde. UPDATE Here’s her report on the screening of the film at the Jamaica Film Festival and of her involvement (as a writing contributor) to Shabier Kirchner’s film short, Ugly. ANOTHER UPDATE! The film! courtesy BGR Mag TV:


Jamaica Kincaid Life and Debt (a film by Stephanie Mack; written by Jamaica Kincaid). 2001. New Yorker Films. USA.


Jermilla Kirwan – (w/Howard Allen) Diablesse (2005, Hamafilms) – also actress in this and The Sweetest Mango.


Dr. James KnightThe Making of the Monarch – independently produced documentary on the Monarch King Short Shirt. 2013.


Nigel Trellis (born Guyana, resident in Antigua) Hooked (2009, Tropical Films) Working Girl (2011, Tropical Films)


Keron ‘K-Wiz’ Wilson – The Date – Short film (2013, Black Roots Records)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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The only politics post you’ll ever see on this site

Generally, I wouldn’t post anything here even remotely related to politics. But I’ll make an exception for this bold action by a group of young non partisan Antiguans and Barbudans:

Concerned with the absence of adequate youth representation in our nation’s politics; a group of seven young, non-partisan Antiguans have decided to form an Organizing Committee to host the country’s first ever ‘National Youth Forum.’

This forum will take the form of a town hall meeting where candidates will answer questions asked by youth on the issues most important to them.

The January 9, event will be moderated by Marcella Andre-Georges and will take place at the Precision Centre in Paynters. The executives of both the Antigua Labour Party and the United Progressive Party have given their commitment to send three candidates to represent the party’s position on the issues.

Invitations have been sent to registered youth groups around the island, including both youth arms of the ALP and the UPP, to be present and participate in the forum.

Due to capacity limitations and to ensure that the core demographic – youth – are well represented, the event is by invitation only. The event will be streamed live online and played live on several radio stations. More details on this will follow.

For more information contact the Organizing Committee via social media on twitter.com/nyfanu2014, search for our facebook.com event, or e-mail us at nyfanu2014@gmail.com.

The committee is chaired by Amaya Athill. The other members are Regis Burton, Kyle Christian, Yendi Jackson, Carlon Knight, Aziza Lake, and Jon Whyte.

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Literary Artistes and Other Young Achievers Shine at the 2013 National Youth Awards

The Youth Awards is one of those programmes I wholeheartedly support for several reasons:

  • It rewards positive youth accomplishment
  • By so doing, it has the potential to encourage positive youth accomplishment
  • It debunks notions of youth being wholly lost as the stories that make the front page would have us believe
  • Because it reminds us that there are young people striving, achieving, doing all around us – and that’s something to be celebrated
  • And that spirit of celebration makes for a feel good evening

That without fail has me wishing that there was a way to share these young people’s stories with the wider community in a way that transmits those positive vibes to Antigua and Barbuda as a whole. I remember leaving last year’s Youth Awards and firing off proposals to businesses and agencies I thought would be keen to get behind sponsoring video profiles of these young achievers. Yeah, the night fills you with that kind of optimism; and then reality bites. Still, it’s nice to feel those good vibes, to celebrate these young people if only for one night.

I didn’t make it this year but I’ve seen the pictures and it looks like it was as usual a thrilling evening; kudos to Youth Director Cleon Athill and her team for pulling this off year after year with what I know must be limited resources but a whole lot of let’s-do-this.

2013 Awardees include two of the Wadadli Pen family (I count them as such), literary prize winners Linisa George and Glen Toussaint.

This is Glen with our 2012 Wadadli Pen winner Rosalie at the  Best of Books, a project partner and his employer. Rosalie is holding the challenge plaque sponsored by the Best of Books and other gifts.

This is Glen with our 2012 Wadadli Pen winner Rosalie at the Best of Books, a project partner and his employer. Rosalie is holding the challenge plaque sponsored by the Best of Books and other gifts.

Linisa George is a past Youth Award winner (3x winner if I’m not mistaken, once with August Rush for their work in the literary arts, once as a part of Women of Antigua for their activism, once as Linisa for her work in the literary arts).

Flashback: Linisa George accepting her 2012 National Youth Award for contribution to the Literary Arts.  (This is a Eustace Samuel Photo from the Observer newspaper facebook page)

Flashback: Linisa George accepting her 2012 National Youth Award for contribution to the Literary Arts. (This is a Eustace Samuel Photo from the Observer newspaper facebook page)

Her 2013 win, I believe is all hers, in a year where she published two poems in So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing (edited by Althea Prince); published a poem that had been selected as the entry from Antigua and Barbuda for the Poetry Parnassus at the 2012 Olympics in The World Record: International Voices from Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus; and also launched the online magazine Black Girl in the Ring http://www.blackgirlinthering.com Linisa is founder of the Young Poets Society of Antigua and Barbuda, co-producer of the Expressions Open Mic held every second and fourth Tuesday at Heavenly Java, and co-producer/co-writer/c0-director/co-performer in When a Woman Moans and the local production of the Vagina Monlogues – the former two August Rush projects, the latter two Women of Antigua projects. As of 2012, she’s also a Wadadli Pen partner as part of our team of judges.

Glen Toussaint also has two poems published in Layout 1So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing (edited by Althea Prince). He works at the Best of Books where his love of stories, story making, and story telling shines through – for instance in the in-store story time and the readings he does on Observer Radio’s Our House with Auntie Debbie and on school visits. Glen is a popular  Open Mic regular, both at Expressions and at the Wadadli Pen Open Mic – which he runs at the store, the second Saturday of every month.  That he encourages young people to read and get excited about reading will go a long way toward nurturing another generation of readers and writers.

There is often an activist element in George’s writing, particularly as relates to gender, race, and social justice; Glen, meanwhile, favours speculative fiction and poetry that’s alternatively provocative and earthy. And for all their accolades, the most inspiring thing about them may well be that they’ve really only just begun.

Congratulations to them both. In fact, congratulations to all the winners, listed in full below, and to the Youth Department for another successful instalment of a very valuable and inspiring programme:

Achievers in Education
Khira Christopher-Education
Michael Zouetr -Education
Thea Davis-Education
Amaya Athill-Outstanding Scholarship

Media Achievers
Kyle Christian* -Media practitioner
Martina Johnson-Young Journalist
Radio Observer -Youth Friendly Media House

Achievers in Agriculture
Jamaul Phillip-Young Farmer
PMS Agrcultural Science Programme-Honourble Mention

Achievers in Sports
Tamiko Butler (cyclist)- Young Sports woman
Jyme Bridges (cyclist)- Young sports man

Achievers in Business
LCP Industries- Young Entreprenwur ( D. Chastanet, W. Laville& Phillip)
Kevin Williams-Young Professional
Jeremy Abraham-Tourism-Management
Stephen Georges- Tourism – Service

Artistic Achievers
Quincy Etinoff (music)-Cultural and Performing Arts
Rameez Mascall-Young Artisan
Linisa George (literary arts)
Glen Toussaint (literary arts)

Barbuda’s Best
Dr. Jeremy Deazle

Jon Whyte*–Young pioneer

Sasha Gay Middleton Community Service- Individual
Red Cross Youth Group-Community Service -Group

Corporate Awards
Mill Reef Club

Youth Development Partner
Medical benefits Scheme
Curtain Bluff Hotel

Lifetime Service Award
Ingid O’Marde- Youth and Ecumenism
Gordon George- Literacy
Felicity Aymer- Reproductive and Sexual Health of teens and Youth
Pat Whyte-Sports
Sheila Roseau- Gender advocacy-empowerment of girls/young women

Special Awards–support of work of the Department of Youth Affairs
Jeannette charles

The featured speaker for the evening was Carlon Knight*.

*FYI, talk about young people doing things, a National Youth Forum has been announced for January 9th 2014; its purpose to bring representatives of the country’s major political parties together to address the issues of concern and interest to young people. It is invite only and will be hosted by Marcella Andre-Georges and streamed online and carried live on several local stations. For more information contact the Organizing Committee (which includes NYA 2013 winners Kyle Christian, Jon Whyte, and speaker Carlon Knight) via social media on twitter.com/nyfanu2014, search for our facebook.com event, or e-mail us at nyfanu2014@gmail.com.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!… and former NYA literary arts honourable mention and special award recipient for support of the work of the DYA). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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