Two Vincentian students are today exciting national pride as they continue to excel in their respective fields of interest. Kanille Brudy, a creative who’s currently pursuing studies at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, was recently elected – unopposed – as president of the Students’ Council there while Ralycia Andrews nabbed the second place prize in the 3rd annual Global Voices essay contest.

Andrews is a 20-year-old resident of Barrouallie “who, since the age of 11 has been an advocate for the Garifuna culture.”

She told Asbert News Network, “my first exposure to this vital part of our history occurred when I attended YuGaCuRe (Yurumein Garifuna Cultural Revival), a summer program created by Vincentian author and playwright Ms. Trish St. Hill.”

Overtime, as her appreciation for all things Garinagu blossomed, she was able to perform stage productions and poetry recitations in the Garifuna language. Even her peers at Thomas Saunders Secondary School were introduced to her passion as she attempted “to show the beauty of our history.”

With several other milestones under her belt she successfully applied for the Sir Arthur Lewis Award for Indigenous Peoples in 2019.

This scholarship, offered by the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, afforded the enterprising Andrews the opportunity to pursue a BSc in Biology, following her resignation as an Integrated Science Relief Teacher at the Central Leeward Secondary School.

“This year I decided to try my luck after seeing an advertisement for Michigan State University’s Global Youth Advancement Network (GYAN) Global Voices Essay contest for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Enthused and optimistic, I proceeded to contact members of my Garifuna family from various communities for research and then to put pen to paper.

“I submitted my essay entitled ‘Empowering Indeginous Communities – Walmiserun, Our Sad Experience’ and felt beyond honored that I had the opportunity to write on something that I care about immensely.

“When I received the email stating that I had won second place, the tears of joy flowed freely because I understood that I not only represented myself but my country as a whole and felt immense gratitude towards my mother, Rachel Ceasar and everyone who not only supported me on this journey but were beacons of inspiration….

“My hope is to inspire other young writers and cultural enthusiasts like myself to take risks and seek opportunities no matter how small.”

In addition to signaling their intention to publish Andrew’s award winning piece both online and in hard copy, the University’s GYAN praised her prowess with a pen.

“Your essay… was intriguing, well written and excellently described your passion and activism to spread awareness of the Garinagu culture.”

In Jamaica, Kanille Brudy, a 27 year-old male dancer who hails from Edinboro is confident that his victory at the polls, though he ran unopposed, was possible because of his reputation on campus as “a hard worker with a formidable work ethic.”

This election, he told us, “is a stepping stone for me. I believe this position would prepare me to handle situations in my future and give me a preview of the life I am yet to have.”

In his quest to “ensure that SVG, though small, matches any large country in the global creative economy” Brudy is engaged in a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management at the Edna Manley School of Arts Management and Humanities. He keeps up with his first love by pursuing a minor in dance performance and choreography at the School of Dance.

Three years into his 4 years study program, the founding Urban Expression Theatre member and former Arabesque Dancer pledge to harness his passion for “student engagement and development” to help make “our college experience a memorable one.”

His role as student Council president, he added, would be used to augment the lessons taught in class to better prepare his fellow students for the “working world.”

For his June 2020 – May 2021 term in office, his goal would be to produce a suit of workshops amongst other initiatives.

“So creating programmes that assist students from the various schools on campus in marketing strategies, being sociable, presentation techniques and networking skills is important because I believe, it is important to know [these things] as a creative in the 4th industrial revolution and being an artist in an ever changing world.”

Though his focus is on things yet to come, Brudy spared a moment of gratitude for the foundation that was built from his exposure to the performance arts while here.

“A lot of what I learnt with the Urban Expression Theatre was about hard work and dedication – which is actually our motto on the Scarlet Hall of residence. But I cannot speak about performance without mentioning both Urban and Arabesque because Arabesque also contributed to my development; from them I learnt consistence which helped me grow.”

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