ALEAH Holder and Nicole Thomas captured the two major titles last Saturday at the 2019 Windward Afro Queen and Calypso Monarch competition, held at the Cyd Gray Complex, Roxborough.
Holder, 18, of Roxborough Police Youth Club was crowned Afro Queen and also won two other categories – Best Casual Wear and Best Afro Carnival Gown. Thomas, singing Cleansing Flame, continued her dominance of the annual competition with her 8th calypso title.
Despite the late start after 9pm, the show ran smoothly throughout the night with Holder, Keiza Williams of Roxborough, Karielle Ramsden of Hope, Shonelle George of Mas Masters, Chinelle Cape of John Dial and Maya Jordan of Zante Dance Company vying for the Afro Queen crown.
The six contestants modelled their originally made gowns and showcased their oratory skills with a short monologue each.
Even though the crowd’s favourite was Karielle Ramsden of Hope, Holder got the judges' nod for the title. She told Newsday Tobago, “I was overwhelmed, I knew I was going to win from the beginning because I had confidence in myself. I just feel proud. I hope my win can empower young people to take part in the competition and have confidence in themselves.”
She said she didn’t expect to win best casual wear but was confident of the other categories.
She praised Suzette Waldron for her dress design. During her monologue, Holder dressed as a pierrot grenade and wowed the crowd with an interesting performance. She collected $10,000 for her victory.
For the monologue segment, Cape, winner of Miss Amity, entered the stage with a baby doll depicting wrong relationships. Ramsden did her presentation dressed as a mokojumbie. George impressed the audience with an exciting skit.
The women were all dressed in large African head-ties with gowns in various styles and silver and gold embellishments. Hope stunned the crowd with a massive head-wrap and an African gown made out of crocus bag. George came out in a gown with a pattern design on the inside. Cape and Jordan wore outstanding red gowns.
The calypso segment was filled with laughter as Kenneth Thomas managed to rock the audience with his rendition of What Yuh Did Mean that had the audience in stitches. Marvin Lewis became another highlight of the night when he took his performance to the crowd with Tribute to Shadow.
However, of the ten participants, Thomas was the judge’s favourite with Cleansing Flame, a song which tells of the legacy adults should be leaving for their children.
Thomas, a perennial champion, placed 6th in the 2019 Trinbago Unified Calypsonian Organisation Calypso Monarch competition, last week at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex.
After receiving her prize cheque of $40,000, she said, “I feel very elated. It is very hard to retain this title. This is about the eighth time I have won the Windward Monarch. It’s a sense of accomplishment to look back after the season to see that I have copped a title after the hard work and dedication. I’m mostly grateful and thankful.”