Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Love all around at Miss World welcome home tribute

Published:Monday | December 23, 2019 | 12:38 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Miss World Toni-Ann Singh emotively expressed gratitude for support from fans, sponsors, and the minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport on stage at Emancipation Park moments after being presented with the Key to Kingston.
Miss World Toni-Ann Singh emotively expressed gratitude for support from fans, sponsors, and the minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport on stage at Emancipation Park moments after being presented with the Key to Kingston.

Culture is the best wine. And aptly, it was the means of celebration at the Welcome Home Miss World 2019 Cultural Tribute.

Organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the tributes to Miss World, Toni-Ann Singh, were indeed like wine. Singh received the Key to Kingston, by Mayor Delroy Williams, and the wine servers incorporated her names in their songs.

Miss World was more than appreciative. Flanked by Minister Olivia Grange, Julia Morley, and others, she began her show of love with a “Hello, Jamaica”, and apologised for her tear-coated voice.

“I’m so grateful for the love that you have shown me and for this moment I have been able to share with you.”

“And to every one of you who has something on your heart, some passion, some purpose, get out there, and do it. Let me just be a representative, just a reminder that there is nothing we can’t do,” she said

Saturday’s cultural tribute saw servings from Kimiela “Candy” Isaacs, ASHE Company, Lila Ike, Richie Stephens, Jermaine Edwards, and Kevin Downswell, as well as a soft launch of a Miss World YouTube video featuring the talented Singh performing her catchy version of I Have Nothing, If I Don’t Have You.

High-energy performance

Isaacs’ powerful rendition of This Girl’s on Fire was in sync with the brightly decorated trees of the Park. ASHE Company brought more than a bottle of wine. They had the crate. Their high-energy performance traced the journey of Jamaica’s music, accompanied by some dance steps and a whiff of drama to boot.

Lila Ike and Richie Stephens, fresh from respective tours, raised their glasses to include Singh’s mother, Jahrine Bailey, both finding some relatable parallels to Singh and Bailey.

Ike included She’s My Biggest Fan in her set, and Stephens rendered his original song You are the Greatest as well as went vintage with a medley of ska songs.

Gospel acts Downswell and Edwards were also in step. Downswell, who opted to sprinkle his toast into the audience, commenced with I See the Light. On the other hand, Edwards was soothing with Hallelujah to the King, taking his set up a notch with the cheerful Beautiful Day.

A bottle of rose wine came from seven-year-old Ngozi Wright. The talented singer gave a sparkling performance of a poem written by her father entitled Singh Sings. Wright was introduced by twin brother Tafari as Miss Jamaica. After her performance, she told MC Debbie Bissoon that her future plan is to be governor general. And later, the grade two student told The Gleaner that she liked the poem because it did not speak about violence.

Mayor Williams thought the performers were very good. He told The Gleaner that it was a unanimous decision by all to present the Key of Kingston to Miss World. “Her achievement was remarkable.”