Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Letter of the Day | Lighten up and lay off Kenisha Allen

Published:Tuesday | November 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Kenisha Allen's comment on mosquitoes was the highlight of debate night last Wednesday.


Michelle Bradshaw, writing in Monday's Gleaner, was very hard on Kenisha Allen, who was one of the Jamaica Labour Party representatives in the most recent local government debate. Claiming that she made "an ass of herself", and making snide references to 'class' and 'IQ', she really went to town on this young lady.

First, let me say that I disagree with the 'experts' who assessed the performances and had negative comments on just about everything. They were judging by the rules applicable to debating competitions designed to judge for specific speaking skills. I think the most important requirements are clarity of speech and arguments, quick thinking, tone and body language, and persuasive speech. Using these as a yardstick, where was she lacking or making "an ass of herself"?




Opponents could not find what buttons to push because she was calm, her facial expression was neutral, and she appeared confident. This was quite unlike others who appeared to be getting angry, thereby conveying weakness to their opponents.

A word to the coaches: The ancient greats - Aristotle, Cicero, and that lot - were all on the same page when they claimed that levity should hold a place of prominence in the rhetorical arson of every speaker desirous of charming an audience. A good speaker should also master exaggeration and absurdity. Ms Allen clearly has and did when the event seemed sorely short on humour.

What the assessors failed to recognise was that the primary objective of the parties was to score points with prospective voters and not with debating coaches.

Speaking for myself, I was quite impressed with this young lady. Babsy seems to be doing something good.


Stony Hill