KELLY-ANN BOYNE, second year Law student at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill in Barbados, walked away with the title of Miss Law in the recently held competition in the Barbados university community.
The lissome beauty, daughter of journalist Ian Boyne, said that she was dragged into the competition by friends and was stunned when she was awarded four out of five awards -- Talent, Speech, the Interview, and for the Costume.
Her winning speech -- for which, she said, she abandoned the written script from sheer nerves -- was a parody of the military campaign and religious convictions of President Bush. It was a winner.
Kelly-Ann has a way with words and perhaps should not have been surprised that the judges were impressed. This is in fact why she chose to do law.
I have a passion
She says, "I have a passion for the manipulation of words in such a manner that will be conducive to the conveying of whatever idea I would like to bring across. I love the arts and thus writing gives me much pleasure."
The graduate of Immaculate Conception High School said, although one must know the law, "it is heavily dependent on one's ability to convince the audience...To ensnare the audience with one's words is an exhilarating art."
Certainly, in the Law School competition, the law student may have been much assisted in her bid to ensnare by her beauty. But, she does not share this opinion, fearing that it has worked against her on too many occasions, including in the competition itself which was not a beauty contest.
Asked by Outlook in a recent interview, if she felt that her beauty was an advantage, or a disability she said, "It seems to tend toward the latter than the former." People have told her, repeatedly, that they think that she is "high minded and supercilious".
"I am anything but," she protests.
"Life has humbled me too much to be like that. People label you as a brown girl who is the epitome of what a women should look like in society and they hate you for it, without looking deeper. The flesh is only a functional construct."
Kelly told Outlook, "My friend did say to me after the pageant that she feared that my looks would have worked against me. I had the same fear. They may have judged me harder just because."
The Miss Law contest, for which her preparation was rushed between completing papers, was a nerve wracking ordeal. In her talent piece "Face the Music"... she says that 'Face' was a pun "because I had a half mask on as costume. The piece was two-dimensional.
"It was about the many faces that we all have to clothe ourselves in every day before we meet the world and it embodied an assertion on my part to my crowd to remove it and reveal the self that will make the 'you' the winner."
Next was the costume segment followed by Elegant Wear and the interview.
"I had no idea what they were going to ask," Kelly recalls, "but I was myself and just articulated the sentiments as I would have normally."
They asked her how law has helped her and sought her opinion on the death penalty.
"The interview segment went very, very well," she says, "I did not know what I was saying at all but I just spoke and fancied life a stage and just fell into character."
She is grateful, she says for the support of friends and her mother, Sharon Boyne.
"Thank you 'mumzy'," she says.
Kelly-Ann also makes a big point of thanking her "heavenly father" for her selection as winner. "It was he who was with me on stage when embarrassment clasped me in its suffocating arms."
It is indeed ironic
Winning, Kelly-Ann says, is not the accomplishment so much as the seeing of self. "It is indeed ironic that I should have done a piece on seeing self when I too had blinders about my eyes. I still have much to learn but the process, but a start is worth it."
Kelly-Ann's general modesty belies her achievements. She gained eight distinctions at Immaculate in her CXC examinations and three distinctions (A's) in her advanced level subjects. No wonder she was snapped up by the law faculty.
Now, it is back to the books and the pressures of studying for the law student.
- Avia Ustanny