New Clarendon Festival Queen tops field of 8
Hopes to continue making a difference in the life of children
Twenty-one-year-old university student and radio host Shanecia Daley walked away with the title of Miss Clarendon Festival Queen on Saturday.
Daley, who wore the sash Miss Cousins Construction Services Limited, emerged the winner among a pool of eight ladies at the coronation show held at Hotel Versalles in May Pen.
This year’s staging of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) events are being held under the theme ‘The Jamaican Woman: Strong, Dignified, Creative’.
Daley, who appeared to have been the crowd favourite from the start, cited her win as a way in which she could motivate and encourage other young women.
Referencing her knack for the performing arts, Daley said, “I am in love with the arts, and JCDC has been the foundation of my growth and development in performing, so I wanted to find a way to get even better, and I thought this was the perfect avenue,” said Daley, who also lauded ZAZ Dance Studio, one of the supporting entities in May Pen for helping her to perfect her craft as a dancer.
The newly crowned queen, who, in 2019, spearheaded the construction of ramps for disabled students at Vere Technical High, her alma mater, copped four of six sectional prizes for Most Involved in the Community, Most Culturally Aware, Most Poised, and Best Performance.
Daley, former head girl of Vere Technical and the reigning Miss Elsa Leo-Rhynie Hall queen at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus, shared that she holds a passion for community service, having represented her high school in several international ventures and currently serving in varying roles at the UWI.
Her mother, Sophia Daley, said she had long harboured dreams of Shanecia participating in the competition. She explained that it was sheer enthusiasm when she decided that she would enter this year’s staging.
“Shanecia has always made me proud, so I’m not surprised,” Sophia Daley told The Gleaner after smothering Daley with kisses.
The newly crowned queen hopes to continue making a difference in the lives of children living in state homes through her For Their Eyes initiative.
First runner-up, Miss Worldnet Microfinance Ltd, Britnie Edwards, received an early birthday gift, having earned her crown mere hours before her 23rd birthday. Edwards, a student at the Norman Manley Law School, said that being a part of the competition was rewarding.
“It teaches you how to be empowered as a Jamaican woman and to be culturally aware, and the people you meet on the journey, it’s something I would never exchange. I’m really grateful and delighted to be in this position and to be supporting the queen, Shanecia Daley, who is very deserving,” said Edwards, who also implored other young women to tap into the JCDC Festival Queen experience.
Quizzed on her thoughts about this year’s theme, Edwards said it spoke to her personally and captured the resilience of the Jamaican woman.
Third runner-up, 25-year-old medical administrative assistant Shamoya Smith walked away with the Most Congenial Prize. Smith, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and management studies and wore the sash Miss Juici Patties, said the competition was always atop her goals list.
She added that it was integral to her personal development.
“[The competition] taught me a lot of values and has allowed me to work on the skills and capabilities I don’t even know I had,” she added.