Culture Minister encourages young women to enter Festival Queen Competition

Culture Minister Olivia Grange (left) makes a presentation to Festival Queen 2019, Khamara Wright (right). Looking on is first runner-up Annakay Hudson, Miss Kingston and St Andrew. (Photos: Contributed)

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has encouraged the country’s young women to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the annual Festival Queen Competition.

Her call comes in the wake of the recent crowning of 23-year-old Khamara Wright, the 2019 Festival Queen.

Khamara Wright receives her sash from 2018 Festival Queen, Ackera Gowie.

Wright, a sous chef from St Catherine, was the first from the parish to win the title in 29 years. The last woman from that parish to win the crown was playwright, producer and television presenter Dahlia Harris who claimed the title in 1990. Harris used the Festival Queen platform to launch successful careers in television production and presenting. She is also enjoying a burgeoning career as a playwright.

Grange, who spoke with BUZZ following the crowning on August 1, said that young Jamaican women can benefit greatly from entering the competition.

The 2018 Festival Queen, Ackera Gowie, hands over the crown to Khamara Wright.

“Each year, through the competition, we highlight intelligent, articulate, well-informed, culturally aware, beautiful young ladies, who are committed to national development,” Grange said.

“I’m very proud of the 13 young ladies from across the island who reached the finals as parish queens. They all did exceptionally well. And the winner, Khamara, has been such an outstanding personality throughout the competition that she’s most deserving of victory.”