My mother has a saying: “Smaller people tend to have bigger mouths and that they use them well to express themselves, especially in self-defence, to make up for their lack of size”. This is somewhat true.
I have been to a number of youth-oriented initiatives and somehow the persons who are diminutive are the ones who appear to be most confident and comfortable with themselves and are the most audible in projecting their views. Last week I attended the Clendon Mason Memorial Secondary School’s La Wenn Kweyol Pageant and this year’s queen, Johnasia Stanislas, falls in that category.
Stanislas is an 11 year old, form one student from Rocky Lane in the community of Dennery. She was one of two contestants at this year’s pageant who were short and petite but yet she managed to win the hearts of the judges and fellow students with her pretty smile and delivery on the day, capturing the Best Intro, Miss Photogenic and Best Creative Wear awards in the process.
What motivated you to get into the pageant?
I always wanted to show off my talent especially through drama and I thought that the pageant was a good opportunity to do that. My teachers approached me and I accepted. I didn’t hesitate; I was eager to do it.
Did you ever see your size and height as a disadvantage?
No. For me that didn’t matter; that wasn’t a concern. This is my size. I love myself the way I am so I think that made it easier for me because I am comfortable with myself.
What were the preparations for the pageant like for you?
The preparations were a little hectic. I was a little confused with all the work that I had to do, and surprised by the amount of effort that I had to put in but it paid off in the end.
What was the most difficult part of preparing for the pageant?
For me it was preparing for the Pawol Gwan Moun segment. I had to learn the speech that was put together and it was tough trying to remember everything because it was all in creole. But I practiced a lot, I memorized it and on the day of the pageant I did it well. At one point I almost got stuck (smiles), but I just paused, relaxed and continued just fine.
What was the overall experience like for you?
I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be my first time standing before the entire school.” But I had to do it; I had to be bold to be able to do my best. But overall it was a great experience.
How difficult was it for you to stay calm and be bold on stage?
It wasn’t too difficult. I forced myself to pretend like there was no one, no students watching me, and focused on what I had to do.
Tell H.Y.P.E readers what about the pageant you enjoyed the most.
Well, I enjoyed the talent segment and my introduction. My chaperones added a nice spin to it and I like the way it come through at the show.
And what was most challenging?
I was afraid that I would fall on stage with my heels (laughs).
After this experience, would you like to take part in pageantry again?
Yes I would like to take part in pageants again. I want to continue doing it at the secondary school level and then, probably as I get older, get more involved.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, going over my school work and studying. I like practising Math, which I have some difficulty with. I practise and challenge myself to try to get the concepts.
What are your preferred subjects?
My favourite subjects are English B, French, Spanish and Music.
What are your future goals?
My goal is to become a pediatrician. I love children.
Who would you like to thank for your success at the pageant?
I would like to thank God for this opportunity. My chaperones; they were so helpful and made it so much easier for me to focus and win the pageant. Also my parents; they were very supportive and were present at the show, and thanks to all my classmates and my fellow students who supported me. I couldn’t have done it without all of them.