She seemed for a time the perfect mouthpiece for Kenny & Company. A gap-toothed ever-smiling belle from the south, articulate, easy on most eyes, loaded with charm and quick–witted – that was the image she projected to TV viewers. When she first burst on the political scene as the face of New Labour, few among the youth of this country, regardless of political leanings, were inclined to resist her inviting embrace. Jadia Jn Pierre-Emmanuel, truly the Kenny Anthony administration’s not-so-secret weapon. She easily out-performed the UWP’s public relations personnel. Darnley Labourne was simply no match for her. Not only were his deliveries slow and tired in comparison, when it came to competing with Kenny’s siren of the airwaves, poor Darnley just never stood a chance. If it might be said, Jadia was a head -turner, always the heads turned in her direction and away from Mr. Labourne who was nobody’s idea of eye candy.
Jadia had her own personal story of struggle and triumphs: a teen mom who later married her baby papa and earned herself a university degree. She was the total package, and almost irresistibly persuasive. If she cooed about her leader’s attributes, whether or not sugar-coated, few were moved to disagree.
The Labour Party returned to office in 2011 and before long the prime minister’s feisty press secretary had become one of the nation’s most familiar faces, thanks to her regular TV appearances. The public quickly formed the impression that in Rick Wayne’s eyes she was, well, “hot”. Rick, who was seen as a large thorn in the side of Kenny Anthony, made no secret of his admiration for the PM’s press secretary. The journalism giant could not get enough of the “gap-toothed” ball of energy. He soon started referring to her as “Da Jade”, a tag that was quickly picked up by one and all. By most, anyway. When she effectively swatted an anti-SLP mosquito, Rick wrote that her victim had been “Jadiarized!” But, as in touch with the public pulse as he is, Rick Wayne had to have discerned the changing public attitude toward Da Jade during the last few months before the elections; at least not long after she resigned as press secretary to assume here new role as the SLP’s communications director—a euphemism for propaganda machine.
No one will deny Jadia had played a major role in pulling youth vote the SLP’s way in 2011. But somewhere on the road to Election 666 Da Jade gradually projected an unflattering image of herself. The magnet had become a vote repellent, especially to the young. Doubtless her leader’s attempt to dismiss Allen Chastanet as “a failure” and “a disaster” during a 2014 press conference started the landslide. The repeated declarations that the 2016 elections would be a war “between the Labour Party and the Chastanets” further shook things up. But with the elections around the corner and the “disunited” UWP appearing to have buried its differences and getting it together again, the SLP leader seemed to lose it. The result was among the most disgusting election campaigns Saint Lucians had ever experienced. And it seemed Jadia echoed the worst of what her boss said. Instead of seeking to soften the worst examples, she publicly endorsed them with her own even more vicious attacks on the Chastanets.
There is a common belief that if an individual immerses himself long enough in negativity, that individual will himself epitomize negativity. Whether or not she realized it, her fans started deserting her in droves. You had only to read the reactions to her Facebook postings to see the writing on the wall. It seemed that all along Jadia had been wearing a mask that covered her true self. And the unmasked version was anything but pretty. It still is shocking the damage Jadia did to her own image on SLAPS– Saint Lucians Aiming for Problems, allegedly invented by the prime minister’s wife.
Before countless once-adoring eyes, foxy Jadia changed to diva Jadia and then to a dragon spitting fire from every orifice. Her verbal assault on her own father, whom she declared not up to Alva Baptiste status and undeserving of a seat in parliament, may have been the final straw. Many saw Jadia as throwing her own father under a bus driven by Kenny Anthony, with Baptiste in the passenger seat – the final nail in the SLP’s coffin, perhaps.
Saint Lucians are family-oriented and in their eyes blood is truly thicker than political dirty water. There is no tolerance here of a daughter who would sacrifice her father on the altar of politics. We know where Kenny Anthony and his apostles now find themselves. It remains to be seen where his gap-toothed and rouged-up creation ends up.
I, for one, can hardly wait to find out, although I think I know where that once pretty head will come to rest!