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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Vincy poet goes big with first book highlighting issues affecting women in SVG – One News St.Vincent

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By Richardeen Williams. Updated 9:50 a.m., Thursday, September 28, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Vincentian author Zenna Lewis, 27, announced on Sunday 25th September 2022 that she is launching her first book.

She made the announcement via her Instagram story that she would be releasing the book – “Black Girls Soliloquy” – a three part book series sometime this week.

Who is Zenna Lewis?

The ‘woke’ poet, as she calls herself, is known for performing and writing feminist, equal rights, and pro-black poetry that captivates her audience with her ability to switch tones and evoke emotions of her audience. This has lead her to be awarded locally and regionally.

On the 27th of September 2022, One News SVG had an exclusive interview with Ms. Lewis; she said her writing journey began at the age of 13 during literature class with Miss Grace Peters at the St.Vincent Girls’ High School. She further stated that she did not exactly remember the title of the piece, however, the memory of her acing the assignment is still present.

When questioned, “Has poetry helped you cope mentally?” the writer said: “Poetry became my escape, whatever negative thoughts, actions or feelings I had, I never spoke it into my existence. I wrote it down, I never wanted it to become my reality.” She said poetry was a catalyst to attract and maintain a positive mindset which “aided” her the ability to become the best version of herself.

Although she received “tremendous” support after announcing her book release, the author told One News SVG that she encountered a challenge when writing her poems by getting “too personal.” When she wrote on “certain topics.”

An excerpt from one of the poems in the book

She gave One News SVG an exclusive portion of her favorite lines from a poem in her upcoming book called “Curse 2” where she stated it was her first time writing about romance and sex:

“everyday praying for that side of me
to die or dry….
for you I’ll die for you?
flip dignity, flip vows,
flip kids, flip status and flip me,
your one and only.”

Women’s empowerment through poetry

Zenna stated that she would like her readers to gain while reading her book.

“I do consider my self to not only be an activist but also a feminist and most of my poetry is geared at empowering women and also to shine a light on the many issues women face in 21st century St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Poetry is indeed important not only to showcase how diverse we are in field of creative arts or performing arts but it’s our responsibility as creatives to highlight and bring forward and address the issues that are affecting our young women and children; so I believe my audience are given a front row seat through my writing.”

She said that her poems were excellently written “to highlight issues such sexism ,racism,domestic violence, incest, prostitution, inequality, low esteem,anxiety and how important it is to create a safe and healthy environment for our women and children.”

While readers may think that Zenna is enjoying the fruits of her labor she is still reaping. The 27-year- old teacher stated that she already started working on part two of her book “Part two of my book is in progress.I didn’t want to put all my pieces in one book and make it to long and drown out. They’ll miss important parts of the book.” When asked “What impact do you hope to leave on this generation?

She took a humble approach by encouraging youths, “To believe in once’s self regardless of where you’re from.” She also stressed the importance of investing in yourself and making the needed steps to accomplish ones goals. She further added “ Never tell big dreams to small minded people”.

While readers may think that Zenna is enjoying the fruits of her labor she is still reaping. The 27-year-old teacher stated that she already started working on part two of her book “Part two of my book is in progress. I didn’t want to put all my pieces in one book and make it to long and drown out. They’ll miss important parts of the book.”



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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Mi casa es su casa – One News St.Vincent

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The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer.

By Professor Richard A. Byron-Cox (PhD)

America and other military colossuses of this world can and indeed do in their practice of foreign policy, follow Kissinger’sdoctrine of having no permanent friends, only interests.However, if tiny, extremely vulnerable, poor, and virtually powerless nations like SVG were to ignore the need for solidarity, this would be perilous. Building solid fraternal relations is sin qua non not only for protecting their sovereignty and independence, but to their survival! Their viability as sovereign states depends inter alia on appreciation by others of their unique challenges, hence their need for genuine friends, while avoiding and discouraging enmity. This idea is the nucleus of the philosophical foundation of SVG’s foreign policy, andfrom whence its cornerstone principle, “Friends of all, we strive for a better world.”

This indispensable wisdom manifested in practice, standing our nation tall, is not wholly original. The first phrase is borrowed from Errol Walton Barrow, who shepherded Barbados toindependence. We apply his concept mutatis mutandis, extolling the need for friendly relations between nations in this turbulent world. Therefore, we extend our hands unclenched to leftist, rightist, Islamism, socialist, the great, small, rich, and poor,willing the construct of a better, saner world. We’ve reached out to Libya’s now deceased Gaddafi, Russia’s Putin, and Iran’s Raisi, -all considered rogues by the global gendarmes-, for in sowing seeds of friendship, one must join hands with those deemed enemies by others, while if truth be told, they are very good Samaritans, Cuba being a case in point.

The connection between these islands existed eons before they were colonized. Our indigenous peoples canoed from theOrinoco to The Bahamas long prior the arrival of imperialism’s violent fists, and genocidal settler colonialism. Our link was damaged; never broken! In modern times many Vincentiansmade the trek to Cuba, some remained, as the Teófilo Stevenson’s story confirms. 1959 saw the birth of the Cuban revolution. Incensed, the American empire branded Cuba an enemy. But like Bill Withers, magnanimous Fidel and disobedient SVG know, we must of necessity, lean on each other, and so rejected this vile maxim that we must be fist pumping at one another.

When our volcano erupted in 1979, Cuba offered assistance. St. Vincent, yet under British colonial yoke, defied American isolationist politics and accepted what we could. Cuba further stretched forth its hands, granting our youths scholarships. They are now solid professionals, thanks to this first-wave of generosity. With the triumph of the Grenada revolution in 1979,the US up the ante, intensifying its anti-Cuba policy, continuing this even after that revolution was murdered in infancy. PM James Mitchell seeing the rest of CARICOM’s firm rebuke ofWashington by their rebuff of its hegemonic confrontational stance, established diplomatic relations with Havana in 1992. From thence the SVG-Cuba ties strengthened. The watershed came in 2001 when the ULP stormed to office.

Under Gonsalves’ leadership our relations blossomed into a mutually beneficial embrace. Cuba has held our hands in education, health, infrastructure and more. We staunchly defend Cuba in every forum regardless of what America says! We stand in solidarity with Cubans during disasters; we work closely in all fora of the Americas, and in broader international arenas such as the Non-Aligned Movement and the UN. During the Obama years, we played our little part in the brief small thaw in US clenched-fist behaviour to Cuba. Notwithstanding that Washington has since retightened its fists, we are hosting the long-overdue visit of a Cuban President, saying unequivocally to Brother Díaz-Canel, “Nuestra casa es su casa!” for Cuba has said to us so many times, “Mi casa es su casa.”

I often expressed via the press the wish that Fidel visited SVG. Sadly, he departed for Valhalla without this being realized. I have also called for a prominent street or place to be named in his honour in recognition of Cuba holding hand not just with us and CARICOM, but with all oppressed humanity. This moment is here now! We must never forget Cuba’s role in the liberation of the countries of Southern Africa; nor should we forget itsmedical humanitarian missions to many parts of the world; and its selfless generosity to the Third World. If ever a country showed what love from a nation looks like, it’s Fidel’s Cuba. And “love is the answer” according to our own Dr. Alston “Becket” Cyrus. Finally, it must be underlined that the visit of President Díaz-Canel is not merely a reflection of good SVG-Cuba relations. Rather it is a powerful example of leadership in the cause of upholding international law and morality, grounded in friendship and respect for national sovereignty, which are essential for international peace and security.



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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

National Nine Mornings Festival launches this Sunday

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The 2022 National Lotteries Christmas/Nine Mornings Festival will be officially launched this Sunday, December 4 at Heritage Square, in Kingstown, from 7:00 p.m.

The festival was interrupted in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the eruption of La Soufriere Volcano.
The organisation committee said in a release that Sunday’s launch will feature the return of the street parade, where patrons will engage in a candle light cultural street procession through the streets of Kingstown, commencing at Heritage Square at 6:00 p.m and returning to Heritage Square.

The parade will be accompanied by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines (RSVG) Police Force Band, and will also feature dance groups, community groups, drumming groups, and X-Pan from Sion Hill.

On returning to Heritage Square the other events will commence with a short opening ceremony  which would include the blessing of the festival by the Pastor Randy Boucher, and worship from the Exalt Him Worship Ministries. The Epic Sound Steel Orchestra will provide steel band music and a special mini presentation will be done by the RSVG Police Band.

The Launch will also hear Christmas greetings from the chairman of the National Nine Mornings Committee, with corporate sponsors- the National Lotteries Authority and Vinlec bringing remarks. Minister of Culture, Carlos James will then declare the festival open with the turning on of the lights at the Square. 

The St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Christmas and Nine Mornings Committee will recognize a number of community stalwarts for their invaluable contribution to the festival over the years.

A varied cultural package will climax the evenings’ activities.





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Cuban President to tour medical facility on Day Two of visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines

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Cuban President to tour medical facility on Day Two of visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines

A visit to the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre at Georgetown is one of the highlights of Day Two of the visit of President Miguel Diaz-Canel to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre (MMDC) which was officially opened on July 2, 2018, was built at a cost of EC$42 million with substantial assistance from the Republic of Cuba.

Several medical professionals from Cuba are also among the staff at the MMDC.

The Cuban head of state and his delegation will be given a tour of the MMDC, after which they will be hosted to lunch at the Beachcombers Hotel by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

Tomorrow, Monday December 5, the final day of the visit, wife of the President, Lis Cuesta Peraza accompanied Eloise Gonsalves, wife of the Prime Minister will, at Young Island, view an exhibition of products by Vincentian entrepreneurs, followed by cultural performances.

The Cuban first lady will also have a private discussion with Vincentian women who studied in Cuba and Cuban women living in SVG.

President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel (right) and his wife Lis Cuesta Peraza arriving at the Argyle International Airport on Saturday (API photo)

Also on Monday, the President will pay a courtesy call on head of state Governor General Dame Susan Dougan, and while he is at Government House, his wife, accompanied by Mrs Gonsalves will visit the Botanic Gardens.

The three-day official visit will culminate in a special sitting of the House of Assembly which will be addressed by President Diaz-Canel, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday.

Members of Cabinet met with the Cuban Delegation during a lunch at La Vue Hotel on Saturday. (API photo)

Shortly after his arrival yesterday, Saturday December 3, the Cuban head of state held discussions with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves at La Vue Boutique Hotel and Beach Club.

He also met with Cuban workers in SVG and members of the Cuba Friendship Society at the Beachcombers Hotel.





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