As the reign of Miss Antigua Barbuda comes to an end, this Caribana marks one year of Asha Frank representing Barbudans at home and abroad. This is her life so far...
I was born in Leicester in the UK on the 26th January 1989 and first came to live on Barbuda when I was three years old. I stayed here until I returned to the UK to go to secondary school at the age of fourteen; this was before Sir McChesney George School was built and there wasn't a secondary school here - everyone stayed at Holy Trinity! My mum is from England and my dad is Barbudan. I have one brother - Prince, and a sister Afiya.
I went to Low School, then to Holy Trinity where I was a Young Leader, was in the choir, took part in Spellbound on tv and was in the Youth Rally. I did well at school and won several prizes including the Most Disciplined Student. In the UK I achieved my GCSE's and went to university in London to do Caribbean Studies and History - I wrote my dissertation on the history of the Barbudan people's land. I was a Student Ambassador at university to encourage other youth to stay in education.
After this I came back to Barbuda - I always wanted to return home - and was lucky enough to get a Antiguan government educational scholarship to go to Cuba to study Spanish, along with other young Barbudans who studied Medicine, Languages and Childhood education. I then became a teacher at Sir McChesney George Secondary school - teaching history.
In May 2015 I entered the Miss Caribana Queen competition and to my surprise I won, winning a brand new car. After that I went on to take part in Miss Antigua Barbuda in June and was delighted to be the winner of that competition too. I was then entered into Jaycees where I came second to Miss Montserrat. The support I had from my Barbudan island family on this journey was amazing - I feel very proud to represent Barbuda. I would have liked to win Miss Universe for Barbuda too...!
My favourite drink is the Coconut Crush from Big Banana!
My favourite food - this is really difficult - but top must be Ducana with conchs and chop up.
My favourite place is Palmetto beach when there are those very big waves.
My message to young Barbudans is this - even though opportunities here are limited it is up to us youth to make a difference. Educate yourselves and give something back to your country.
Thanks Asha, for this interview. Good luck with whatever you do next.
My full name is Odelia Christine Cecelia Deazle. I was born on 2nd June 1999 at Holberton hospital in Antigua, so I am 15 years old. My father is from St Vincent and is a carpenter. My mother works for Barbuda Council and for Barbuda Belle the new hotel resort at Cedar Tree Point. I have eight siblings – four on my fathers and four on my mother’s side.
I went to pre-school and Holy Trinity school and now I'm at Sir Mc Chesney George Secondary school. I have a lot of friends, and I learned a lot. My friend Shaquanza is one of those friends from all that time. I love English literature, English a, Home Economics and History - but I don't like science and maths. I want to be a journalist or news reporter and to use my language and literature skills. I thought I might be a doctor but I am not very good with hospitals and sick people. I am the new intern for this website and this is my first paid job, I do three hours per week and find news for the website and Facebook page. It's inspiring and I'm learning things that will help in my career. I’m also entering the Caribana Teenage Pageant competition on May 23rd. I have travelled to the UK and to St Vincent to visit family. It was a very adventurous and fun and I saw things I never saw before like huge buildings.
In Barbuda I love the beach especially at White Bay. I have done a lot of camping out with my mum, family and friends. My favourite Barbuda food? There's so much, I can't choose! My favourite drink is passionfruit.
My advice to other young people would be – go after your dreams; don't let people get the better of you. When you put your mind to something go for it.
My first piece of journalism for the website is about the meeting I went to at the school to decide on the de Niro project.
There was something about that meeting that made me feel emotional, like it was a decision that would have full effect on all of our lives forever. When I first entered the doors of that public meeting I wasn't surprised at how many persons showed up, they came ready and ready to make a decision. The crowd was so big and loud you couldn't hear yourself speak, there were so many people you couldn't even find yourself a seat. It was overbearing, people stood at the windows to have a peak. From the moment I heard/saw the opposers and the proposers start talking on the mike I was frightened. I mean I expected better! They were like cats and dogs just going at each other not knowing when and how to stop. I was disappointed but at the end of the day they came to a conclusion they should've thought of from the start. They decided to have a vote, and I thought it was a good idea because everyone should have an opinion. They voted and decided to go on with the project.
Welcome to It's My Life! We are so pleased to hear a bit about your life here in Barbuda as the first person for the new website.
bb: Where were you born Smurf?
JJ: I was born in Antigua, on July 9th 1986, but came straight to live in Barbuda, where I have lived since. I am twenty-seven years old.
bb: Did you go to school in Barbuda?
JJ: Yes, but I had problems at school and was asked to leave when I was a teenager, so I left too early to get any exams. I started to work for Council at a young age and was in the Works department with Keithy Thomas as my manager. I learned carpentry there.
bb: And do you still work for Council?
JJ: Yes but now I work in the Fisheries department, as a processing assistant, checking the size of lobsters with a special tool, for export. They have to be over 9.5 centimetres wide to be legal. We weigh the conchs too, and store them in a specially air conditioned room in the new Fisheries building until they are ready for sale.
bb: And you have your own business too? We know this because we are your customers! You mend all our punctures...
JJ: Yes I have a bike repair business and I also make bikes for sale, depending on the size, from about $200ec. I have one person who works with me, but other people come and go and use the tools and so on. I rent bikes out by the day or the hour.
bb: This is a really smart business to have as nearly all of Barbuda has a bike. Do you have a family in Barbuda, Smurf?
JJ: Yes, I have a girlfriend, and a child aged two. I live with my older brother Captain, but I have nine sisters and seven brothers altogether, three of each are here in Barbuda.
bb: So what is your favourite Barbudan food and drink?
JJ: I love lobster cooked any way, but especially served with the sauce and cheese - lobster Thermidor. And I like Passion fruit drink.
bb: And what is your favourite place?
JJ: Being at home, and riding my bike around the village.
bb: If you had a message to the younger people of Barbuda, what would you say?
JJ: I would tell them be careful of alcohol, which is why I don't drink. It leads to too much trouble.
bb: Hello Dorcas, Tell us about your names...
DBW: I was born on 16 October 1965, which makes me 48 years old and I proudly carry these old names from my grandparents.
bb: Tell us about your family
DBW: My mother recently passed away and I have two brothers, I am the second there is one older than me and one younger than me, and I have one sister who is the third in the family.
bb: Where were you born Dorcas?
DBW: I was born in Barbuda at home where my sister Janice still lives now, over in Mullatta Quarter. I am the last of six children: two boys and four girls. My oldest brother died in 2010 in Antigua and I have a sister and brother in Barbuda and two sisters in New York.
bb: Hello Matthew, tell us where you were born, how old you are and a bit about your job...
MJ: I was born in 1982 at the Spring View Hospital, now called Hannah Thomas, right here in Barbuda. I will be 31 on September 27th this year.
bb: Tell us about your family.
bb: Hello James, tell us a bit about yourself
JG: I was born on August 31st 1968 in Barbuda and I am from a family of nine children; six girls and three boys. I am the second to last. One sister lives in Texas, another in Barbuda and the rest are all in Antigua.
bb: Hi Allyson, what is your full name and how old are you?
AT: Allyson Reanne Trunzer. I'm nineteen years old, born on February 3rd, 1992.
bb: Were you born in Barbuda or where?
bb: Hi Ricardo, what is your full name and how old are you?
RC: It's Ricardo Antonio Nedd. I was born on 8th May 1993 so I am eighteen years old. I live near Pearl Harbour with my family.
bb: What is your occupation?
bb: Hello George, tell us a bit about yourself
bb: Hello Manny. What is your full name and how old are you?
EP: It's Emmanuel Punter, Manny for short and I was born on November 23rd 1947, so you can work that out!.
bb: Hi James, what is your full name and how old are you?
JJ: It's James Jermaine John and I was born on October 31st 1990 in Barbuda, so I am twenty years old.
bb: Hello Gilda, tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
Here we have an interview with two brothers...
bb: How old are you Craig?
Craig: I was born on 25 October 1976, so I am 30 years old.
Greg: I am 29, I was born a year later on 24 October 1977.
bb: tell us about your background.
bb: Hi Natakie, thanks for being on our website. Tell me, how old are you?
NB: I am twenty-six. I was born on 21 January 1980, under the sign of Aquarius.