Keneisha Smith's prayers answered
KENEISHA Smith --clad in full army combat gear -- was chosen the winner of the Festival Gospel Song Competition organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew on Sunday night.
With the crowd in her corner, Smith's entry, Prayer Warrior, had won the hearts of judges long before the announcement was made.
"I knew I could have done it. I was prepared for the victory. Last year, I felt I would have had a real breakthrough in my life, I said; 'God I need a change in my life'. That is why I really stepped out in faith, because faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen," the 21-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.
Smith was awarded a cash prize of $400,000 for her first place win. She secured an additional $50,000, for Best Performance and Best Lyrics awards.
Orville Sutherland's entry song Cool Shade was awarded second place and a cash prize of $200,000, while Adrian Dell got third place with Blessed and Highly Favoured and $100,000.
The win, according to the 21-year-old Smith, will help to fast-track her ambition of having a career as a gospel artiste.
"I have a lot of songs written, but needed to produce them. From winning, I can get them out," she said.
The immediate plan, however, is to go back to school.
In addition to the top 10 finalists performing, the evening also saw gospel artiste Joan Flemming entertaining the audience with her medley of hit songs.