Developing 'Capture Land'
OCHO RIOS, St Ann — It would appear that Angella Jones, popularly known as 'Ms Frilly', has every reason to be downtrodden, having lost two of her five children in a tragic car crash three years ago. But she isn't.
In fact, Jones, who resides in an informal settlement in Parry Town called 'Capture Land' has channelleld her grief into a project to uplift her community — a pageant intended to inspire and build self-confidence in young girls.
Billed Mini Miss Capture Land, the competition is in honour of Jones' sons Rolando Mignott and Ruel Irons who died during the Easter season of 2011.
"Every year mi always put on a kids treat," she told the Jamaica Observer recently. "But this year mi just think and say mi want something more fancy... [something to] motivate them, give them more self-esteem."
Twelve girls aged twelve and under entered the pageant. They were trained by another community member, Margaret Stephenson, who also served as MC for
The winner of the inaugural competition was twelve
year-old Kayanne Bailey. Second and third place went to Tia Muir and Maressa Foreman, respectively. Bailey won sectional prizes for the most creative wear as well as the voters' choice award. Foreman won the most talented award, which she shared with Assaffrom Byfield. She also won the sectional prize for the best evening wear. Moyisher Ashley and Tishaney Ellis were declared the most helpful and most disciplined, respectively.
The contestants paid
tribute to Jones' sons during the show.
Jones said the competition was a success not only because of the turnout, but because of the impact it had on the young girls.
"It helps them a lot," Stephenson expressed.
Jones also measured the success based on the
support from small businesses in the area. She admitted that it was difficult to secure sponsorship, admittedly because of the stigma attached to informal settlements. She however heaped praises on those who did pitch in.
"We want to thank
Millbro Taxi Services, Wendy's Wholesale, Gentles Haberdashery, Chuck's Bakery, Big Ben Meats and Grocery, Master Mac, Computer Wizz, and Techno Photo Services," she said, adding that a memebr of the community opened his house so the girls could prepare.
Those who know Jones would know that her philanthropic and community development streaks run deep.
For one, she had a hand in establishing the Almond Tree Learning Centre, a programme which offers classes to children and adults under an almond tree in the community on Saturdays. Stephenson, who assists with the programme, claimed that the centre has trained educators who originated from the community.
Also, Jones has for the last eight years been helping ease the blows of the harsh economy on members of her community by retailing grocery items from her "Ghetto Shop".
According to her, customers can buy as little as $10 worth of toothpaste or ketchup.
"Two hundred dollars can buy your dinner," she told the newspaper.