Guyanese Girl

04 Mar: PHENOMENAL WOMAN – By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to…

Melissa Phillips

01 Mar: She Rocks! Meet Melissa Phillips – Miss Metropolitan New York 2013

  Melissa Phillips is making her mark in the pageant world, and New York City as she works towards her life goals. Born to both a Guyanese mother and father in Brooklyn, NY the conditions of her environment shaped her perspective on the past and future. Understanding family traditions of honest work, principles of education and the necessity to remember humble beginnings, she worked to succeed in life. She attended St. Augustine’s Episcopal school, and…

28 Feb: Women in History: Joyce Ferdinand-Lalljie (Saunder): Classical Music Composer/Concert Pianist

Joyce Ferdinand-Lalljie  was a child prodigy who began playing one of her mother’s piano pieces when she was three years old. She and her younger sister Mavis both became concert pianists and were known as the two Ferdinand girls. Joyce is accredited as being the first black woman, if not the first woman to play a full piano concerto.  In his article on radio in British Guiana for the 1951 Chronicle Christmas Annual, Albert E…

28 Feb: It’s His Loss: Pull Yourself Together After a Breakup

I get it – breakups are difficult, painful and it’s very hard to control your emotions and thoughts after it. However, some folks spiral out of control causing them perform some crazy acts, ie. stalking, fighting, harassing or having a straight Angela Bassett  “Waiting to Exhale” moment and burning everything in sight that belonged to their Ex. Confronting your problem would definitely not heal you, but at least it would get you into terms with…

26 Feb: Women in History: Pat Cameron: Radio Broadcaster/Actor/Poet & Celebrator of Guyanese Folk Traditions

Before there was American Idol, there was Pat Cameron, who as host of the influential radio show, `On Show Young Guyana,` helped give recognition to the musical abilities of many young Guyanese. Pat was born on October 3, 1924 to Lilian Gertrude Christiani and Henry Perot Christiani. A Bishop’s High School graduate, she  worked in the Guyana Civil Service and was trained as a Social Welfare Officer in Jamaica. She entered the world of broadcasting…

26 Feb: Vesta Lowe: Multidimensional Woman – Teacher/Singer/Musician/Folk Song Collector

Vesta Lowe (1907 -1992) was a multidimensional woman-teacher, singer, musician, folk song collector, and rural development professional. She was a pioneer in so many aspects of life. She was among the first batch of teachers to graduate from the Teachers’ Training College. She is considered to be the first Black woman to graduate from Tuskegee Institute with a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Home Economics. Lynette Dolphin described Vesta Lowe as “the pioneer in the field…

23 Feb: She Rocks! Monica Chopperfield (Lady Guymine): A Calypso and Cultural Phenomenon

Monica Chopperfield, aka Lady Guymine  (1932-2009)  was a Guyanese calypso and cultural phenomenon. Popularly known for her hit calypso “Granny Fit” (which you can watch her singing in the clip below), she was born on July 31, 1932, in Berbice, Guyana and would grow to become “an important 20th century calypsonian.” Her performing career started in a show produced by Zelda Martindale at the roofless Olympic Cinema on Lombard Street and she went on to…

22 Feb: Mashramani Fever is in the Air!

MASHRAMANI, often referred to as “Mash”, is the equivalent of Guyana’s Carnival and is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a sovereign Republic on 23 February 1970. The first Mashramani festival was celebrated on Feb 23rd, 1970 in the mining town of Linden and has since become a major national annual event . There are spectacular costume competitions, float parades, masquerade bands, and dancing in the streets to the accompaniment of steel band music…

15 Feb: Women in History: Valerie Rodway – Patriotic and Classical Music Composer

Ms. Valerie Rodway (1919-1970) was a teacher and Guyanese composer.  She is best known for her national songs, which include, “O Beautiful Guyana,” “Kanaïma,” “Hymn for Guyana’s Children,” “Arise, Guyana,” and “Guyana the Free.  She also put to music the famed Guyanese independence poem by Martin Carter, “Let Freedom Awaken.” Ms. Rodway was a member of one of those families whose contributions to Guyana are still evident. Her father, Newton Berthier Fraser was born in…