The student lounge at BPP University Business Campus, St. Mary’s Axe, London came alive on Friday with a spectacle of Fashion, Dance, Food, Drink and with a merger of a diverse range of cultures and networking.
Last year June, a number of Saint Lucian students were awarded scholarships to study Business and Law in London under the oversight of Shelly Noon, Dr. Jacqueline Bird and Rise St. Lucia.
Due to the number of St. Lucians currently attending BPP and the little knowledge the other students from the wider region have of St. Lucia, St. Lucian students felt the need to start the BPP St. Lucian Society. The aim of the society is to assist all St. Lucians currently at the University to become ambassadors for St Lucia, assist with academics, housing and support for other St. Lucians who are willing to study in London in the future.
After analyzing the struggles encountered to get to BPP, one of the future goals is to start a scholarship fund for St. Lucia.
The executive members of the society worked tirelessly to put together what turned out to be the first of many successful fundraising events. The event gave persons a prelude to what Saint Lucia has to offer from its traditional culture, food, tourist attractions and history through an exciting video that was shown after which the audience asked questions and won tasty chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.
The event itself started with an opening prayer in Kwéyòl by Jovanee Jn Marie followed by a rendition of the Saint Lucian National Anthem by Casey Joseph; the president of the society Rasheda Felicien gave brief remarks before the MC for the night Rajiv Lennie kicked things off in style. The crowd enjoyed the lovely Saint Lucian cuisine from Sa Bonne Restaurant which is owned by St. Lucian Samson Antoine.
The first segment showcased traditional Saint Lucian wear from Escandale Fashion House by Jacqueline N Francis, the second segment showcased part of the Paradise Prints line by Fiona Compton. The featured presentation was by La Rayan Folk dancers from Anse La Raye residing in the UK. The audience was enticed and many joined in as the night turned into what resembled the festivity of the La woz festival.
Daughter of Saint Lucian son of the soil Sir John Compton, Fiona Compton, was present and took the opportunity to put on display her latest hand-painted line under the her Paradise Prints brand. Ms. Compton who recently featured her line at the 2016 London Fashion Week was on a mission not only to bring out her decorative line but also to set a more serious tone in the room as she stood up against abuse of women before she described the tragic and untimely death of Japanese national and steel pan player Asami Nagakiya in Trinidad over the 2016 Carnival Season. As a result of a controversial statement which led to the resignation of the Port of Spain Mayor, The NOT Asking for It initiative was born according to Fiona “NOT Asking for It is NOT a campaign to encourage irresponsible behaviour – it is a movement to stop the stigma that a women encourage the unacceptable behaviour of violence placed upon them. Through a series of varied media – from videos, music pieces, photo diaries and more – the movement aims to break the culture of victim blaming – to clarify the lines with being responsible for one’s self and being at fault if you are attacked.” The popular #Notaskingforit handle reached 1 Million views on social media in three days and has been supported by many. St. Lucian born artist and now international rapper Kayo has also been supporting Fiona on social media.
A Taste of Paradise was put on by the BPP Saint Lucia Society. The Society was formed in November 2015, Organizers include Kamara Lee, Rasheda Felicien, Lyncia Antoine, Rajiv Lennie, Zania Polius and Jovanee Jn Marie. Interested persons and or suggestions are welcome via email [email protected]
We would like to make special mention of the Canaries UK Association, Unity Uk Association, St Lucia Tourist Board in London. Without their support this event would not have been successful.