Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 24, 2018 (S.T.E.P.) — Colleagues at the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) office in downtown Basseterre have always known her as the soft-spoken co-worker. She took all of them by surprise when she announced that she was entering the 2017/2018 Miss National Carnival Queen Pageant – aspiring to be the next Queen.
A first time entrant in any beauty pageant, Ms Sheniqua Lanns got all round support from family, co-workers, friends, and by her sponsor which buoyed her to greatness. Today, the 24-year-old beauty is the reigning National Carnival Queen, having edged out five other beauties on the night of the competition.
The journey proper started in July 2017 when, after she would have made her application to enter the Miss National Carnival Queen Pageant, she was invited for the interview which made her elated and she remembers: “I was able to exceed expectations by answering all the questions that were posted to me.”
Six aspiring contestants were shortlisted and given the title ‘Ambassador’. Ms Sheniqua Lanns, who hails from La Guerite Village, was named Ambassador Number Five. Now that she has been crowned the new Miss National Carnival Queen, she is taking time to thank all those who gave her support.
“To the Carnival Committee, I will have to say thank you for having seen the potential in me to have me to be a part of the Miss National Carnival Queen Pageant,” says Ms Lanns. “Thank you for granting me the opportunity to be a part of this regal journey. It was truly one of my greatest life experiences.”
She has admirably thanked Chairperson Ms Judy Dupont of the Miss National Carnival Queen Pageant Committee, and her team of Sacher Warner-Leader, Asha and Amanda, for doing all in their power to ensure that all the ambassadors were comfortable and well taken care of.
“To my chaperones Ms Jessica Jeffers and Ms Alsanarda Hanley, I couldn’t ask for a better team,” says Ms Lanns. “You sacrificed a lot of your time and efforts and made me your main priority to ensure that I was victorious and I am so elated to have captured the title Miss National Carnival Queen. Your hard work paid off and I love you both to the moon and back.”
Equally she has thanked her fellow Ambassadors, Teresa Dias, Cornelia T. M. Daniel, Belesha McDonald, Sarafina Osborne and Zonique Brown, telling them that it was a pleasure getting to know those ‘five Beautiful souls’. She says that they made lots of memories and hopes that they can continue to make more.
“To my Sponsor the St Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority, this agency that is always ‘working harder to serve you better’ I say thank you,” says the 2017/18 National Carnival Queen. “You have been nothing but generous towards me and I look forward to continue working with you.”
Ms Lanns who joined the then People Employment Programme (PEP) in 2015 has a great team made of co-workers who have been tremendously supportive towards her. Since the government agency evolved to Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) so as to serve the public in a more meaningful way, nothing has changed in the way she is treated at the workplace.
She has a new boss in Mr Wendell Wattley, the Director, and she says: “My boss Mr Wattley, when I told him that I was accepted to be an ambassador for the Miss National Carnival Queen Pageant I think he was more excited than me – honestly.”
Mr Wendell Wattley, Director, Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) had this to say: “I wish to take the opportunity, as the Director of STEP, to congratulate our New National Queen. Ms Sheniqua Lanns has done the STEP proud, and I think beyond that she has done the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis proud as well.”
The STEP Director adds: “I think she would be a good representative of her sponsors, the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA), as well as STEP which is an agency of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. I wish to also congratulate her for the excellent performance on the night of the show, and I think she is a deserving winner.”
While the night of the show had attracted hundreds of nationals and residents alike, Ms Lanns was still able to tell who cheered her most.
“On the night of the show December 28, I remember when it was announced I was the new National Carnival Queen, I remember seeing all of my co-workers in front cheering me on and jumping up, it was so acted out of love honestly,” she says.
“On returning to work on Wednesday January 3, I was pleasantly surprised by a photograph, that was taken when I was crowned, on a large poster that was stuck on the office door which said, congratulations to Sheniqua Lanns… it was so sweet. I can truly say that my co-workers do love me and they do support me to the fullest – I could not ask for a better work team or workplace.”
Looking forward to her one year that she will be the reigning National Carnival Queen, Ms Lanns says that she intends to make her platform (during the competition) a reality. Her platform is COINS which stands for Children of Incarcerated Nationals.
“It is my firm intent to start this programme called ‘a hundred days of love’,” says the National Carnival Queen. “For 100 days in the year 2018 I intend do something that will cater to the needs of children who have a parent that is incarcerated. I intend to start within my community the St. Johnston’s Village and then I would like to expand to broader horizons where I will be able to assist children in the different communities.”
According to Ms Lanns, she expects to be able to provide those children with food packages as well as school essentials, just to offer the remaining parents some sort of assistance due to the fact that the other parent is incarcerated.
“Additional I intend to have an after school programme for them and having them involved in different extra curriculum activities,” she notes. “For the females that like to dance I will have a dance session set up for them and for the boys who like to play sports maybe football or basketball.”
In conclusion she says: “In addition to that, I would like to have a mentorship programme for these children because oftentimes we forget the physiological needs that these children have due to the fact that they do have a parent that is in jail, sometimes that child can react in defiance, anger, lack of concentration in school and so forth.
“For those who are struggling with the fact that a parent (dad or mum) is in jail I would like to have a mentorship programme for them so that they can just speak to somebody who understands their situation and they can confide in that person and then that person can help that child in return.”