Carrying on a family tradition
By Shawnel Cudjoe
April 18, 2004
`The shock came after, when everyone started fussing over me. Someone was trying to put a crown on my head; the Prime Minister was putting on my sash and there were all those cameras flashing in my face and I was receiving all that attention at once.’ New Miss Bartica Regatta, Sonjie Marslowe
REIGNING Miss Bartica Regatta 20-year-old Sonjie Marslowe proudly declared that her recent conquest at the pageant was simply a matter of “carrying on a family tradition”. Three of her aunts entered pageants before. Two of them were crowned queens.
In an interview with the Sunday Chronicle last week Wednesday at Thrive Marketing Solutions where she is a Marketing Assistant, Sonjie noted that the pageant experience is one “that every woman would enjoy”.
Though she was very confident on the night of the pageant, Sonjie acknowledges now that the competition was stiff and all the girls had worked hard.
“I was confident but I knew that the competition was stiff and I was willing to accept the results, even if someone other than me ended up being the queen”.
“When they announced that I had won, I was not surprised, since I knew at that point it was either me or Melissa,” she said, referring to first runner-up Melissa Daniels.
“The shock came after, when everyone started fussing over me. Someone was trying to put a crown on my head; the Prime Minister was putting on my sash and there were all those cameras flashing in my face and I was receiving all that attention at once.”
The petite young woman was sponsored by the Bartica Mash Committee 2004 and was first encouraged to enter the pageant by local Designer Sonia Noel.
Touching on the training aspect of the pageant, Marslowe described it as well-rounded since they were prepared in the field of etiquette, speech, and modelling and were also given lectures on social issues and current affairs.
She said that although the girls only trained for a little over a month, they all worked rigorously in an effort to ensure that that the event was successful.
She chose her platform `The dominance of women in the sports arena’ because of the many changes that have taken place over the years.
”Long ago, sports belonged to men, but now, there are many women playing games like boxing, cricket and field hockey which I find very interesting.”
For her talent piece, the 20-year-old sang her favourite calypso `Cricket in the Jungle’ by Dave Martin and the Trade Winds.
In describing her relationship with the other delegates, Sonjie said: “I spoke to everybody, and the girls and I confided in each other about stuff to do with the pageant as well as personal stuff”.
Asked if she would be following in the footsteps of other pageant winners and entering more, she said not at the moment.
“Probably when my reign is over I will think about that, but at the moment I must say no”, she told the Sunday Chronicle.
Born in Bartica, the seventh of nine children, Sonjie attended the St. John the Baptist Primary School before moving to Georgetown where she was awarded a place at the Central High School. After completing her secondary education she moved on to the City College.
She described herself as a very funny, confident and simple person and confided in this newspaper that the thing that she can most live without is conflict.
“I hate conflicts and arguments and if I am involved in one I usually make it very short and stop speaking and do a lot of listening”.
Her inspiration comes from her late mother who she said had lots of strength and commitment and made all efforts to ensure that her children were given the best possible education.
The most important thing in her life is independence, since she firmly stated that she likes making her own decisions, although she will listen to advice.
Her advice to young people:
“Education is like a foundation for your entire life and it does not start when you are a teenager, but from the time you are born because life is a learning process.
“So you must be observant and be prepared to learn from your mistakes as well as from the mistakes of others.”
And what dish does she enjoy? “If you want to poison me, put it into a cheese cake”, she says with a laugh.
Her favourite movie is `Rules of Engagement; and her favourite singers are Brian Adams and Lionel Ritchie.