October 24, 2014

Mother & Daughter Pageant wows packed audience

It was an evening of creativity, elegance, and colour when the 22nd Annual Mother and Daughter Pageant was held at the National Cultural Centre on Saturday evening before a packed audience.

Wendy Griffith and her daughter Melissa, winners in the senior category of the 22nd annual Mother and Daughter Pageant held at the National Cultural Centre

Wendy Griffith and her daughter Melissa, winners in the senior category of the 22nd annual Mother and Daughter Pageant held at the National Cultural Centre

After hours of competition, which featured breathtaking performances and elegant evening gowns uniquely designed to capture the essence of each mother-and-daughter pair, only three pairs were adjudged the winners.

In the junior category, Oneca Neblett and her stunning daughter Ariana Teixeira copped first place, while L’ Toya Carter and her daughter Nikia won the middle category, and Wendy Griffith and her daughter Melissa the senior.

The evening got off to a late start, with members of the National School of Dance, decked in gold-and-black outfits, escorting the founders of the Mother and Daughter Pageant Ingrid Fung and her daughter, Dr Sulan Fung to the stage. The Fungs rendered a poem to kick start the evening of competition, and also gave a brief synopsis of each pair who entered the pageant this year.

First to take to the stage to thrill the audience were the contestants in the junior category.  The audience was abuzz with excitement over “a fairy-tale and tea party” presentation by the contestants. The adorable children: Ariana, C’Jada, Winesha, Linesha, and Xaviera made their grand appearance on stage followed by their mothers Oneca Neblett, Candy Byron, Natasha Payne, Donna Isles, and Luani Lowe respectively.

Their dresses were designed by popular Guyanese designers, including Olympia Small-Sonaram and Natasha D’Olivera, in eye-catching colours such as lilac, purple, gold and white.

The pairs elegantly and gracefully manoeuvred on the stage as they hugged, kissed, and blew kisses at each other to depict this year’s theme, “Love’s Showtime”. The audience was mesmerised by the lighting effects that helped to create that special feeling in their hearts. While the Nebletts copped the title in the junior category, Candy and C’Jada and Luani and Xaviera were adjudged second and third best in that category.

The junior category competition was followed by the middle category contest, and the contestants further impressed the crowd with their magnificent gowns of rich colours and luscious sequins.

Most of the daughters in this category were preteens and teens. They added more flavour to the evening as they displayed and demonstrated love, a touch of class, and sophisticated styles. At the end, Samantha and Brea Aaron and Lorraine and Jennay Duke Natayo, copped second and third place respectively.

Highlight of the evening

L’ Toya Carter and her daughter Nikia after winning the competition in the middle category

L’ Toya Carter and her daughter Nikia after winning the competition in the middle category

The contestants were serenaded by local artiste Calvin Burnett who presented each contestant with a red rose.  The highlight of the evening, however, was the senior category which saw nine pairs competing head on for supremacy. Paula Bristol, Kim Gomes-Dainty, and Wendy Griffith definitely provided their daughters with an example in style, charm and confidence as they used the stage with grace and poise in their excellent display of motherhood.

The competition also saw Yvonne George and her daughter Latoya creating a stir on stage, capturing the crowd’s attention. They were soon in the driving seat, as the crowd was behind them 100 per cent.

The Georges’ presentation left patrons bemused, as they try to determine who was mother and who the daughter.

The gowns wore by the senior contestants were arresting such as the black and orange of Nicole Williams and Uteika;  startling white tinged with pink, gold and black presented by Alphina Albert and Sheneka.

Carlotta and her daughter Jovetta wore shades of pink and light blue representing the fight against breast cancer and tranquillity. Second and third places in this category went to Kim Gomes-Dainty and Shanai and Cheryl and Kimberly Jones.

During the evening, there was a surprise tribute paid to founder Ingrid Fung by her five children; and a tribute to mothers through songs performed by the GT&T Jingle finalists who added spice to the programme.  There were also special door prizes, including trips to Kaieteur Falls, Baganara and Arrow-Point Resorts, dinners, spa treatments, jewellery, and photo shoots.

Winner of the junior category: Oneca Neblett and her daughter Ariana Teixeira

Winner of the junior category: Oneca Neblett and her daughter Ariana Teixeira

The high-level competition was judged by Reverend Jackelyn and Melissa Bourne; chief judges Petal Ridley and Mischka; Cheryl Weever and Ameka; and Shamila and Alana Seebarran. The competition was judged on appropriateness, creativity, crowd response, creatively, talent among other criteria.

The night’s proceedings were chaired by Margaret Lawrence and Michella Abraham Ali. All in all, it was a night of pure elegance, which saw mother and daughter pairs walking down the aisles of the National Cultural Centre in style and fashion to the highest level.

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