Basseterre St. Kitts — They were the princesses of the evening, and it was three of them. Their demeanour made heads turn. They were smooth and sleek. Only Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon Dr Timothy Harris, could aptly talk about them. They represent the St. Kitts and Nevis of tomorrow.
What do you know about Miss Martesia Bedford, Miss Crystal Watson, and Miss Zoee Samantha Browne? They have a combined age of 24, meaning each is eight years old, and surely they are not your typical run-of-the-mill material — they are special.
“These are the future leaders, certainly of the community!” stated Prime Minister Harris when asked to describe them.
But to get to know more about them, one has first to understand the context under which anyone would have had the reason to want to know anything about them.
It was a Saturday evening, October 10th to be exact. The setting was the newly refurbished Molineux Basketball Hard Court, and the event was the launch of the newly christened Harris Basketball League. For over a decade they called it the Inner City Constituency Seven Basketball League.
The evening was cool. Some even wore jackets. They were all dressed for the occasion; one would have been forgiven to think it was a fashion show parade. However, the three young girls were different. They were in their school uniforms – looking very clean and sharp -something one would expect to see on a Monday morning.
So, what were they doing on a Saturday night wearing their school uniforms – and away from their schools? And they came from three different schools, making the contrast even more appealing. Heads turned every time the girls breezed past and joined Prime Minister Harris, hugging and talking to him.
Martesia went ahead and took a picture of the Prime Minister with Zoee Samantha’s hand around his broad shoulders.
It was when the official programme started that the public got to know what role the three girls were to have played. Master of ceremonies, Mr Lesroy Williams, invited them to render the National Anthem.
Of course everyone had to stand as the girls melodiously did duty for their beloved country, but at the end of it a number of persons still remained standing for a good while. That was a salute to the girls.
After they were through with the singing of the National Anthem, Zoee Samantha flew into the direction of the Prime Minister and tightly hugged him. The three young ladies temporarily disappeared from the crowd, and when they returned, not one of them was wearing the school uniforms – they had transformed themselves into fashion queens.
So who are the girls? Martesia Bedford is a Grade Four pupil at the Violet Petty Primary School; Crystal Watson is a Grade Four pupil at the Molineux Primary School, while Zoee Samantha Browne is a Grade Three pupil at the Tucker Clarke Primary School.
“They have come out to participate in a community event and to play a leadership role,” explained Prime Minister Harris. “Those three students did the National Anthem, and they did it flawlessly and excellently, and so we want to commend them for their contribution.”
According to the Prime Minister, the three young girls had shown awareness, courage and were not timid in terms of doing what was needed even in the presence of a good crowd.
“And so I want to wish them well,” said Dr Harris. “I want to encourage their parents to give them loving support because clearly we have the new cadre for leadership for Inner City coming to the fore this evening.”
While the Harris Basketball League is supposed to be a Constituency Seven affair, one of the girls is a pupil at a school in Constituency One (Tucker Clarke), but the Prime Minister felt that she could have been from the community.
“We have students who go to different schools and although we have a zoning system in St. Kitts and Nevis, it is not strictly applied, but they all hail from Inner City,” he explained. “In any event, the reach of this league is very wide, and we have players coming as far as Challengers in one direction, and so on.
“In order to help, again bring the best of the players out, they are allowed to bring a few players from outside the geographical confines of Inner City to participate, all in the interest of building a deeper competitive edge, establishing their greater prowess through competition.”
Martesia, Crystal, and Zoee Samantha: Our Girls, Our Pride, Our Future.