As is customary, Lindeners represented their town well in the 52nd Republic Celebration competitions that were recently concluded. Bringing the crown home from the ‘Miss Mash Queen’, pageant was 19-year-old, Akeila Shivena Handy, who is a medical student. She said she felt overjoyed about securing the top spot. “I felt satisfied that I worked hard and all my tears, sacrifices, and investments were worth the journey……my journey was definitely one to remember and reflect on,” she told INFO 10. “I faced so many challenges mainly with sponsorship and my self-esteem. Nevertheless, I overcame them all….. I’m very grateful.” The Mash Queen said she will be embarking on projects for students and the community with the support of the Linden Mayor and Town Council and the Office of the Regional Chairman. Handy was formerly crown Miss New Silvercity 2018 and Miss Linden Teen Ambassador 2019. She said she intends to continue participating in pageants since they boost her self-confidence amongst other things.
Another top performer from Linden is Quincy ‘Ego’ Lacon, who copped second place in the Adult Calypso competition with his song ‘World Boxing Match’. Lacon, who is no stranger to the local music industry and Mashramani competitions, said this is the first time he copped a top spot. In 2020 and 2021, he entered the calypso competition and placed 4th. With his first big win, Ego said he will continue to participate. “And of course now ranking as a big name in the calypso music arena, I simply cannot disappoint.” This year’s performance he said was well planned and entailed lots of sleepless nights but it paid off. He said he created history by taking a boxing match on stage.
Placing second in the Junior Soca Monarch competition is 19-year-old Relon Sumner aka ‘Original Lyrics’ with his song ‘Circumstances’. While he was a bit disappointed he did not gain first place, since he gave it his all, Sumner said he will continue to participate in these competitions because of his love for music. He will also continue to record songs. “I love music, no matter if I go and didn’t get a space, once the vibes and the energy is there, I will always participate, so next year I am coming fresh.
Sumner who is visually impaired, said he is currently working on completely his recording studio. He started singing at the age of 16. “We put in the work, we see results and we will continue to put in the work because we are not how far we would like to be and we are working on that dream to continue putting out good music. Sumner’s younger brother Roell Sumner, also participated in the competition. In addition, Lindeners Brandon Harding and Jada Harry also participated in the Adult Soca Monarch competition.