If the 24 presentations at the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Junior finals serve as a gauge, then the future of entertainment and creativity in Barbados is in good hands.
The juniors put on a spectacular show for the sold-out crowd at the Major Noot Hall at Combermere School, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. All who participated should be commended for a job well done.
As for the judges, well they will have quite a time trying to choose who earned gold, silver and bronze medals. Of the 24 presentations, one of the standouts was definitely the young up and coming actor Brandon Byer-Maloney.
No stranger to the NIFCA stage, Byer-Maloney thrilled the audience with his two pieces A Loyal Citizen and Glenburnie by Bus. In A Loyal Citizen, the youngster presented a comical piece addressing the serious potholes problem currently facing the country.
His refrain of ‘I hope you understand that this is pothole land’ left the audience in stiches every time. In the piece Glenburnie by Bus, he recounted hilarious experiences travelling form Bridgetown to St John.
A piece that should definitely be up for a gold award was the piece All Fall Down by Dancin Africa. Another Dancin Africa piece, #lifeinleggings, choreographed by Aisha Comissiong, spoke to the serious topic of sexual harassment and sent a strong message that it will not be tolerated.
The dance troupe left the stage and auditorium chanting the refrain ‘I am not you sexy friend’, leaving all in earshot with a lot to think about.
A short play written by Kenneth Jack-Lewis, sent a strong message about the problem of addiction in its many forms and highlighted ways in which the problem could be defeated.
There is definitely much talent at the Reynold Weekes Primary School. The youngsters from Four Roads, St Philip gave a great performance of their drama piece entitled NSRL.
The children highlighted the many challenges caused by the tax since it was increased by 400 per cent in this year’s Budget and had the audience chanting along to the refrain ‘NSRL tek ova town”.
The Mustard Seed Production did an excellent job using Caribbean folklore to tell the story of Poxie Roxie, a girl who was a victim of bullying. The piece sent a strong message that bullying should never be tolerated.
Kia Downes, a promising actress, gave a commendable performance of Job Interview. The same goes for Pearls Dance Academy with their performance of Down Under. The dynamic performance by the little ones made the audience feel as though they were right there with them in the movie Finding Nemo.
Altogether, the young NIFCA performers addressed many topics. They should be commended and encouraged to keep striving for the very best.