Linden schools win HIV/AIDS jingle contest

Students from two Linden schools were adjudged the winners yesterday in the primary and secondary segments of the Ministry of Education’s first ever HIV/AIDS Schools Jingle Competition.

Regma Primary School’s Fatima Raheem, 10, copped the first prize in the primary level competition with her jingle ‘Protect yourself’ while 13-year-old Ronnel Gonsalves, of McKenzie High School won first place after beating out nine other competitors in the secondary category. His jingle is titled ‘No Discrimination.’ Both jingles were written by music teacher Amryl Beckles.

The objective of the competition was to use music as a means of spreading the message about HIV/AIDS. The idea of a jingle competition was born out of the belief that music is the medium that reaches all children. The contest was held under the theme ‘Prevention begins with Me.’

All the students performed well at the competition which was hosted at the National Cultural Centre, and they cheered loudly after Raheem and Gonsalves completed their individual one-minute jingles. Raheem’s rendition moved the audience to its feet and her back-up dancers, comprising four girls, their faces painted white, and dressed in black shirts with HIV emblazoned on their shirts, were also impressive. Gonsalves also came out with back-up dancers, dressed in green. The two students won cheques valued at $15,000 each along with a trophy and a keyboard for their respective schools.

Six schools participated in the primary level of competition while ten participated in the secondary category. Kenisha Hutson was adjudged the second place winner in the primary category with her jingle ‘HIV is a Killer’ and Faith Ann Washington placed third with her jingle ‘I can prevent AIDS.’ In the secondary group, second place went to Ernesta Nelson for her jingle titled ‘Faithfulness is the key’ and third place was awarded to Tandace Lynch for her jingle ‘Stop the Spread.’ They also received trophies for their performances. Other participants in the primary include Mikhaila Patterson, Melinda Hector and Cavel Carew while the secondary category included contestants Angela Beaton, Atina Barry, Canesha Taharally, Abiola Bagot, Carlos Farley, Quincy Richmond and Atesha McDonald.

The ministry said the competition started in September with thirteen secondary schools and six primary schools region wide. The contest was judged by a panel of four persons. Minister within the education ministry Dr Desrey Fox presented the trophies to the winners in the primary category while Chief Education Officer Geneveive Whyte-Nedd presented the trophies to the secondary winners. The packed programme also included entertainment by local singer Ossie Nedd and a troupe from the National School of Dance.

The lyrics to Raheem’s jingle are

Prevention (three times)

Begins with me

Oh protect yourself from HIV

The best you can do is say no

When you are tempted say no

Stay in school enjoy your youth

Abstain is the best that you can do

Protect yourself (two times)

Just protect yourself.”

While Gonsalves’ jingle went like this”

Don’t single out people with HIV

Show them that you love them for whatever it may be

Don’t single out people in this nation

Prevention begins with me and you

We’re on in this world every boy and girl

So come and join us on this adventure

Don’t single out people

Hear them crying out

Hear them balling out

For your love and care

Prevention begins with me and you (two times)

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