Twin joys: After giving birth to twins, Berbice mom wins house lot

Mother of six and grand prize winner of the Tropical Rhythms ‘Drink & Win’ promotion Jamela Scipio (at left) along with Minister within the Ministry of Communities Valerie Adams-Patterson and ANSA McAL officials at the award ceremony yesterday. (Terrence Thompson photo)

A mother of six, who recently gave birth to twins, has been given the opportunity to own her own home after being declared the winner of a house lot, which was the grand prize in the Tropical Rhythms ‘Drink & Win’ promotion.

Jamela Scipio was symbolically awarded the prize at the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) parking lot along Brickdam, George-town, yesterday morning.

ANSA McAL partnered with the CH&PA for the promotion, where persons were required to submit their contact details along with four Tropical Rhythm bottle caps at various boxes placed in stores countrywide.

While the original intention was to give away a house lot in the New Providence Scheme, East Bank Demerara, given that Scipio is from Berbice, the company worked with the CH&PA to give the woman another lot in Kilcoy/ Chesney.

Speaking to Stabroek News, Scipio expressed her joy at finally being able to acquire her own house lot and possibly her own house in the near future. She said it brought her even more joy since she recently delivered twins.

“I feel very proud and very blessed and I want to thank ANSA McAL and Central Housing [and Planning Authority]. I didn’t expect to get a land and I gave birth to twins recently. When I came out the hospital like two days after, I get a phone call asking if I hear me name on the radio and I asked for what and they told me and I didn’t believe because I was so overjoyed,” the mother explained.

She said that she has been renting a house, for which she pays $30,000 per month, and “that is hard and I never applied for a house lot but I always really wanted my own home and God made that come through.”

Minister within the Ministry of Communities Valerie Adams-Patterson also made brief remarks at the presentation and said that the CH&PA is willing to collaborate with other agencies and companies for similar promotions.

“It’s been a pleasure for us here at CH&PA to partner with ANSA McAL on this special project and I want to say that we were always interested in seeing people acquire their own homes. That is our objective and even if someone acquires a house lot, the end result is that we don’t want you to just be an owner of a house lot but to own your own home, and everything we can do at CH&PA to facilitate that, we will do,” she said.

Iva Wharton, Public Relations Officer of the CH&PA, recalled that the company approached them with the proposal, saying that instead of being conventional and awarding cars or other items as their grand prize, they wanted to do something different. She said a house lot at Providence Gardens was offered.

However, given Scipio’s Berbice location, the company did not want to separate her from her family and so they decided to give her a piece of land closer to where she lives. The land in Kilcoy/Chesney cost approximately $500,000. They had budgeted $2 million for the lot in Providence and as a result Scipio will be gifted the difference to assist her in building her home.

“She had never applied for a house lot and she is a mother of six and when she won, one of her request she made is not to be relocated from Berbice. So together with ANSA McAL, along with Ms Scipio, we had a discussion and she agreed to take a house lot in Berbice and that house lot is at a cheaper cost,” Wharton explained.

Other winners also collected consolation prizes.

Speaking to the media, brand ambassador of Tropical Rhythm Fareez Mohammed explained that the promotion commenced in May and ran through to June. Consolation prizes of four scooters, four $50,000 cash prizes, four hampers and four Apple iPads were also given away during the promotion.

“Why? Well, we know that every person or most persons in Guyana want to have their own home and that is always the start of the family,” Mohammed said, after he was asked the reason for the company’s decision to give away a house lot.

Mohammed added that the promotion exceeded their expectations. They have since recorded a 38% increase in Tropical Rhythm sales.


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