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Kamal, Kiokya toasted at evening of excellence

Kamal, Kiokya  toasted at evening of excellence

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At what was dubbed an Evening of Excellence, family, close friends and well wishers gathered at the Prime Minister’s residence at Dasent Cottage Monday evening to honour two outstanding young persons in education and the arts: academic genius Kamal Wood and Digicel Rising Star song bird Kioyka Cruickshank.

It was an evening that the honourees and many of their friends would remember for a long time. Each of the special honourees had been given 50 invitations to ensure they were surrounded by their own. And therefore there was no shortage of close friends and relatives of both Kamal and Kiokya. {{more}}

As if ensuring that every aspect of this lived up to the chosen theme “Excellence”, the national anthem was given a majestic touch by the talented Patrice Bascombe to rousing applause.

The honourees were given five $5,000 each by the National Lotteries Authority (NLA), for their accomplishments and were praised by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves for being a source of strength and inspiration to other young people. He encouraged the youth to “soar like eagles”. He called on young people to be positive and become the solution and not the problem in life.

Dr. Gonsalves urged everyone to look at the Creator as the main source of strength for success and pointed out that this was what both Kiokya and Kamal did as he stressedit was no surprise that both were ‘devoted Christians’. He revealed that it came as a shock to see in person, the petite Kiokya as whohad seemedso much larger on television. He said that it was a delight to see the talented 18-year-old perform as she commanded the stage. Kiokya did not disspoint and put on a fantastic and very moving performance later in the evening with the New Generation Band.

Dr. Gonsalves congratulated Kamal for his academic prowess by being the top performer in the 2004 CXC exam topping near 200,000 students from around the region.

He called the event a real “flesh and blood celebration” of the Caribbean Civilisation in the areas of culture and education of which Kamal and Kiokya made tremendous contribution.

The cocktail event also had performances from the Avenue Dancers, Rhytmix Steel Orchestra and Fidel Taylor.

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