St. Maarteners Jernaldo “Dr. Rum” Thielman, John Sandiford, Thomassio Kelly, Kyle “DJ SPY” Brown, Cyriel Pfennings, Melissa Gumbs and John Brooks have been nominated for the 2015 Dutch Caribbean Pearls Awards, which will be held in Rotterdam on November 7.
Aside from the six nominees from St. Maarten, there are two nominees from Saba, Sue-Jean Janga and Angie Ignacio, and one from St. Eustatius, Ziggi Recado.
Communications management student Janga has been nominated for the student category, and creative writer Ignacio for the arts and literature category. International reggae star Ziggi, who was born Ricardo Blijden, has been nominated for the music and entertainment category.
DJ SPY has been nominated for the community category mainly for his contribution to the Rotterdam Summer Carnival with the first-ever St. Maarten troupe. Pfennings and Gumbs, also nominated in the community category, were recognised for their contribution towards the St. Maarten community in the Netherlands by setting up the Unified St. Maarten Connection (USC) in 2011.
Sandiford, owner of the company Antonio Media, was nominated in the category entrepreneurship. Also placed in the same category was Brooks who owns the internationally successful Brooks Modelling Agency. Culinary arts student Kelly, who is also a photographer, has been nominated in the student category. Performer Dr. Rum was nominated for the music and entertainment category.
This year, the number of St. Maarten nominees was relatively high. With six nominees, St. Maarten outdid Aruba with five candidates. Curaçao has the most nominees with 18. Bonaire has one nominee.
There will be one winner for each of the seven categories: music and entertainment, science, community, student, sports, entrepreneurship, and art and literature. A panel of professionals from each category will select the winners based on predefined criteria. The winners will be announced during a gala and award show in Rotterdam on November 7.
Also announced that evening will be the winner of the Most Outstanding Pearl, a public award for which all 33 nominees will be competing. Friends, family, supporters and the general public are invited to vote for their favourite pearl on the website www.dcpearls. nl/vote.
The Dutch Caribbean Pearls event aims to celebrate successes and Dutch Caribbean role models living in the Netherlands. This will be the fourth awards show, which is always organised by OCAN foundation for persons of Dutch Caribbean descent.
The award show will feature various performances, including DJ SPY from St. Maarten, DJ Sky from Aruba, the dance group Afrokiddos and the bands NSTYPLY and K’RIBE. Inspirational speaker Shandrick Elodia will deliver a speech. The networking event Dutch Caribbean Connect will precede the gala and award show where the nominees can connect with guests of the Dutch and Dutch Caribbean community.
As in previous years, the show will be held in the city of Rotterdam, which is a major funding partner of the Dutch Caribbean Pearls. Other sponsors this year are the Curaçao study financing foundation SSC, the Passaat student’s organisation and online radio Fruzitime.
The Daily Herald.