19 Year-Old Tricia Cunningham is no stranger to the stage as she has spent most of her days performing with the Rusea’s High School’s choir and drama club. She has also been making strides as an up-and-coming artiste on the reggae and dancehall scene. On June 10, she added the title of Miss Hanover Festival Queen 2023 to her list of achievements when she topped the field of six talented, poised, and culturally aware contestants at the Coronation held at the Bioprist Auditorium in Lucea.
“I feel elated. I feel as though my hard work has paid off and that my talents are being noticed…The rigorous training has helped to develop me as a person and to inspire other young women, not only from my community but also those who look up to me on the internet.“
Cunningham shared as she reflected on the journey to winning the Parish title.
“It is now my ultimate desire to take the national crown back with me to Hanover when I compete at the National Finals on August 1…being the authentic cultural ambassador that I am, I know that I can put my parish on top.” shared Cunningham as she recounts that her parish has never held the title.
“During my reign, I would love to bring to the attention of the government to issues affecting the people of Hanover and Jamaicans as a whole. My project will focus on advocating for mental health among young people. I believe that it is an important issue, and our voices must and should be heard. I want to provide a platform for young people to express themselves, and I hope to do this by using my music to start the conversation in various spaces.” she said.
Dressed Like an Empress
Cunningham wore the sash of Camille Rose Naturals and copped three of the six sectional prizes — Most Culturally Aware, Most Popular on Social Media, and Best Performer, along with the coveted crown.
She shared that her winning strategy was to be true to herself. “I did not try to be something that I was not, but I embraced who I am. I was able to identify my weaknesses very quickly, and each day I would work on becoming better while perfecting my craft. I have an open mind and was ready to change whatever I have to in order to win, and that made a grand difference.” The up-and-coming artiste said her intention at first was to showcase her talent for singing and composing music but later learnt that the competition was more than just that.
The 2023 staging of the competition is being held under the theme, “The Jamaican Woman: Strong, Dignified and Creative”. Cunningham will go on to compete in the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition, one of the highlights of the Jamaica 61 celebrations.