DANIELLA DAVIS

DANIELLA DAVIS, CARIBBEAN STYLE & CULTURE 2020

MODEL OF THE YEAR”

“She is gorgeous, when can she arrive in NY? asked one of the world’s top model managers, Michele Pryor, Pryor was quick to sign Davis, in fact she did so immediately upon seeing her digital photos.

A new SuperModel is on the rise and taking the international scene like a storm, Jamaican born Daniella Davis was discovered in the Pulse Caribbean Model Search, she is now signed to Women Model Management, one of the world’s leading model networks, which also represents Pulse supermodel Alicia Burke.

Daniella flew to the Big Apple to start her international career. “Everything is going very well. I have started preparing for my castings and go sees and I am looking forward to all that’s ahead,” said the excited new face on the block. Already creating a stir among some of New York’s finest clients.

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MUA – Sharlene Reid, Photo Orville Spencer
MUA – Sharlene Reid, Photo Orville Spencer

CSC 2020 DESIGNERS – First Segment

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KARIB STYLE FASHION WEEK DC starts Thursday June 18th thru Sunday June 21st. One of the most important things in the Caribbean fashion industry is that there are always new designers bringing fresh ideas and incentives to the industry. The big fashion brands and names stay in place forever but even they are impacted upon by the new ideas and styles that come from the ground up. This is why the mark of any international fashion scene can be judged by the emerging designers who are creating waves and grabbing attention. This is one area where the Caribbean fashion industry can be seen to be on the rise because there is an environment that favors rapid growth and development of new talent looking to make their way to prominence. This is the First Segment, a list of six of twenty designers showcasing their collections.

The CLOTH – by Robert Young
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SHAKAD ECO LIFESTYLE – by Shanika Burnett
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THALASSA BEACHWEAR by Arielle & Alyssa Persad
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HOUSE OF PEARSON by Quinton Pearson
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BIJOU LAKAY by Daphnee Floreal
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2020 DESIGNERS – The Third Element

David André Collection by David André
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OLYMPIA’S FASHION by Olympia Small Sonaram

Olympia’s talent is described as “RAW“ this flamboyant fashion designer has a personal relationship with fashion and a sense of style.

Olympia’s designs come naturally. Her aspirations and exceptional talent stemmed from her mother who herself is a designer and seamstress. Olympia participated in numerous fashion contest wearing gowns which were designed by her from just a tender age of 14 years and made by her mother. In almost all her approximately 15 different contest she captured the best gown prize.

It is no secret that Olympia is well known for her extremely sexy and provocative as well as conservative clothing line which was displayed at many well-known fashion extravaganzas, namely: Diva’s International, Passion and Purity, Caribbean Fashion Week and Guyana Fashion Week….


JUDE ROBERTS – Versatile Studios – CSC 2020 PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
JUDE ROBERTS – 2020 Photographer of the year

Jude Roberts is a Professional Photographer and founder of Versatile Studios Trinidad and Tobago.

Before starting the company, Jude spent nine years as a Videographer and Video Editor for video production companies in Trinidad and Tobago.

After a successful career working on various television programmes, television commercials, wedding videos etc., Jude was given the opportunity to work with still images as a hobbyist photographer and for the past eleven years he has been working on various photography projects in Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and the Dominican Republic. Jude enjoys sports (football (soccer), anyone?) hiking, music, meeting new people, spending time with friends and family and travelling the world.

Jude’s main market in terms of photography is weddings but has now expanded to fashion photography which he has been heavily involved in over the past two years.

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2020 DESIGNERS Second Element

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KIMYA GLASGOW, Inc by Kimya Glasgow

Contrasting the Caribbean elegance of a bygone age and a love of ancient world cultures, with a modern perspective and an air of wanderlust and careless nobility, the Kimya Glasgow aesthetic celebrates the rhythm of the human form in motion, influenced by the Caribbean aesthetic through its culture and art.

The relaxed elegance of Cottons, Linens, Crochet and Jute are often juxtaposed with the warm, luminescent glow of Dupioni Silks or even a bit of sparkle. Unique touches such as hand-painting and hand-beading or a soft lining, add a sense of luxury to handmade wearable-art pieces.

Vanilla Orchid – Eau de Toilette Fragrance

An elegant and noble eau de toilette, with a subtle blend of Vanilla and Ambergris, that reveals a fresh and fruity fragrance, with a delicious and sensual aura, and notes of red fruits and pear. Vanilla Orchid by Kimya Glasgow is meant to inspire boldness and elegance.

CHRISTY CREATIONS – by Christine A. Samuel

KERR & MARCELLE 2018 AWARD WINNERS

CHRISTIQUE CLOTHING by Elizabeth Francis

ELIETTE LESUPERBE DESIGNS by Eliette Lesuperbe
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FAMOUS & INFLUENTIAL CARIBBEAN WOMEN – 10/16

ANITA JOHNSON-PATTY

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“A love of country,” prompted Anita Johnson-Patty to accept a position with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism . Today, she serves her country as the ministry’s general manager of communications for the U.S. In this role, she oversees media relations, serves as a spokesperson, and coordinates strategic partnerships for the U.S. market. She is also responsible for communications for both the general and special-interest consumer U.S. markets. Johnson-Patty has worked with top-tier media outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Miami Herald, to increase tourism to the Islands of The Bahamas.

Johnson-Patty became interested in international relations soon after moving to Washington, D.C., from the Bahamas. Her father, the late Livingstone Johnson, was the first ambassador for the newly independent Bahamas to the United Nations and the United States. His career and guidance instilled in his daughter a love of travel and an appreciation of different cultures. After graduating from Simmons College with a dual bachelor’s degree in communications and French, Johnson-Patty began her career with a CBS-affiliated television station in Boston as a production assistant. She later became a news assistant before transitioning into public relations. She lists among her many achievements her partnership with her sister, Deanne Johnson-Anderson, to co-publish their father’s memoir: The Past Remembered a Bahamian’s Long Journey Home in Pursuit of Knowledge. The former ambassador passed away before finishing the memoir. “This was truly an honor because we were able to fulfill our father’s dream,” Johnson-Patty remarks.

Her accolades include her selection as one of the 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women of 2009 in South Florida, and being awarded the 2010 APEX Awards for distinguished service in the travel industry. Johnson-Patty, who speaks fluent French, studied the language at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris, France.

JUSTICE YONETTE CUMMINGS-EDWARDS

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The Hon. Justice of Appeal Yonette Cummings-Edwards was appointed by Guyana’s President David Granger to perform the functions of the Office of the Chief Justice in Georgetown, Guyana.

The Hon. Madame Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards is an Appeal Court Judge in the Supreme Court of Judicature, Guyana. Justice Cummings-Edwards started her legal career in the Chambers of the Director of Public prosecution (DPP) as State Counsel/State Prosecutor. While at the DPP’s office she was elevated to various positions including: Senior State Counsel, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution and Acting Director of Public Prosecution. Justice Cummings-Edwards also served as a High Court Judge. She lectured and advised Prosecutors in the Guyana Police Force, Customs and Excise Department and other law enforcement Agencies.

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Justice Cummings- Edwards is a member in Expert Group meetings on narcotics prosecution, money laundering and preparation of manual for prosecution of sexual offences. She has been both a presenter and participant in seminars, colloquial, workshop on Human Rights, Domestic Violence, Gender Equality, Alternative Dispute Resolution. Justice Cummings-Edwards is a holder of MaYonsters of Laws degree with specialization in Family Law, graduating with merit from the University of London, a Bachelor of Laws Degree graduating with Upper Second Class Honor from the University of the West Indies and a certificate of Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School.

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SHAKARA LEDARD

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Chances are, you know model Shakara Ledard. Whether you’re flipping through the pages of your latest Victoria’s Secret catalog, or flipping channels between MTV and BET where you can catch her dancing alongside Justin Timberlake in his “It’s Like I Love You” video or Usher’s “U Remind Me,” she’s the stunning beauty staring back at you. Featured in ad campaigns from L’Oreal to Levis, honored to be the very first black model to grace the pages of Singapore’s Harpers Bazaar, the passionate Ledard may be best-known for striking sexy poses in Sports Illustrated’s famed Swimsuit Issue for multiple years in a row.

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She was born in Nassau Bahamas, her father, Dennis Ledard, is of French Normandy descent, and her mother, Maddie, is a Bahamian of West African descent.

Shakara Ledard grew up in Nassau, Bahamas and spent her childhood making the most of what the island had to offer a young girl.
Born to a Bahamian mother and a French father, who owned several upscale clothing boutiques, the 5’9 ½” beauty was always exposed to fashion. Even as a child, Shakara was intrigued with modeling and would often pose like a diva for the camera.

When Shakara was nine, she met supermodel Linda Evangelista and tagged along with her on a Vogue shoot. After being encouraged by Linda that she too could be a model, the deal was sealed. At age fourteen, Shakara left her island paradise and set out for America to continue her formal education.

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Her first modeling opportunity came soon after when she posed for a JC Penney catalog shoot. One year later, she signed with a Miami Beach Modeling Agency.

While modeling part-time, Shakara attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and graduated with Honors and an Associate of Arts Degree in Fashion Design. Armed with her degree, Shakara moved to Chicago where she had several modeling contracts with catalogs, magazines and billboard ads all over the country.

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 Shakara appeared in the 2000, 2001 & 2005 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.She appeared in the movies ‘After the sunset’, ‘Raising Helen’, ‘Prey rock & Roll’ and ‘Behind the Smile’.

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 NITARA CARLYNN “NIA” LONG

attends The Cinema Society and Target screening of "Good Hair" at the IFC Center on October 5, 2009 in New York City.

Nitara CarlynnNiaLong (born October 30, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air andThird Watch, and the films In Too Deep, Boyz n the Hood, Are We There Yet?, Friday, Boiler Room, Soul Food, Love Jones, The Best Man, Big Momma’s House, and the sequels to the latter two films.

Long was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Talita (nee Gillman), a teacher and print-maker, and Doughtry “Doc” Long, a high school teacher and poet.Her family is of Trinidadian, Grenadian, and Bajan descent. Her name, Nia, is one of the seven days of Kwanzaa, which means purpose in Swahili. She has an older half-sister, the actress and comedian known as Sommore.

Long was two years old when her parents divorced. She accompanied her mother when she moved to Iowa City, Iowa, to study fine arts. Her mother moved to South Los Angeles when Long was seven years old, as she planned to marry there. She and her fiance called off the wedding, but Talita chose to stay in Los Angeles. Long’s father resides in Trenton, New Jersey.

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Long attended the Roman Catholic school St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, California. In addition to her academic classes, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, guitar, and acting. She graduated from Westchester High School in Los Angeles in 1989.

Long’s acting coach was Betty Bridges, better known as the mother of Diff’rent Strokes star Todd Bridges. Her earliest role was in the Disney television movie, The B.R.A.T Patrol alongside Sean Astin, Tim Thomerson and Brian Keith.
Her first notable role on television was a three-year contract role as Kathryn “Kat” Speakes on the soap opera Guiding Light. Long portrayed Kat from 1991 to 1994.
From 1994 – 1995, she played Will Smith’s girlfriend and fiancée Beulah “Lisa” Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Jada Pinkett-Smith was originally supposed to play Lisa, but was too short for the role (opposite a 6’2″ Will Smith), thus leaving Nia to take the part.
In 2003, she joined the cast of the drama Third Watch, where she played NYPD Officer Sasha Monroe, continuing until the series finale in 2005.
In 2005 and 2006, Long appeared on Everwood, and appeared on Boston Legal during its 2006-2007 season. Long also starred in Big Shots from 2007-2008 alongside Michael Vartan and Dylan McDermott.

Long appeared in supporting roles in a number of movies such as Boyz n the Hood, Friday, and Made in America. Long played a leading role, or a member of the primary ensemble, in several films, including Soul Food, Love Jones, Boiler Room, Big Momma’s House, Are We There Yet?, and The Best Man.
Ice Cube has starred with her in four films, while (fellow Westchester High alum) Regina King has starred with her in two. Long starred alongside Michael Beach in Soul Food and in the TV series Third Watch.

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Long appears in the video for Kanye West’s “Touch The Sky”. She directed Yolanda Adams’s music video for “This Too Shall Pass”. She won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2004 for her performance on Third Watch.

Long co-directed and appeared in Ashanti’s music video, “Baby”. She also made a guest appearance on the successful sitcom Living Single during its first season. She then got in contact with Gina Wilson because she wanted to become an actress also.

Long and her former long-time boyfriend and fellow actor Massai Z. Dorsey have a son, Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, born on November 26, 2000. Dorsey and Long were engaged to be married, but the pair have since ended their relationship.

 

SADE BULLY

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Sade Bully is a West Indian native, born in the nature island of Dominica and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She is daughter of Caribbean playwright, director and visual artist Dr. Alwin Bully, and remembers spending most of her childhood weekends watching her father draw or paint; or in the theater with him, watching and studying his plays, line by line.

Despite this significant artistic influence, and a passion for dance, Sade found herself attending Medical School at the University of the West Indies where she received a Bachelors of Medical Sciences and Surgery (MBBS). Promptly after, however, she left the practice in order to pursue a dance career in New York City before it was “too late”. She initially studied at “The Ailey School” in Manhattan, before auditioning for her dream company “Garth Fagan Dance”. Four years later she is currently a senior dancer with the company, growing into principal roles and gaining critical recognition for her work with the esteemed company.

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“So You See,” a stand-out work in the rich program presented by Garth Fagan Dance.

It wasn’t until sustaining a serious foot and ankle injury in 2013 that Sade picked up the pen and started drawing. With a lot more hours in the day free, she started experimenting with these drawings, being influenced strongly by her medical background and anatomical knowledge, as well as her emotional frustrations dealing with heart breaks in both her personal and professional life. Drawing was therapeutic, and gave her a creative outlet for expression during a time when she was unable to dance. With encouragement from friends and family, she continued to draw, and eventually started painting and posting her images on social media even after her transition back on to the dance floor.

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FAMOUS & OUTSTANDING CARIBBEAN WOMEN – 4/2014

MICHELE HENDERSON-DELSOL

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When rhythm, melody and prose unite, there’s magic.  A song can soothe the angry heart, bring joy to the saddest of souls and inspire a generation to succeed.  The magicians who create these phenomena, are to be celebrated and loved. Singer, Songwriter and Performer extraordinaire, Michele Henderson has enjoyed a successful career as an artiste for over 20 years. Born in Grand Bay, Commonwealth of Dominica, Michele has thrilled audiences with her live performances in and outside the Region, with major performances at the World Creole Music Festival, Dominica; Grenada Spice Jazz Festival; St. Lucia Jazz Festival; Roskilde Festival in Denmark; Jazz Artists on the Green in Trinidad and Tobago; among several other performances in the USA, Europe, Martinique and Guadeloupe.   From the tender age of two she was already honing her craft, singing at church, where her father played the guitar.  Michele grew up in a musical family and was nurtured in the art of singing and song writing by her parents Marguerite-rose and Lambert Henderson.  She was enrolled at the Kairi School of music where she learned to play recorder and flute while landing leading roles in the school’s choir productions on account of her strong voice and remarkable stage presence.   Her music teacher, Ms Pearle Christian, described her as “a sprite of a girl” who at age nine showed signs of great promise.

Michele continued on to join the jazz band “impact!” at age 15 where she served as lead singer and flutist.  The band enjoyed a brief stint at the top of the local music scene, releasing one album before breaking up in 1997. During that time, Michele also became involved with the calypso scene, arranging and recording background vocals on several albums for local calypsonians.  She was also featured on an album of one of Dominica’s most famous bands, the WCK.  She went on to play a pivotal role in the release of three albums commemorating the annual World Creole Music Festival held in Dominica during its independence season.

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  Michele rose to prominence as a singer songwriter in those years and began to seek new challenges.  Roland Delsol Jr, former bass player of “impact!” whom Michele later married, took on the task of producing her first solo album self titled, Michele Henderson.  The album received glowing reviews and earned Michele her first international live performances.  She was featured at the Grenada Spice Jazz Festival alongside Nestor Torres and Third World and the St. Lucia Jazz Festival.  From then on, the calls came in from around the region and Europe for Michele to perform live at various festivals.  She continued to record albums and make videos which gained her popularity in the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and had a number one hit on the Zouk charts in France.  She has shared the billing with international stars like Green Day and The Foo Fighters at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, headlined the Jazz Artists on the Green and Jazz on the Hill festivals in Trinidad and Virgin Gorda respectively and contributed to charity worldwide by performing at fund raising events in London, New York and Hollywood.  Michele has recorded 6 albums and one DVD to date with the latest project, “Home”, being published by extended release.  She has shared the stage with a wide range of artists the likes of Taylor  Dayne, Chick Corea and Doug E. Fresh.

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With so much international experience under her belt, she has become a seasoned artist whose live performances leave audiences astounded at her level of talent and prowess.  Michele also writes successfully for other artists some of whom have participated in and won local talent competitions.

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In all of this, Michele has found time to have a family and engage in local activities on her island.  She is the mother of two, director of two local businesses, board member of Crime stoppers Dominica, spokesperson for the Home at Heart Foundation and an officially appointed Goodwill Ambassador to Dominica.  She continues to record and perform getting better with time.  Michele is of the opinion that “the best is yet to come” in her career.  For her, there is still more magic to be made!!!

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CYNTHIA A. “Mother” PRATT

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Hon. Cynthia A. “Mother” Pratt (born 1945) is the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas. She attained the office when the Progressive Liberal Party came to power in the national elections of 2002.

Appointed Acting Prime Minister when the incumbent suffered a minor stroke and stepped aside from his duties, but she has acted on a number of occasions before, when he was abroad. She is also known as “Mother” Pratt. As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security 2002-07 she was  in charge of the Defense Force and Police. She was Opposition Whip Circa 1992-2000 and from circa 2000 Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Democratic Part. A former nurse, she is mother of 6 children.

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In April 2011 Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt, was honored  in North Carolina when she was inducted into the Sister Delany Honor Society by St Augustine’s College in Raleigh.

The award is given by the University to salute the excellence of alumnae who have made significant contributions to the College and within their local communities. Each inductee was awarded the Delany cup and saucer.

Mrs Pratt received her Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in health and education with a minor in sociology from St Augustine’s in 1983. In February, 1995, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University.

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Mrs. Pratt is a Protestant minister.

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DEBORAH ANDOLLO

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 Deborah Andollo (born in Havana in 1967) is a Cuban free-diving athlete who held several world records in different disciplines. Her nicknames “Neptune’s Girlfriend”, “Queen of the Caribbean” or “Mermaid of the Deep” associate her with the sea and her passion for the environment, as well as a sustainable relationship between man and nature

She is more mermaid than woman: in addition to her handsome figure and charming face, she has award-winning diving abilities and talent. At 45, Andollo is one of the most distinguished athletes on the island, despite the fact that she has devoted a large part of her career to a discipline that is not part of the Olympic Games and that is not very well known internationally: apnea diving, or breath hold diving.

She holds 16 world records in four different divisions of apnea diving; she also won the 1996 Marine Oscar and was voted World’s Best Diver in 1997.

This modest blonde woman began swimming at the age of 4. When she was 11, she got started in synchronized swimming, which she practiced for more than a decade.

A year after captaining the national synchronized swim team that won a bronze medal in the 1991 Pan-American Games in Havana, Andollo decided to leave that discipline and became an underwater photography model. However, the woman also known as the “Mermaid of the Deep” was not satisfied; she began diving deeper, and eventually reached the heights of fame.

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She threw herself completely into deep diving, a very risky activity that only a few hundred very select people in the world are capable of practicing successfully.

Andollo, who is also known as “Neptune’s Bride,” says she feels a very close connection to the ocean — it seduces her.

“I was born to live with the ocean and its deepest secrets. I’m Cuban, and like any good Cuban, I have spent the best moments of my life in the ocean. The fact that I’m from Havana brings me even closer. From a very young age, I was immensely attracted to that world fully of mystery and goodness.”

In a little over a decade, she became the woman who could dive into the depths using with nothing but a deep breath; her exceptional lung capacity of six liters (!) allowed her to hold her breath for more than four minutes at a time, and she set an absolute record (for women and men). In addition, she practiced yoga, which gave her the mental endurance needed for remaining calm at the bottom of the ocean.

Andollo, who was born in the Cuban capital on May 9, 1967, says that practicing deep diving/apnea was the only way to be in the ocean every day, learning about the different species that inhabit it and the wonderful phenomena that characterize it.

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“My first immersions had a big impact on me. I was fascinated by so many fish, so much silence, tranquility and majesty. The perfection of the ocean makes us feel small and vulnerable,” she explains.

In May 1992, she began the long road down to the depths, diving 50 meters in the modality of free diving, in which the descent and ascent is carried out purely with the apnea diver’s muscular strength and a strong dose of courage.

“Apnea is an activity that cannot be accompanied by fear. I’m not afraid of sharks; I respect them. They are adorable animals, very important for the ecosystem and marine biodiversity, although it is very wise to respect them. But there are tons of dangers in the ocean besides sharks; for example, there are the currents, the depths, darkness, loneliness.”

In 2001, Deborah decided to enter the world of scuba diving, and she did so spectacularly: she dove deeper than anybody ever had without a mask or fins: 74 meters, in the modality known as free diving. Not even the most famous male divers had reached that depth.

Andollo, who is also nicknamed “Queen of the Caribbean,” is president of the Cuban Federation of Subaquatic Activities (FCAS), and she passionately defends the environment and the sustainable coexistence of human beings and nature.

“For me, commitment to the ocean is important. I am always fighting to protect it and to raise awareness about protecting it from human voracity. In that sense, I think that there is still a lot to be done in Cuba regarding marine parks and protected areas, even though there is a great deal of political will.”

Andollo has two children — a 13-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl — and says she has always pursued happiness without limits. “Cuba is my land and my sea.”

Proudly, she says that her oldest child, Ernesto, has become a wonderful apnea diver, and can now dive 13 meters deep.

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Currently, Andollo lives in Isla Cozumel, Mexico, but that does not stop her from feeling very passionately about the island where she was born and achieved her great triumphs.

“Cuba is where my parents and my best, true friends live, and where the ocean is more tranquil than anyplace else. It is a meeting point for the most intense encounters of affection. It’s where I was born and where my children were born, so, it will always be where we are from. Thank you, Cuba!”

In Mexico, she is making one of her dearest dreams come true: the Academia Blue Yemayá, an academy that teaches free diving. Andollo and her husband, Eric Testi of France, are its co-presidents and administrators.

“We work in the diving area of the marine park on the island of Cozumel, which has the second largest coral reef in the world.”

Deborah is a modest, unassuming woman who is familiar with the positive and negative aspects of fame.

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Twice included on the list of the country’s top 10 athletes (1996 and 1997) and chosen as one of the 100 Best Cuban Athletes of the 20th Century, Andollo received the Platinum Pro5000 Diver Award in November 2011, a prize that is granted to outstanding divers who have completed more than 5,000 dives.

Deborah, fascinated by the ocean and gifted with supernatural talents, says there are many things she would still like to do, and that free diving is a fascinating activity, a passion that she enjoys sharing with others.

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SIMONE OVIDE DUVALIER

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Simone Duvalier (c. 1913 – 1997) was the wife of Haitian dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier (1907–1971).

She was born Simone Ovide in about 1913 near the Haitian town of Léogâne, the daughter of a mulatto merchant and writer, Jules Faine, and Célie Ovide, one of the maids in his household. At an early age her mother gave her up, and she spent much of her childhood in an orphanage in Pétionville, an exclusive suburb in the hills above Port-au-Prince. The orphans were encouraged to acquire vocational skills and Simone Ovide was trained as a nurse’s aide. While working as a nurse she met a young doctor named François Duvalier. The couple was married on December 27, 1939, and had four children: Marie Denise, Nicole, Simone, and Jean-Claude, their only son.

After their marriage, François Duvalier became minister of public health and labor in 1949 and won election to the presidency in 1957. Throughout his 14 years in office, his wife guarded access to her husband and developed and promoted her own palace favorites.

Because of her acquired status and her imperious bearing, Haitians referred to her as “Mama Doc”. She was, like her husband, reported to be a Vodou expert. She cultivated the image of a benefactor; dispensing charity to inhabitants of “Cite Simone”, a planned settlement named for her that is known today as Cité Soleil, one of the most miserable slums in Latin America.

Jean-Claude Duvalier with His Mother

Madame Duvalier’s influence reached its peak after the death of her husband in 1971, when her nineteen-year-old son Jean-Claude Duvalier succeeded his father as Haiti’s “president for life”. She relished the title of first lady and the power it conferred, and was said by associates to deeply resent having to relinquish that role after Jean-Claude Duvalier married in 1980 and she was demoted to “Guardian of the Duvalierist Revolution”.

When her son was ousted from power in February 1986, Simone Duvalier joined him and his wife, Michèle Bennett, in exile in France. She was rarely seen in public. After her son’s bitter divorce from his wife, Madame Duvalier lived with her son in relative poverty in the suburbs of Paris.   She died in 1997.