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Jeanette James ends decades-old career in pageantry

Jeanette James - more support is needed for pageantry in Grenada

After having a career in pageantry spanning over two (2) decades, Jeanette James has confirmed that this year would be her last.

James, who is associated with Kirk Seethahal’s BlushingDivaz.GD brand has chaperoned several Carnival Queens including the 2022 winner Ressa Mc Intosh, who handed over the Crown to the 2023 winner Amonai Francis, Ms. St. David at the Grenada National Stadium on Sunday night.

She played a major role this year as a coach to the chaperone for Aingel Augustine, Ms. St. Mark, who was named Ms Congeniality.

“I think I’ve had a really good journey with successes. The young ladies I’ve worked with have been amazing, talented, intelligent, and unique. I took them all on as daughters, and it has, indeed, been a pleasure working with them,” said James in an interview with THE NEW TODAY.

She singled out working with the 2008 National Queen Asheida Charles, who went on to win the regional Miss Carival (Miss Caribbean Carnival) competition held in neighbouring St. Vincent in 2009, as her most memorable achievement.

“She (Asheida) came from being shy and not wanting to speak in public or take part in pageantry…she bucked up, we helped as much as we could, and she took it (the title at) home in Grenada, and abroad, and that’s something to be proud of,” James remarked.

Now that she is making her exit from mainstream pageantry, the female powerhouse cites the need for more support for the Queen show contestants.

James, who has chaperoned several national queens in pageants outside of the country said, “We have been going, and we have been getting good representation – to be honest we need more support.”

She recalled that “a lot of the times we’ve travelled I have had to put my own money in.”

“The funding and the sponsorship as to what goes on when a national girl leaves the country, I would really like to see us put our money where our mouth is, and support the people who are going to represent us because it has been a struggle.

“I think once that is done, and you put the best team together the outcome will always be good.”

James believes the onus is now on both the private and public sectors to support the development of the pageantry in the country “because Grenada belongs to all of us.”

“When I work with girls I don’t get paid. When I speak to chaperones around the world they get a salary to do what they do – this is me doing this out of love and patriotism. So, when I call for people to help, it’s out of genuine patriotism…” she remarked.

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