If you remember her face, then you must remember her name. Donella Weekes will be in yet another Pic O De Crop Finals as one of two females this time.
She is no stranger to the kaiso scene, as this year she will be celebrating 24 years; but this will make four years she has made it to the finals consecutively.
When she was announced as one of the nine to meet defending monarch iWeb, she told EASY she was elated.
“It is a great feeling to make it to the finals stage.”
“My aim on semi-finals night was to come out and deliver. I needed a message to get across and it seemed the judges got the message as well as the audience.”
Donella who performed last on semi-finals night at No. 18, is performing at No. 6 at the Courtesy Mount Gay Pic O De Crop Finals come Friday. She comes after Mr Blood and before iWeb.
“I always make up in my mind when I come to the competition stage to pull a number that whatever number I pull the Lord wants it to be that way. So I am grateful.”
She said her goal every year was to always go to finals.
“I go out and give of my best,” said the Cave Shepherd All Star member, one of eight to make it to the semi-finals and one of four to make it to the finals.
“I am representing not only Christians, but the younger generation who look up to me. I see myself as a role model to an extent; so I go out there and represent as best as I can, said the mother of two boys Antonio and Don-Ross who has joined his mother on the calypso stage in the Junior Monarch competition.
Pray For The Children resonates with her because of her children: “I try to envision other people’s kids and how I would like life to be for them. It was written by my husband and arranged by Roger Gittens.”
The second song We Can’t Change was also written by her husband and arranged by Mighty Gabby: “It is really a song talking about Bajan life. We say we gonna change this and we gonna change that. We try changing certain things but they are some that we definitely can’t change as they are engrossed in us.”
Donella’s first time on the Pic O De Crop Semi-Finals stage was in 2014 with Getting Away With Murder, penned by Damian BoBo Bowen and arranged by Chris Allman, while Come Fah Pan was penned and arranged by her husband, who got a hand from Michael Knight of the band Strategy.
She didn’t make it to the finals that year ,but she came back more determined the following year with Leh He Go, written and arranged by Billboard Murrell while the other Arise was penned by Ian iWeb Webster and Cheyne Jones and arranged by Roger Gittens. She placed second, missing the top spot by four marks to king Classic.
In 2016 she was one of four women into the finals with her songs Division and Questions (she sang The Criteria in the semis and Division). Joining her was TC, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles and eventual queen Aziza.
Last year she pulled No. 6 again to perform in the finals with Virtual and Make A Change. She placed third behind Edwin and eventual king iWeb.
Social commentary has always been traditionally male-dominated, but the women have shown they are a force to be reckoned with as shown by Aziza, who is a former Junior Monarch winner.
Sammy G and Doyenne, who are also former Junior Monarchs are coming year after year to the big stage, following in the footsteps of TC and Chrystal Cummins-Beckles.
She said her husband Richard Antonio was already planning her presentation for this Friday night.
“Just expect a phenomenal show. That is all I am revealing.” (NS)