Kenyo Baly Tops ACT Awards 2017

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HNP bags Lifetime Achievement Award, Teen Queen Tasyanna Clifton is Person of the Year.

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten –  Kenyo Baly won in the Music Category and also took the Song of the Year title to top the Annual Culture Time (ACT) Awards for 2017.

Announcing the winners on Sunday on PJD-Radio, hosts Fabian Badejo and Rhoda Arrindell said “Who You Fuh?” Kenyo’s blockbuster hit, which also won him the Soca Rumble Groovy king crown last year, was the runaway favorite among judges.

XP was adjudged Band of the Year, while DJ Outkast edged out some stiff competition to retake the DJ of the Year title. The Foreign Song of the Year went to Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito”.

For the first time in the more than 20 years of the ACT Awards, a teenager was named Person of the Year. She is Teen Queen Tasyanna Clifton, who was crowned Miss Teen St. Martin and also won the prestigious Haynes Smith Caribbean Talented Teen in 2017.

The House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), one of the region’s leading publishing outfits, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for its role in publishing, promoting, and creating a generation of writers on the island.

“HNP almost singlehandedly birthed contemporary St. Martin literature with its consistent discovery, and publishing of creative writers on the island for over a generation,” said Badejo, himself a literary critic.

The Literature Award went to The St. Martin Book Fair Committee for its consistent work in organizing one of the premier Book Fairs in the region. The Annual St. Martin Book Fair is in its 16th year and will be held in the first weekend of June.

Art Saves Lives took the Dance award, while the National Institute of Arts, NIA, won the Theatre award.

Other winners were Ambrosia restaurant at the Eulalie Meyers plaza in the Chef of the Year category, S. Couture for Fashion, and Axum Art Café, Cultural Organization of the Year. Former Senator Louis Constant Fleming was named Patron of the Year.

Three of the 18 categories remained vacant. There were no winners in the Fine Art, Video Clip of the Year and Book of the Year categories. “This is because there were no nominations for these categories or the judges decided to leave them vacant,” explained co-host Rhoda Arrindell.

No monetary or other prizes are attached to the ACT Awards.

“This is not a competition, but a recognition of the work done by our creative minds throughout the year,” said Badejo while congratulating all the winners. “Cultural workers do not set out to seek material gain in the first place; the recognition of their talent and effort is what motivates them. That is what the ACT Awards is all about.”