Kathleen Knowles, founder of Heal Our Land Community and Social Programme, organized an event called A Joshua Generation: Abaco Youth Gospel Talent Explosion at Friendship Tabernacle Church on Jan. 23.
Leading up to the event, Vincent McDonald was invited to visit schools on Abaco, and he later attended the talent event as the moderator. Known as V-Mac onstage, McDonald is celebrated as a Bahamian rapper, singer, producer, entrepreneur, media executive, talk show host, philanthropist and motivational speaker.
For two days, V-Mac and a delegation including Jonathan Farrington, winner of BTC Starmaker; Michaela Munnings of Elevation Media Group; Anna Calixte, 242 Untapped 2014 winner; Rachael Johnson from the Christian Counselling Centre; and Ishmael “Stretch” Morley from the Ministry of Youth and Knowles made stops at Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS), Agape Christian School, Every Child Counts (ECC), Forest Heights Academy and Abaco Central High (ACH) School.
V-Mac spoke to the students about being born blind, yet still being able to find his purpose. He reminded the students that they are special, and that they must also find their purpose in life no matter what challenges they face. After undergoing a succession of surgeries, V-MAC received sight in his left eye, and his right eye was replaced with a prosthetic. Because of his condition, he spent a lot of time indoors.
Over the years, he received numerous Christmas gifts like a drum set from his parents, and a video camera from another relative. For one of his birthdays, he asked to have a concert where he performed in front of family and friends earning $60 for his efforts.
The gifts he received would eventually unlock the intrinsic gift within him. By the time V-Mac was a freshman in high school, he already owned his own production company called V-Mac Productions and Extreme Youth Entertainment, and he is credited as the youngest Bahamian to host, film, direct and executive produce a nationally televised series with his Extreme Youth TV. V-Mac has also launched an Internet radio station and released two albums.
Before leaving the school, Jonathan Farrington sang a song to further encourage the students to fulfill their purpose.
Heal Our Land: A Joshua Generation: Abaco Youth Gospel Talent Explosion
With approximately 400 young people and a number of adults interspersed throughout Friendship Tabernacle Church on Fridayevening, the line-up of participants was an exciting one.
Rev. Dr. Silbert Mills, Friendship’s senior pastor, opened the event in prayer.
“I’m looking for talent,” V-Mac expressed. “And I am looking for people to get turned up for Jesus!”
The Heal Our Land Sunday School Choir set the tune for the talent event as they stormed through the audience in their camouflage apparel ready for combat against the devil. Ikara Scott performed in dance and returned to the stage to join the Young Visionnaires, an A Capella group. Kevin Pierre contributed a gospel rap song entitled “Yes Lord,” and Joinel Jeune reinforced the message of the Gospel in his spoken word piece: Extra, Extra – Read All About It.”
With a song from an upcoming album, the soulful sounds of Anna Calixte resonated throughout the building. The crowd went wild when Zavion Bethel hit the stage singing Yolanda Adam’s hit song, “That Name,” while Clanae Davis, an incredibly talented 13-year-old keyboardist and singer, juggled the lyrics of popular songs that fused into a medley of songs and brought those in attendance to their feet.
Clanae’s performance ushered the program into a pantomime performance by Anointed Ones, who performed to “It Gets Better.” Jonathan Farrington interjected his upcoming song “Overcomer,” into the mix ending his performance on “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”
Loniece Louis gave her all in her liturgical dance, and the event began to wind down with singing selections by Ashley Henfield and a group of four little girls who earned the name Lil Girls Group. V-Mac closed out the performance segment with a gathering of children at the front of the building, who sang and rocked along to his hit songs. A trivia complete with giveaways hyped the crowd some more, and finally the judges had tallied their scores to reveal the winners.
In the singing category, Kevin Pierre placed second, and Clanae Davis captured first place. In the instrumental/A Capella category, Zavion Bethel was voted second-place winner, and the Young Visionnaires took first.
Joinel was the only contestant in the poetry category, so the win was all his. Ikara Scott was second in dance, and Anointed Onessecured first. The drama winner was Heal Our Land Sunday School choir. Overall, Joinel came third, Clanae was second, and Anointed Ones earned the No. 1 spot as well as the opportunity to attend the grand finale of 242 Untapped on March 22. The well-attended event ended with a gospel Junkanoo performance.