Women dominate Everybody’s choice for 2021 Person of the Year

Singer Rihanna attends the 4th annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.
Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

It’s that time of year when newsmakers from at least 300 days vie for the top calendar prize gained through popularity canvassing.

As another year ends one of the Caribbean’s most enduring publications recently released a list of finalists nominated to take the title of the 2021 Person of the Year.

According to Everybody’s Magazine, in the race for the coveted honor, of six individuals earning the most recommendations, women claim the lion-share with only one man holding a place.

Not surprising is that Barbadians copped two of the six.

The recently-bestowed national hero of the island Robyn Rihanna Fenty and her nation’s Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley both comprise one third of the majority doubling choice candidates from one island.

Jamaica could eke out three winning champions if — Elaine-Thompson-Herah, Shelly Fraser Pryce and Shericka Jackson emerge victorious. The island’s first, second and third place sprinters captured the spotlight when they ran away from some of the fastest women in the world to claim the 100m race of the summer Tokyo Olympics.

A social media influencer from the twins island of Trinidad & Tobago also made the list. Born Onika Tanya Maraj rapper Nicky Minaj edged in to add to the count.

Perhaps, Maryland State Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy was not the media darling of the year, however, as top law enforcement officer in Prince George’s County she trended frequently after decisively revealing previously hidden information relevant to her state.

As one of six, she is providing fierce challenge to six Caribbean, female rivals and the sole male.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams is the only gender defender for the 2021 title.

Voted by subscribers and readers residing in the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA, the publication states that the winner is decided based on individuals who receive the most nominations.

Fenty was voted a finalist before receiving the diplomatic position of national honor. The 33-year-old is an internationally acclaimed pop singer more commonly known as Rihanna. This year, she diversified her portfolio to include entrepreneur by venturing into the cosmetics and fashion industries. The businesswoman elevated her status when Forbes Magazine named her a billionaire. Allegedly her net worth from Fenty Beauty is $1.7 billion.

Mottley also claimed a top six position before being named among the United Nation’s 2021 “Champions of the Earth.”

The vociferous prime minister made the list because undeniably she impacted the world when she spoke at the opening of the General Assembly at the United Nations.

Her speech about the responsibility of developed nations resonated on delegates and corporations leery about climate change. Mottley later amplified her concerns in Scotland where G7 member representatives met to decide their plan of action in reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Prior to that the Barbados-born national successfully influenced her nations’ populace to rely less on the queen of England and more on their eIected local leaders.

On Nov. 30 Mottley witnessed the transition of her Eastern Caribbean nation to a republic.

And while that nation displayed example to the region, no country’s athletes ran faster than three, Jamaican women who swept the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan this summer. They took home gold, silver and bronze medals after placing first, second and third in the sprint race.

Without revealing the numbers of votes registered before nominations closed, Nicky Minaj claimed a place on the list. The Trinidad and Tobago-born rapper became a virtual bullseye when she posted misinformation about the effects of COVID-19 vaccinations on a relative.

For better or worse, her controversial comment received attention in TT’s Red House as well as the White House in the USA.

Maryland readers must have banded to surge votes for their state attorney because Braveboy is among the six highest contenders in 2021. She is the top prosecutor in Baltimore and earlier this year made national headlines when she named 148 police officers who were shielded from prosecution because their names were withheld from the public.

Her act of disclosing transparency exposed federal, state and local police officers – current, fired or retired implicated by their bad deeds.

Of all the men deciding policy and other matters, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams seems the worthiest of the title initiated 42 years ago.

Elected the next mayor of New York City last November, Adams will be installed the 110th chief administrator of the five boroughs on Jan. 1, 2022.

Adams was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn with parents from Alabama. His associations with Caribbean causes qualifies him for his impactful decisions beneficial to the immigrant Haitian, Panamanian, Jamaican and other diverse populace.

Throughout his tenure he has hosted honorarium to immigrants. On Jamaica’s independence day he extended flag-raising courtesies at Borough Hall to diasporans.

According to the publisher, more than 35 persons including two children and three organizations were nominated for the list readers believe most deserving.

The genesis of the year-end selection process emanated one year after Grenadian publisher Herman Hall launched his multi-national, Caribbean-focused publication in 1977.

He said TT-born Janelle Commission, Miss Universe 1977 sparked the initiative when she was named winner of the pageant. Her crowning inked a milestone accomplishment for the region when it was revealed she was the first of her race to win the title.

A celebration honoring the queen was held at the Albemarle Ballroom that year. Other benefactors also included Calypso Rose — hailed for breaking the glass ceiling permitting the first woman to win the Calypso Crown 1977 and Percy Sutton, founder of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, owner of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM –the first Black-owned radio stations in New York.

Hall decided then that an annual spotlight on an individual should appropriately acknowledge distinguished individuals who makes a positive or negative impact on the immigrant community.

Continuing the tradition started 42 years ago it’s nice to know a human will be named a dominating focus of the year and not a deadly pandemic.

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