Anique the ‘drama queen’
Drama, dance, pageantry, singing and foreign languages. For 21-year-old Anique Herbert this is the life.
Actually, the final year student of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, and also Edna Manley School, can’t seem to decide which she likes best; so being the multitalented young women she is, she has taken on all five.
From a tender age Anique knew that she was born for the stage, even though she was not quite sure what she would be doing.
“I was always interested in the performing arts and I knew that one day it would become my life, to say the least,” she said.
She added that her love for the arts developed from the type of household she grew up in, happily living in Belmont Road, St Michael and then Prior Park, St James.
“I come from a very close-knit family. It’s just mum Cherly, dad Allan Herbert, and sister Alana.
“We hold events and gatherings for everything, I kid you not. So we [the children] would always put on little productions just for fun. So I would always be acting, dancing, singing or doing some craziness and I knew from then that I loved it,” she added, with her trademark laugh.
But following all the pretence and fun at home, Anique decided to take it a little more seriously. Her first taste of the stage came at ten years old when she decided to enter the Junior Monarch Calypso competition under the name Cher.
“I would go to the National Stadium with my father and watch the competition. I would see the kids singing about serious issues, and I would always bug my father and tell him I wanted to do that to.
“He always used to say no, until one day he finally agreed to let me do it,” she said.
Anique admitted that she took her Junior Monarch experience very seriously and enjoyed every minute of it. She placed second.
“I always had a say in what I wanted to sing about and those were important issues.
“I sang about rape and human rights . . . those types of things. John King wrote for me, and he would always come and ask me what I wanted to sing about before he wrote,” she added.
Anique, who sings with the House Of Soca tent, said that while she has taken a break from singing, it doesn’t mean that she won’t be back.
“I actually wanted to sing last year but I came home too late, so I didn’t have time to do the song. But I will be back and I actually want to get into groovy soca as well.”
Her thirst for the stage continued when she entered the Coleridge & Parry Secondary School. It was there that she fell in love with pageantry.
“I love pageantry. I just love the stage; I really cannot get enough of it. I entered the pageant but I did not win. I was also in the Inter-school pageant, Miss Holetown and Roots, but I was never the winner,” she said.
It was when she came to Jamaica to study that she got her first chance to wear a crown.
Anique entered the Miss Rex Nettleford Hall pageant and won.
“It felt really good to finally win a pageant. I always used to wonder what it would be like to wear the crown, but to me it didn’t feel any different. I was fussy yes, but at the end of the day I was the same old Anique I was before,” she said with a smile.
Anique holds an Associate degree in French and German for business and tourism from the Barbados Community College (BCC).
“It may sound crazy but I want to travel the world by age 50. That is why I learnt languages,” Anique said, pausing seemingly to think about her plan.
While at BCC her love for dance was highlighted. She does mostly Latin and she is a part of Dance Strides Barbados.
However, based on her bubbly personality and obvious “craziness”, choosing to do her Bachelor’s in drama was not a surprising decision.
“At the end of the day I am more passionate about theatre; so I decided to do the BA in drama at Edna Manley School and UWI. It’s a joint programme and it is a lot of work but I love it,” she said.
“I have been in some productions over here [Jamaica] and it has been a lot of fun. I was a part of a play called Ruined, where I was a supporting character but I also had to sing, I loved every minute of it,” she added.
Now given all her experiences, Anique believes that she really wants to go into directing.
“I am looking forward to completing UWI this year and when I do, I would really like to do my Master’s in England. But I have not decided what I want to do it in as yet, but more than likely it will be theatre.
“I really want to learn how to direct, because that’s what I want to do,” Anique said.