Youth on Stage Quarter-Finalists Thrill NAPA Audience

Afro Kingdom made up of Sabri Seepersad, 12 and Antonio ‘Rico Boss’ St. Vincent, 26 gave a stellar performance at the Quarter-Finals for Youth on Stage – North Edition

The Lord Kitchener Auditorium of the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spain came alive with youth talent on Saturday 25th May, 2024 as thirty-two (32) young people performed for the Quarter-Finals for Youth on Stage – National Youth Festival and Talent Search – North Edition. This Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) initiative attracted hundreds of youth at auditions between March and April and narrowed the number down to 62 quarter-finalists.

Artistes comprised singers of multiple genres including Gospel, R&B, Reggae and more. The youth dancers spanned the spectrum of Indian Classical, Afro Beat, Folk Dance and more. There were also several spoken word artistes with original compositions.

All 32 performers for the Quarter-Finals – North Edition showed expertise and comfort that demonstrated why they were selected for this round. But there were a number of notable acts that had the audience more than engaged during their performances.

Of the dancers, 12-year-old Sabri Seepersad who performed a traditional Bharatanatyam dance that showed a mastery of the artform at her tender age. Sabri later returned to the stage with Antonio St. Vincent, 26 as Afro Kingdom. This dynamic dance duo left the audience cheering wildly, as they danced to an Afro Beat mix. Dance act Denisia Latchman, 31 was a crowd favourite as she showcased multiple styles combined with quick outfit changes.

There were several singers on the cards on Saturday evening. The exceptional performers included Javon Murray, 11, who demonstrated that he is a rising star in the Calypso world. The reggae genre was well represented by Rhonda Pruedhomme-Mc Laren, who goes by the name ‘Rhonda Love.’ Her original composition Jah Love had the audience singing along with her. The evening had a number of vocal powerhouses including Aaliyah Campbell, 22; Jyneeva Mohamed, 23, and Shania Ambey, 24. In the mix, there was Brandon Pierre, 19, who sang a John Legend classic that had the ladies swooning while Atiba Chance, 31, had the audience singing along as he put his own spin on Stand By Me.

There were also some performers who brought their distinct and original style of music to Youth on Stage. These artistes of note were Malique ‘Kid Volt’ Campbell, 24, (brother of fellow competitor Aaliyah Campbell) who sang an inspirational dancehall piece Fight. Sherifa Selman, 25, played the guitar to an acoustic version of Bob Marley’s Stir It Up.

There were a number of unique acts which included Ejay the Band – a four-man band –that could have been mistaken for guest artistes. Isaiah Stokes, 22, a Stunt Performer gave an energetic jump rope performance with upbeat musical tracks to accompany him. Spoken Word Artiste Geron Ruiz, 21 was the name on many patrons’ lips as he delivered his original piece When I Grown Up, which traced a journey from boyhood to manhood.

Kimmy Stoute-Robinson, Head Judge, remarked that “The plethora and standard of the talent was very, very impressive. It was evident that all the contestants applied the judges’ auditions critique to enhance their performance. It will truly be difficult to pick just 20 persons to advance to the semifinal round.”

The Youth on Stage – National Youth Festival and Talent Search is an avenue for young, aspiring artistes, ages 10 to 35 years, to display and develop their talents. Throughout the talent search process, participants will receive guidance, resources, and industry insights geared toward helping them navigate the challenges of starting a career in the creative and cultural sectors. From March to April, the MYDNS hosted eleven (11) auditions in Arima, Couva, Diego Martin, La Horquetta, Mayaro, Moruga, Point Fortin, Port of Spain and San Fernando.

To follow the Youth on Stage journey, persons can visit the Ministry’s social media @mydnstt on Facebook and Instagram or the Ministry’s website at

The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service remains committed to bringing all key stakeholders together to promote youth development and encourage civic-minded citizens to contribute to national service across Trinidad and Tobago.

Geron Ruiz, 21 impressed the audience at NAPA with his spoken word piece ‘When I Grow Up’
Isiaiah Stokes, 22 shows off his athleticism during his performance at the Quarter-Finals for Youth on Stage – North Edition
Javon Murray, 11 showed true star quality with his calypso
Rhonda Love, 33 sings her original composition