St Kitts and Nevis: Throughout March, St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party will continue to highlight several phenomenal women who have contributed extensively not only to the progress and development of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party but also to the Federation. In the spotlight was Jacinth Henry-Martin.
Who is Jacinth Henry-Martin?
Jacinth Henry-Martin has often been described as a renaissance woman. She is a multi-talented, intriguing, and wise individual who has used her knowledge to instigate profound changes and create opportunities for others. Jacinth has genuinely made and continues to make her mark in this world.
An experienced public speaker, storyteller, and spoken word artist, Jacinth is fluent in French and Spanish and holds an MA in Technical and Specialized Translation (MA TST) from the University of Westminster, United Kingdom. She also studied Modern Languages and Cultural Management in Venezuela.
Jacinth Henry-Martin is a well-known name not only in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis but globally. She has held very prominent and prestigious positions throughout her lifetime and has traveled extensively representing our Federation, leaving an indelible impression at each destination.
Currently, Ms. Henry-Martin serves as an Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), with a purview that includes responsibility for the 28 OAS National Offices in the Americas. She was the first Federal female Ambassador Plenipotentiary of St Kitts, and Nevis accredited to the United States of America.
In 2004 she served as the Federation’s Deputy High Commissioner at St. Kitts and Nevis High Commission in London, United Kingdom, where she served until December 2008. Then, she went to the United States to serve as Director of US Operations for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, from January 2009 to December 2010. Between 2011 and 2015, she served concurrently as Permanent Representative to the OAS and was also the Federation’s non-resident Ambassador to Mexico and Paraguay.
Jacinth has a proven track record of excellence in the Federation of St Kitts-Nevis in fields that span private and public sector service. As evidenced during her tenure as an elected parliamentarian and Federal Minister of Government (2000-2004). She was the first female to be elected to Parliament on a St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party ticket (2000), unseating the then Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.
Passion for culture is her uniqueness
Her passion for culture and her African heritage have been showcased in her life’s work, from her dignified and regal demeanor to her professional ventures.
Jacinth exemplified herself as her government’s representative on youth and cultural matters and as Federal Minister for Information, Culture, Sports & Youth. She spearheaded the Federation’s successful hosting of several events, including the UNESCO Caribbean Youth Gathering for Peace (2002), which focused on developing a culture of peace and non-violence within children.
At that time, the summit was focused on sustainable economic and social development. The VII Caribbean Festival of Arts (2000) also brought greater cultural diversity to the island as youths from the various Caribbean.
Jacinth also led the Federation’s successful bid in 2004 to host World Cup Cricket on behalf of the Caribbean region. Each event brought diversity, economic stability, and global recognition to our Federation. A remarkable woman indeed.
What Henry-Martin have to say?
When asked how she feels about her contributions to society, Ms. Henry-Martin stated, “I represent my Federation whether or not it is paid service. I consider it my duty. It has been a signal honor to promote and defend the interests of my nation’s people at the heights afforded me to do so. That my contribution was recognized not only at home but in the Organizations before which I served is a testament to my parents, teachers, the government which recognized my commitment and potential, and all who inspired me always to aim high.”
Author, Mother, and Remarkable Woman
Jacinth is the mother of three adult sons, a seasoned performing artist, and the author of anthologies of poems’ Dancing In Bondage‘ and ‘A Piece of My Mind.’
Many may not be aware, but Jacinth wrote the lyrics for the winning song at the 1995 Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) Song Festival in Havana, Cuba. She was also crowned St. Kitts and Nevis’ first Calypso Queen the same year in honor of her performance of “Fashion Police.”
Message for young women
Jacinth Henry-Martin has been an inspiration to countless young women locally, regionally, and internationally encouraging all to aspire to be their best selves. To the young female professionals within the Federation, Ms. Henry-Martin has a particular word of encouragement, “You are who you accept that you are; so be number 1! Think the most of yourself personally and professionally, set high goals and standards because these are not mutually exclusive if you are to be successful nationally, regionally, and globally.
Your academic qualifications are a minor part of the equation. They must complement common sense, keen attention to detail, exemplary social skills and graces, and an excellent command of your first language. To stand out over the long haul, you must possess a discerning spirit that avoids controversy and crass behaviors. When you are consistent and reliable, you become the team player every headhunter wants in his/her corner or organization. Make it your business to practice being your best self.”