By Francis Quamina Farrier
I’VE attended quite a number of events at the Guyana Embassy in Washington DC, but the most recent, the Books Launch by Dr. Sonia Noel, will remain as one of my most memorable. The Bartica-born beauty, Fashion Designer, Author, Inspirational Speaker and Entrepreneur was literally “Beyond the Runway” (The title of her weekly column right here in The Pepperpot) on a 13-city tour of the United States. Yes, you read correctly – 13 cities of the United States; including Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
The one at which I was privileged to be present was on Friday, June 22, 2018, when Dr. Sonia Noel held court at the Guyana Embassy in Washington DC., as she launched her four most-recent books in that capital city of the United States of America. Among those in the audience were, Guyana’s Ambassador to the USA and Permanent Representative to the OAS, Dr. Riyad Insanally, who stated how proud he was that the Embassy was hosting such an event.
And, all the way from Guyana, Capt. Gerry Gouveia and roving Ambassador Wesley Kirton, were also in attendance. Both gentlemen addressed the packed to over-flowing embassy building, giving their views of Sonia Noel, as a successful Guyanese woman and the positive impact she is making to younger Guyanese women and girls at home and also in the diaspora.
Uncle Francis also addressed the gathering sharing some brief thoughts of a young girl from Bartica (Arawak for ‘Red Earth’), who he was proud to have seen grow up to become a very successful Guyanese woman. He also did a poem especially for her which the audience also enjoyed. The fact that Dr. Sonia Noel was launching not one, two, or even three books at the same time – but in fact four- was suggested by Uncle Francis to be recommended for entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. It should be of note that Uncle Francis was also present at the Books launch by Dr. Sonia Noel at the University of Guyana on May 10, 2018.
The books by Sonia Noel are, “Living with Intention – Learning to Love Yourself”, “Women Across Borders”, “Compilation Beyond the Runway” and she shared with her adoring audience how much work was put into the writing and publishing of the books. She also shared with those present, her philosophy of life; that of having the ability to love yourself and living with intent. During her two decades and more of strolling the runway and creating many impressive creations, Dr Sonia Noel has been mentoring younger females who possess a flare for the fashionable as well as for business.
As an inspirational speaker, she has been influencing the younger ones over the years. She describes herself as “Mother, Mentor, Designer and Philanthropist”. She is the mother of two daughters; that and the roles which she continues to play with intention, her current 13-city tour being proof.
In an invited comment to my query after the extremely successful event in Washington, D.C., Sonia responded, “Not enough words to extend my gratitude to everyone who made this memorable event possible. The poem by Uncle Francis was profound and interpreted me well. This motivation mission and tour is a blessing to many and I am even more convinced that God is certainly guiding my path.”
The immediate professional path of Dr. Sonia Noel over the next two weeks, will take her through Tennessee today, New Orleans July 6, Mississippi July 9 and 10, Atlanta July 11, Fort Lauderdale July 13 and finally Miami on July 15. We have to admit that Dr. Sonia Noel set herself quite a long runway, and so we can add to her personality, “A woman with stamina”.