The third time’s a charm for actor and educator, Akeem Mignott, who took home the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence in arts and culture this year after two previous nominations.
He was first nominated in 2013 and again in 2017.
The 27-year-old, says he feels honoured to be recognised for his work.
“It is a prestigious award for young Jamaicans who have achieved excellence in whatever field it is that they are in. I am honoured. This is my third time being nominated and first time being awarded,”
“It comes at a time in my life where I think that I have contributed to nation building and youth development, especially in the field of arts and culture,”
Mignott says he hopes that receiving the award, after three tries, will serve as an inspiration to others not to give up and to use disappointment as motivation to work even harder.
“Don’t let anything deter you; even if you were nominated for an award and you weren’t a recipient, keep going. If you went to an audition and you never got the part, keep going. Keep doing what you need to do to make sure that your dreams are being attained and your dreams are impacting others positively,”
Since his first nomination, he has built his portfolio to include becoming a co-founder of a production company called Lighthouse Production; serving as former President and now Associate Director of the Jamaica Youth Theatre and Director, Jamaica Musical Theatre Company.
A 2019 Chevening Scholar, he also pursued a master’s degree in Applied Theatre Drama in Educational, Social and Community Context at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Mignott, who made his acting debut in Get a Life in 2011, while a student in high school, has appeared in plays such as Dahlia Harris’ Back-a-Yard; Aston Cooke’s Single Entry and Jamaica Fifty 2 Rahtid; Patrick Brown’s Right Girl, Wrong Address and a teen drama series broadcast on Television Jamaica called Real Friends.
He is passionate about unearthing and developing the talent of young people, which was why he co-founded Lighthouse Production.
“We mounted our first production Behind the Pulpit, which was a play that we ran for a few months in Jamaica, and we provided employment for a lot of young people.
“We had young people working ‘front stage’ and backstage because it’s very important to have a sense of sustainability of our culture,”