Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday congratulated fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee for her international success saying that it was her hope that the young people of the country are inspired to follow their dreams and make them a reality.
Ayoung-Chee emerged victorious in the popular Lifetime series hit Project Runway copping huge monetary prizes and opportunities to expand her career in fashion and design.
"Anya is a fine example of the talent of the young people of Trinidad and Tobago. She has much to offer to the region and the world through her artistic abilities," said Persad-Bissessar.
In a release from the Office of the Prime Minister, Persad-Bissessar noted that although on many occasions Ayoung-Chee seemed to be the underdog in the highly competitive series, she remained a favourite with the fans.
"I understand that Anya has been declared the 'fan favourite designer' based on votes cast on social media site Twitter – a testimony to vivacious personality and her determination to succeed despite several setbacks," said Persad-Bissessar who is currently in Perth, Australia attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Sport Minister Anil Roberts yesterday advocated that Ayoung-Chee be made an ambassador to promote tourism and attract financial investment to this country.
He also believes that Ayoung-Chee, a former Miss Trinidad and Tobago Miss Universe delegate, should be given a national award for her international success in emerging the winner of the reality series Project Runway.
Roberts said he will recommend that Government capitalise on Ayoung-Chee's success and ensure that the name of Trinidad and Tobago is marketed and heard in every corner of this world.
He pointed out that Ayoung-Chee has grabbed the attention of the international media, in the same way sporting heroes such as star cricketer Brian Lara did as well as Olympians Ato Boldon and George Bovell.
Roberts said Ayoung-Chee has sent a clear message that you do not have to rely on Government or anyone to get what you want in life.
"I am so proud of her; you don't have to go begging to achieve greatness. As a coach, all the Olympic medals, I never got a cent from Government so as a people, we must understand this is what we must do; don't come with cap in hand, do what you have to do, be creative. Now you will see how many doors will open for Anya from different agencies and so on. While we are here to help, people must understand just like Anya — do what you have to do, don't wait on anybody, she is a genius," said Roberts.
Minister of Housing and the Environment Dr Roodal Moonilal told the Sunday Express that when Persad-Bissessar returns from Australia he believes that discussions will be held on recognition for Ayoung-Chee's success.