Shaveesa Gasper from Antigua and Barbuda Turned Tragedy Into Triumph

Shaveesa Gasper was allegedly set on fire by her mother on New Year’s Day 2016 and had to undergo extensive medical treatment in Martinique and Paris.

Antigua Girls’ High School (AGHS) student Shaveesa Gasper said she turned to theatre arts to help her cope with the 2016 tragedy that left her with burns to a significant portion of her body, including her face.

The teen who was adjudged the overall best actress in the National Secondary School Drama Festivals for the second consecutive year, said she focussed on doing her best.

Gasper will be pursuing a fully funded government sponsored scholarship leading to a Bachelor’s degree in drama.

She said,

“It has certainly been a roller coaster ride for me. I’ve had my ups, I’ve had my downs and we all saw this — there was no hiding it. But theatre arts and this drama festival has definitely, 100 per cent, helped me in terms of coping and expressing my inner emotions because I was able to channel what feelings I was hiding in a positive way” 

Gasper said she is now doing the best she can to deal with the insecurities she had prior to the incident that landed her mother in prison where she is awaiting her day in the High Court to answer an attempted murder charge.

But a determined Gasper said she found motivation to preserve.

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