Love and marriage ranked highly in the list of top-read stories for flairja.com. From budding fashion designer Kadion Shaw stitching the ornate gown she wore for her garden nuptials to district constable Richard Smith, to Latoya Hamilton and her husband, ex-husband Bartov, walking down the aisle a second time — Island Weddings mesmerised readers and provided a needed reprieve in what was a difficult year for many. These are your top 21 Flair stories for 2021.
1. ‘Smithen’ with Mr and Mrs Smith: High school sweethearts say ‘I do’
Earning the number-one spot is the story of Davion and Rubiann. The romantic pair first laid eyes on each other while attending Clarendon College. Mere teenagers at the time, the library stood as their meeting ground, but they grew to learn the most important language of them all: love.
2. God’s restoration saw The Hamiltons saying ‘I Do’ again
A second chance at romance encapsulates the love between local gospel artiste Latoya Hamilton and her husband, Bartov. After being married for almost a decade, the pair decided that it was best to go their separate ways, but God intervened, drawing them closer to Him and each other.
3. Taylor made for Michelle: A second shot at love
An ex playing cupid is practically unheard of, but Gladstone Taylor and Dr Michelle Gordon gave it a shot and started a friendship that blossomed into more. ‘Taylor’ made for each other, on May 15, the multimedia photo editor at The Gleaner and general practitioner in the Accident and Emergency Unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies tied the knot in a small ceremony and reception at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.
4. Kevoy Campbell marries high school sweetheart Mikiela Gonzales
Kevoy Campbell first laid eyes on Mikiela Gonzales in October of 2009 while attending a fair held at the Immaculate Conception High School. It took just a week for the then-St Jago High School student to know she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Years later, with Kevoy being a navigational officer and Mikiela loving the water, it was only fitting that they would sail off into the sunset together.
5. Maroon Chief Richard Currie is ready to shift your attention
From corporate executive to chief of the Accompong Maroons, Richard Currie’s meteoric rise to fame saw him trending on social media for much more than his utterances. In an interview with Flair, the Mona School of Business MBA honours graduate said he wanted to shift the focus from him to the people he represents and hoped that those paying attention to pictures of him would also pay as much attention to his words.
6. From a chance meeting issuing name tags to Mr and Mrs Neil
Kimberley and Alex met during Kimberley’s annual church conference at The Knutsford Court Hotel back in 2013. Alex was invited as a guest, and Kimberley was charged with issuing name tags at the entrance. Mesmerised at first glance, Alex decided to pursue further. Little did Kimberley know that eventually, she’d take a new name, that of Mrs Neil.
7. Simone Clarke-Cooper — founded on family, fortitude and faith
From gracing local televisions as a broadcaster and host to working on bettering brands via public relations, Simone Clarke-Cooper has effortlessly facilitated gripping narratives and represented companies, both on and off camera. Having launched SimSpeak Communication Services Limited, her very own communication consultancy company, and the stirring, SIM Soul Sessions, she spoke about family, fortitude, and faith.
8. New territory to holy matrimony with the Merritts
Sometimes it pays to make the first move even when you least expect it. When Tashana needed help with work, they recommended that she speak with Andre for more assistance. One introduction was all the motivation they needed to connect, fall in love, and become Mr and Mrs Merritt.
9. 100% match — Med school crush turns into lifelong union
A shot at actualising a medical school crush finally became a reality when Dr Gerren Austin and Dr Shanelle Reid met for a second time at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James. Natives of Kingston, Shanelle and Gerren formed a friendship and life in the Second City, but 27-year-old Shanelle had reservations about exploring more as Gerren was her intern and his brother her supervisor. But Gerren was not deterred, and when his rotation on obstetrics and gynaecology ended, he pursued a relationship with Shanelle, and years later, they tied the knot.
10. Lawyers seal the deal in merger of the heart
When love is meant to be, it will happen at the right moment. Jordan and Rochelle met during the first year of law school at The University of the West Indies, Mona campus, and reunited as acquaintances at the Norman Manley Law School. It wasn’t until they were interning at the same law firm that sparks began to fly. They sealed the deal in a merger of the heart and became the McCallums.
11. Philippa Wilson sorting through 678 suitors after dating open call
Philippa Wilson threw Twitter into a tailspin when on April 18, she posted a Google Form stating that she was ready to re-enter the dating world and that interested men could submit their applications. Apprehensive about the response, the bachelorette was surprised when she not only had the support of those on Twitter, but she quickly found herself among the most viral posts for the month. What started as a ‘safe’ way to date in a pandemic was quickly oversubscribed, with 678 applications in one week.
12. Jamaican lawyers making history with new law firm in Cayman
Two Jamaican attorneys residing in the Cayman Islands embarked on a fascinating journey that saw them combine their feminine forces to break new ground in a traditionally male-dominated field. Francine Bryce and Jo-Anne Stephens opened the doors of Bransens, a new offshore boutique law firm, which has the distinction of being the only one in Cayman headed by women, all in the midst of the pandemic.
13. Meet The Mattises: Stanley and Nadine become one
Nadine and Stanley Mattis met in 2001. Their meeting was not, particularly one of chance. Stanley had watched Nadine pass by his office several times before mustering the courage to introduce himself. Two decades later, he would ask her to be his wife, proposing during dinner on Valentine’s Day 2020, with Lonna Hinds, Nadine’s mother, present to give her blessing.
14. Budding fashion designer stitches own gown for garden wedding
Outwardly, Kadion Shaw and Richard Smith had their differences. But both had one thing in common: they had been raised in the same community, Seaview Gardens in Kingston. Through faith and friendship, their love blossomed, and the two tied the knot in their pastor and spiritual adviser’s backyard, with Kadion making her own dress for the intimate affair.
15. Morgans ace lesson in love
Samantha Jones and Kenardo Morgan first laid eyes on each other in 2012 while attending Mico University College. Samantha was in her second year at the time, and Kenardo was in his third. They might have been pursuing their studies in education. Love, however, proved to be their greatest teacher.
16. A teenage dream come true
They always say marry your best friend, and that’s exactly what this couple did. When Jermaine met Shanel at age 13, he told her that she would be his wife. After more than 16 years together, the duo went on to welcome a beautiful baby boy and tie the knot in November 2020 while the country was lashed by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Eta, which later became a category four hurricane.
17. From the drop of a hat to ‘I Do’ – reverends tie the knot
An advertisement boasting exquisite fascinators and hats caught the eye of Reverend Dr Nicolette Evans. The designer and owner of Khalil’s Hattitude, Karl Brown, responded and provided her with a custom design. At the drop of a hat, he went on to give her the best gift she could ever ask for: his heart.
18. The Tappers’ love still on track
Take-Two with Flair explored the decade-long love story of Olympic medallist Megan Tapper and her husband and coach, Matheu. The two spoke about life and love on and off the track and showed their competitive side in a game of trivia.
19. Single for more than a decade, Clara Kahwa is honouring her path
They say that “being single is not the time to be looking for love. Use that time to work on yourself and grow as an individual”. Musician Clara Kahwa has been marching to the beat of her own drum for over 10 years. She discussed focusing on family and her career, healing, and being clear about what she wants.
20. Dancehall Life trio new faces of Stay Golden Cosmetics
Dancehall Life stars Christina ‘Dancing Rebel’ Nelson, Keticia ‘TC’ Chatman, and Tashlicka ‘Pretty Pretty’ Laird were named brand ambassadors for Stay Golden Cosmetics. The Danielle Edmond-led, US-based brand made the announcement in June, along with the commitment that the trio would feature in online and mass media campaigns. They have appeared in the ads for liquid lipsticks DHQ, and Jamrock.
21. From ‘Hello’ to Mr and Mrs Allen
For Keneil and Jhane, the conversation started at hello and entered the new chapter of happily ever after when they joined hands and hearts to be Mr and Mrs Allen.
The January 3 cover of Flair, designed by Tennesia Malcolm, features the Top 21 stories of 2021.