Caymanian wins prestigious scholarship

| 23/11/2011

Cayman's Rhodes Scholar.jpg(CNS): Oxford graduate, Shmona Simpson has won this year’s prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, an internationally renowned post graduate award that targets exceptional students.  The twenty three year old Caymanian student has already earned herself a first in her degree from London University of London and recently graduated from Oxford with MSc in global health. She was presented with the award at Barbados’ Government House on 22 November by the scholarship’s selection committee. Offering his congratulations education minister Rolston Anglin said she was a testament to the success which can by gained through hard work.

“On behalf of my ministry and the government, I would like to congratulate Shmona on this most outstanding achievement,” Anglin said in a release.  “This is a huge honour, not just for Shmona but also for our country as a whole. Shmona is one of our own national scholarship recipients, and it is exciting to see her academic and leadership achievements acknowledged in this way.  She is a true testament to the success that can come through hard work, dedication and a commitment to excellence.”

The scholarship is named after the English-born South African and founder of the De Beers diamond company and considered one of the world’s most prestigious. It targets applicants with “proven intellectual and academic achievement of a high standard, who also show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead,” as well as the  energy to use their talents.

Past recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship include American President Bill Clinton (1968) and the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Rex Nettleford (1957).

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To 16:49 your argument is very moot. Jamaicans are not trying to take credit for Shmona. The bottom line is that sheis a Blood-Line Jamaican and a paper Caymanian. Her blood-line traces back to Jamaica.

    Are you aware that all of you Caymanians are mixed and 60% of your blood-line leads right back to Jamaica. Are you also aware, that before Jamaica got independence that Cayman was a parish of Jamaica. Read your history. Nevertheless, nothing is wrong with being a Caymanian or a Jamaican. What is wrong is when we cannot love and embrace each other, whether we are paper Caymanian, Caymanian, Jamaican or other nationals.

    This hate and jealousy destroys the fabric of these islands. It is very painful when a foreign national comes here, appreciates what is here, grabs at the opportunity, do well both in school and community, and then SOME locals becomes jealous, poison their children minds against expats, especially against the Jamaicans. Then these kids becomes angry and blame the paper Caymanians for them not doing well in school and society. Not to mention to the writer of 16:49( that Shmona, born Caymanian and carries a Caymanian passport and schooled here). So often Jamaican babies are born here, have Cayman passports and schooled here, and at 18 yrs old they loose these documents and are told to get regulated in their parents country. So please get the facts and know the difference between a blood-line Jamaican and a paper Caymanian.  Please try to accept them whether they are Rhodes Scholars or not, good or bad, ugly or pretty so that we do not have to blog anymore of this crap. But reach out and touch our neighbour and say "I am Caymanian and I love you" OR, "I am Jamaican and I love you". AND to you Jamaicans that are prosperous and doing so fricking well in the 'people dem' country, try assist the Caymanians that need help, provide them with decent paying jobs. AND  to the Caymanians that are wealthy try and assist your fellow countrymen that needs jobs.  

  2. Anonymous says:


    Jamaica has its own 2011 Rhodes Scholar. Educate yourself people and do not pollute your minds with such petty arguments about different cultures, nationalities and heritages. We all share this world. Uplift one another!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Shmona Simpson is 23 years old and was born in Cayman to two Jamaican parents. She lived in Cayman all her life and went to school here and was given a government scholarship. I would have thought that when one read this article they wouldn’t have looked at her features to establish whether she was a true Caymanian or some other national, but instead congradulate her on her great achievement. Being a Rhode Scholar is a prestigious award and she competed against the best of the best in the Caribbean. She should be noted as a role model to other upcoming graduates of the Cayman Islands. Instead of people looking for reasons to find fault they should be proud that for once there is an article in Cayman News Service that is highlighting the achievements of a young Caymanian instead of the reporting of robberies, murders and death.

    Stop being small minded people. Whether you are a Caymanian with children, Jamaican with children born in Cayman or another national, Shmona should be used as an example for what you would want your children to aspire to become one day.

    Congratulations Shmona!!!! God has great plans for you and he doesn’t care where you or your parents are from.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shmona is a fine example and we are all very proud of her. The point of her nationality was also made to lift her upand whilst it might be causing strife and separation in the community by bloggers saying that she is Jamaican it is only because of the way Jamaicans are treated in this country and never recognised as good Jamaicans in the community when they do good. Like I said before if they do good they are Caymanian and if they do bad they then revert to being foreigners.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately this story has been buried on the local page and off the main page so many of the sort of mindless Caymanian posters to CNS are not seeing these comments pointing out the truth about how Caymanians call the "good" foreigners Caymanian while trashing the others.

  5. Anonymous says:

    She is a born Caymanian and carries a Caymanian passport, so i not sure why there is a discussion as the nationality! In fact, she had been schooled in Cayman for 17 years prior to going to university. Sorry Jamaicans cannot take any credit for this one. EPIC FAIL!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh yes we Jamaicans can claim her accomplishments and we do. People born in the Cayman Islands are not Caymanian – your laws say so. She has two Jamaican parents and she is JAMAICAN. I have been here nearly 40 years and am still not considered Jamaican so neither is she. My children are born here and are not considered Caymanian so neither is she. Your laws say so.

  6. John-the-Baptist says:

    Lets salute the Jamaicans with the 'Pelican Pride'.  Jamaicans are known as Rhodes Scholars since 1953 and as recent as 2011, Ms. Shmona Simpson who qualifies on the basis of "qualities of character" and intellect. These Jamaicans as well as other nationals,  are future leaders of the English-speaking world with an education which broaden their views and develop their abilities, thus, improving the lot of mankind and work in unity towards maintaing peace between nations. These virtuoso and brilliant Jamaicans, receives the Rhodes Scholarship based on:

    • Literary and scholastic attainments
    • Energy to use one’s talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness and success in sports.
    • Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship
    • Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.  

    To the writer 8:01 (she dosent look Caymanian, but look Jamaican) What utter rubbish! What does a Caymanian look like or Jamaican? I have seen many Caymanians that has Shmona's features and I have also seen many Jamaicans that do not have Shmona's features. The bottom line is that Shmona looks like a human, and she is a very brilliant one! I have noticed that this island is very silent and shy in recognizing Jamaicans AS JAMAICANs, whenever they shine, but readily trod on Jamaicans and remove their robe of (Caymanian Status) when they slip-up.  Nevertheless, Jamaicans continue to shine as Rhodes Scholars as far back as 1953 and as recent as 2011.

    The first Jamaican to have received the Rhodes Scholarship is Donald Bogle(1953) Everard Nelson (1955), Rex Nettleford (1957), Mervyn Morris (1958), Arthur Carnegie (1960), Henry Wong (1961), Eric Abrahams (1962),Robert Ogilvie (1962), Roderick Rainford (1963), Ernest Hew(1964), Richard Fletcher(1965)Trevor Munroe(1966), Franklin Johnston (1967), Ronald Thwaites (1968), Franklyn Prendergast (1969), George Alexander(1970), Rudolph Smellie(1971),Peter Hanley(1972)Delroy Chuck(1973), Michael Abrahams(1974), Jeffrey Mordecai(1976), Michael Allen(1977), Robert Hew (1980), Stephen Vascianne (1981), Hanip Latchman (1983), Peter Goldson(1985) Dr. Evan Able(1986) David McBean(1988), Andrea Wright(1989)Paul Lalor(1990), Dr. Collin McKenzie(1991), Tracy Robinson(1992), Daniel Thwaites (1993),Nigel Clarke(1994)Richard Thompson(1996), Carina Cockburn(1997), Nadia Russel(1999) Idara Hippolyte (1999), Neil Hancard(2000), Chantal Ononaiwu (2003), Ramon Arscot(2005), Nadiya Figueroa (2006), Sashauna Wheather(2008), Dr. Daniel Walcot (2010) AND this year Shmona Simpson.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could someone print the list of Caymanian Rhodes Scholars? It wouldn't be as long as Jamaica's since it's a much smaller place but it would be good to know which of our own sons and daughters of the soil earned this major distinction.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shmona Simpson!!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          No, unfortunately the Jamaican community claims her even though she was born and educated here and has been Caymanian since birth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wasn't Norman Manley a Rhodes Scholar?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Us JAMAICANS know we people – CONGRATULATIONS on your great achievement. May you enjoy many more great accomplishments. Blessings.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Am I reading this right?  She is 23 years old now?  

  9. pioneerdiver says:

    Congratulations! That is an outstanding achievement – no matter what nationality you are or where you were born (or your parents)! Lets join to give her our congratulations and not make this a fight over countries! It's a world we live in and we benefit of each other! Again – great job & may you contribute to a better place!

  10. Thinker says:

    Please see the positive in this and do not take this as an apportunity to savour in your negativity and personal angst.  This is a tremendous achievement for Shmona, well done to her, may everybody rejoice and look to her as an example of what can be accomplished whatever nationality you may be.

    A huge congratulations, education is something to be celebrated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians love to own the foreigners when the excel eh. If she had done wrong she would have been a Jamaican.

    I remember years ago when one of our (Jamaican) magistrates went to the White House to visit with her past classmate Hiliary Clinton the headlines read "Caymanian goes to White House". What a joke – she is and was Jamaican but noooooo when they do good they are Caymanians when they dont they are Jamaicans or some other foreigner.

    Splitting the communicty – hell yes. From a proud Jamaican who has been here nearly 40 years, educated with a job and serves endlessly in the community and on who is sick and tired of my country man being picked on without reason and no matter how long you are here you are still a foreigner – except when you excel then you are Caymanian.

  12. Anonymous says:


    However, she does not look Caymanian to me she looks Jamaican. I am sure she is Jamaican – isnt it funny how the Cayman Islands is so quick to embrace Jamaicans and other foreigners as their own when they excel but the minute they fail they are not acknowledged as Caymanians but are then said to be a foreigner.

    • Anonymous says:

      So very, very true 8:01 and 8:07. And yes, 8:01, she is a Jamaican (a "foreign national" as they like to say), you are correct.

  13. Anonymous says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on this wonderful achievement. May you be blessed with many more accomplishments. Enjoy your journey.

  14. Anonymous says:


    We are so proud of you!!!!!!  Caymanians are among the most intelligent people in the world!!!

    There are so many Caymanians all over the world in top positions and well respected. It is only in cayman where we are not respected. God bless and may you always have the wind behind you. Peace, love and respect.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 18:26: Unfortunately this lady is a Jamaican (both parents) so her success does not advance in even the slightest way your argument about Caymanians being among  the most intelligent people in the world/not respected in Cayman blah blah blah.

      But congratulations to her are definitely in order; it is a genuinely impressive achievement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who are these Caymanians all over the world in top positions?

      • Anonymous says:

        We have a doctor in Amsterdam and a few in the USA, a scientist with NASA, a President of a University – there are many Caymanians abroad in top positions – but what Caymanians have to do is welcome all people to their shores and not only own them when they do good and claim them as Caymanians then but support them as Caymanians when they fail too.

        • Anonymous says:

          And the President of a university is Roy Bodden? Oh dear. Your other high achieving Caymanians are a bit vaguely described but you redeem yourself 100% by your advice as to what Caymanians have to do. Well said, 9:19.