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In 1969, she was chosen to represent St. Lucia in the CARIFESTA celebrations, where her song “Manmay-la-di-Why” was a huge hit.
In 1991, through a UNESCO project, Sesenne recorded her first and only album. It is a collection of Folk Songs that can be heard during the Christmas season and at the celebrations of La Rose festival.
In 1987 Sesenne was honored as an outstanding woman on International Women’s Day. She was inducted into the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) Music Hall of Fame. The Folk Research Centre declared Dame Marie Selipha Sesenne Descartes D.B.E., S.L.M.M. (Gold) BEM a National Cultural Hero in 2003.
Did you know besides singing, Sesenne excelled as a dancer and performed the traditional dances such as Deux-bot, Quadrille, Belair, Mazouk and Mapa?
Did you know Lady Edna Leofrida Lewis was the first female upon whom a Knighthood was conferred? It was her interest in and her sterling devotion to the uniformed corps that led to her being awarded Dame of the British Empire (D.B.E) in 1992.
Source: Pioneers & Forerunners Saint Lucia’s First Ladies by Margot Thomas – 2012