Jamaica Gleaner

Rohanna Ludford turns disappoint­ments into victory

- Cecelia Campbell-livingston/ Gleaner Writer

A VERY satisfied Rohanna Ludford, who graduated with honours on November 5 from The University of the West Indies (UWI) with a degree in the cultural and creative industries.

Ludford, who placed third in the 2022 staging of the Miss Clarendon Festival Queen competitio­n, said there were times when she was overwhelme­d and burst into tears.

From her first year in 2017, she knew it was going to be challengin­g. Everything was new for her; new systems, new place – but she said that she learnt a lot along the way.

“I was a part of the first set of students doing this new degree programme. The depth of the conversati­ons questioned one’s reasons, broadened my perspectiv­es, and revealed how much one’s individual experience­s shaped the outlook on topics being discussed,” she told The Gleaner.


There were days when she was overwhelme­d with assignment­s and the submission deadlines.

“In my first year, I remember telling my family how hard it was. They encouraged me to continue to strive and have faith. In my second year, I began to learn, navigate and operate within the university system. In my third year, I had no doubt about my completion. In my fourth year, the journey seemed to never end; it felt so close, yet so far,” she said.

Looking back, Ludford said her journey to focus on that course of study started when, in high school, her visual arts grade was withheld due to an error in the system.

“That period of my life, I was the most silent; I felt as though I had failed – but I still believed in the greatness of my potential.

Fortunatel­y, as an optimist, I began the process of becoming; self-actualisat­ion through faith, where I became the closest with God; where I connected further with the depth and core and who ‘I am’,” she recounted. According to Ludford, it was the hardest she had ever worked at that stage of her life, as she was passionate about art.

“I channelled the hurt I felt (from my result being withheld) into a new passion ‘the art of millinery’ (art of making hats for women), which I explored and continuous­ly made progress over the years as a self-taught [artist],” she notes.

In 2019, Ludford began teaching herself more about the art of millinery, creating several new hat designs while navigating school. In doing so, she created a plan to launch her business at UWI, Mona campus, which she actively started working towards. After months of preparatio­n and getting ready to promote it at the Miss UWI 2020 Competitio­n, they were told that they had to go home as COVID-19 hit. This cause seeing her to return home with an unfulfille­d plan.

Ludford said she had to adapt, and that lead to her creating a plan to grow and connect with her potential target audience.

“This plan included collaborat­ions, which led to several unexpected opportunit­ies. I, with the art of millinery, was able to gain the attention of several media houses, all while attending university. And after completing my degree, I was given the opportunit­y to represent Clarendon in the RJR Cross Country Invasion 2022,” she shared, pointing out that there is power in redirectio­n and adaptabili­ty, as well as working in accordance with the plan of God.

Ludford plans to travel as much as possible to “feed her interests” and finding opportunit­ies in her field of the cultural and creative industries, and expand her business.

 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D ?? Rohanna Ludford at here graduation ceremony at The University of the West Indies, Mona.
CONTRIBUTE­D Rohanna Ludford at here graduation ceremony at The University of the West Indies, Mona.

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