Meet Aruba’s Carnival 70th Queen, Gedis Jansen: “My inspiration and motivation was seeing how many people believe in me and my potential”

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ORANJESTAD – On the 14th of January, Aruba crowned its 70th Carnival Queen, who became Gedis Jansen, representing TOB Carnival Group. In an interview with Gedis, she told us about herself and her participation in the Carnival Queen Election.

Gedis Jansen is a 24 year old who currently works as a nail technician and make-up artist.

“I come from a humble family as the only daughter in the middle of two sons,” she told us. Her hobbies include modeling, creating make-up looks on herself, and socializing with her close friends and family. She completed secondary school – MAVO and HAVO in the Dutch system – and currently wishes to continue studying here at the University of Aruba in the faculty of Economics.

For Gedis, this was her first time participating in a carnival election, and she told us what inspired her to take part in this traditional celebration. “My inspiration and motivation was seeing how many people believe in me and my potential, and certainly the desire that I always had hidden ever since I was a child, to see a representation of a girl like me on stage as a queen here in Aruba.”

Preparation for the competition can be grueling, consisting of long hours preparing choreography, speeches and shows. “[The preparation] was something very fun but certainly with stress and a lot of nerves,” Gedis says. “It was a challenge for me in every aspect, but primarily mentally. Presenting a show and a speech where I am the focal point was not something that I enjoy doing, so I had to prepare a lot for these moments.”

However, Gedis never doubted herself and believed she was in it to win it. Answering if she expected that she would win the top title of Carnival Queen, and her reaction and feelings when she was crowned, Gedis says: “My entire preparation period I got it in my head ‘when I am crowned Queen 70’ and not ‘if I am crowned Queen 70’. But the moment they were choosing the 1st Runner Up, I was ready for that as well. The moment when I realized that I am Queen 70, is one where I am really super proud of myself, that I showed up for so many people, that I just started jumping on stage, fighting the tears of happiness that I had to hold in in that moment.”

Gedis is an inspiration for many, a testament to what can be achieved through will and determination. “Always believe in yourself! You have the ability to achieve everything you set your mind to. The moment you decide to go after what you want, no matter how many people tell you to not do it, you are going to be so proud that you did it, no matter the results.”