Evonie Blake, educator, public speaker, transformation coach, and performer, has been selected to join the cast of “Cool Japan,” a television show that airs on NHK, the Public Broadcasting Corporation channel in Japan.
Blake is originally from St. Elizabeth in Jamaica and is a former Miss St. Elizabeth Festival Queen and runner-up for Miss Jamaica Festival Queen in 2013. She decided to move to Japan after nearly ten years of working in Jamaica in order to diversify her experience. Since moving to Japan, a new country with a new language, Blake has spent the past three-and-a-half years serving as a teacher at a private junior and senior high school as a member of its International Language Department. The courses Blake teaches include English Communication, English Written Expression, Critical Thinking in English, and Current Events in English. She also coaches students who want to compete in public speaking speech competitions.
Blake was selected to join “Cool Japan” following a screening process and performing in an audition. The program, which explores various topics and perspectives existing in Japan and compares them with others around the world, features a multi-national cast. In her role, Blake will highlight the Jamaican perspective on the basis of cultural practices, general consciousness, actions, and her own personal experiences and ideas.
Blake worked in the education field for some ten years, chiefly as a teacher of English and English literature at a Jamaican high school. Her work history includes employment at the Southwest TVET Institute in Jamaica where she worked in the programs department and provided courses in communication and information literacy. An entrepreneur, Blake co-founded Apex Academy, which offers supplemental classes to high school students in English, preparation for the SAT exam, and remedial, basic, and advanced math. She used her participation in the JCDC Festival Queen competition in 2013, and her runner-up status to implement her educational project in partnership with the Heart Trust NTA in Jamaica.
Blake considers herself a cultural ambassador for Jamaica and draws on her experiences as a Festival Queen to inform her participation. She feels that her opportunity to appear on “Cool Japan” is a privilege that allows her to continue doing her best to represent Jamaica on the global stage.