Kenickie Andrews becomes new Napoleon impersonator

25 October 2019 By Andrew Turner

Kenickie Andrews was last Thursday revealed as St Helena's new Napoleon impersonator.

Kenickie, outfitted in full Napoleonic attire, arrived via boat to the Jamestown wharf at noon last Thursday, Oct. 17.

Similarly to what the real Napoleon 200 years ago on the day, Kenickie stepped onto the wharf and proceeded through Jamestown.

A small procession of Tourism employees, schoolchildren and others followed Kenickie through town, where Napoleon's arrival was announced by a crier, bell ringing, as the group paraded to the Canister.

"I feel quite proud, actually, as an ambassador for St Helena," Kenickie told The Sentinel. "I just feel overjoyed really."

St Helena's new Napoleon impersonator made international news when the role was first advertised in September.

In a BBC article, St Helena's Tourist Board said it was looking for a "well presented" male who would be available for events through to 2021 – the anniversary of Napoleon's death – to fill the role.

The Guardian described the role as "unpaid and temporary," and said the Bonaparte impersonator would ideally be someone local, as they would be called into action for a series of events during the next two years.

But the fact that the impersonator would ideally be someone local didn't stop significant numbers of off-island hopefuls applying for the role.

In an article on War History Online, British German re-enactor Phill Hodges revealed he applied for the role. The article also said the St Helena Tourist Office had been "inundated" with applications including "a Parisian airport worker, an IT Manager from Montenegro and an Argentinean fluent in both French and Italian – just like the Corsican-born dictator was himself.".

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Kenickie, a St Helenian, is a member of the St Helena National Trust Marine team and recently appeared publicly in a Green Renaissance video.

Kenickie has taken over the role from the previous Napoleon impersonator Merrill Joshua, who left the island last year.

As the new impersonator, Kenickie will now be taking on an active role in the celebrations leading up to and during 2021 – the bicentenary of Napoleon's death. The bicentenary celebrations are being planned by the ESH-founded Napoleonic Anniversary Visioning Group and being implemented by the associated Bicentenary Steering Group.