Last night I attended the Miss Bahamas Universe and it was one of the most exciting pageants I’ve attended ever! Reason being, I had three beauties who I knew very well and was torn as to which one I should pull for hardest. I was asked on several occasion, ‘Who are you pulling for?’
Tomii Culmer I knew from our second season of Nu Face Model Search where she placed 1st Runner Up. Ominique Burrows I’d first worked with at Islands of The World Fashion Week and I can still recall the shoot she did with Lyndah Wells for our magazine. Last but not least, Rokara Hepburn who was our last Nu Face Model Search winner as well as cover girl! So yes, my heart was doing any little dances throughout the pageant.
All these young ladies were spectacular on stage, and they were the Top 3 finishers (proud mama bear J). As pageants go, we went through swimsuit, evening wear and of course the questions. I did tear up when I heard Rokara’s emotional answer to the last question. The question asked about inspiring the youths of our nation and Rokara talked about her poor childhood and some personal dramas and said she would use her story as an example to inspire youths.
This was my most exciting pageant ever! I got to see first hand how these ladies had grown and matured. It was great to hang out with old friends and meet a few new ones. Congratulations to ALL my girls, you made me proud!
* List of Judges: Grace Fontecha, Walter Greene, Zuri McDaniels, Ty Jonnston, Nicole Murphy, Carole I. Barnett, Braneka Bassett.
Green Earth Festival took place 22nd June, 2014 at The Retreat Village road. Many came out in support of this initiative and Nu Woman was there to capture a bit of it.
“The reasons to Go Green are as diverse, simple and yet as complex as existence itself. But they are all critically important, To me, simply put going green is about going back to the source or back to nature,” say Aisha one of the co-founders of Green Earth Festival (Bahamas)
“When I first entered the Miss Turks and Caicos Universe Pageant, I knew that I would win since I believed that I possessed all the necessary qualities to be the next Miss Universe Turks and Caicos .” These were the confident words of the newly crowned Miss Universe Turks and Caicos 2014, Shanice Williams. Not only was she crowned Miss Universe Turks and Caicos 2014, but she also copped the special titles of Miss Intellect, Best in Swimsuit/Best Body, Best Evening Gown, Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic.”
Before competing in the pageant, Shanice was the reigning Miss Grand Turk Summer Jam. On a regular work day, one can find her fulfilling her duties as aSecretary at the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Crown Land Unit and Survey and Mapping Department. Although her professional duties place her in a geographical environment, Shanice’s professional goals lie in the realm of finance. At present, she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Management at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College. After, she hopes to complete a Ph.D. in Finance which she hopes will allow her the opportunity to work with the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands to help improve the financial structure and statuses of citizens throughout the islands.
This busy lady took some time out to chat with Nu Woman about her pageant experience and life beyond the crown.
“From the coronation evening to being crowned Miss Grand Turk Summer Jam 2013, I knew that the Miss Universe Turks and Caicos Beauty Pageant was next in line for me”, beamed the new crown holder. “After seeing my capabilities and getting that ultimate feel of the stage, I was more than convinced that I will once again excel in the next round.”
Shanice says that her number one reason for entering the pageant was to “become a goodwill ambassador and become associated with many organizations and meaningful causes.” She believes that her “new celebrity status will focus people’s attention and sensitize the public about targeted social issues, while assisting with their eradication.”
Although Williams exuded confidence throughout the pageant, she encountered a few challenges; time management was the biggest difficulty for her.
“Being the only contestant from another island, Grand Turk, I had to travel to Providenciales two and sometimes three times a week for coaching, training sessions, appearances and other activities. These all lasted for a total of four months”, she admits. “I have a full time job and I am also a full time student so the traveling required a lot of planning, time management and extra coordination of activities.” Nonetheless, these obstacles were minor when compared to the wonderful “life changing” experience that was received from the Miss Universe Turks and Caicos Pageant. “I’ve learnt so much about myself. I am more familiar with my body and have a better understanding of just how confident I really am”, she declares. “Most importantly, this experience has reminded me that through all my endeavors, I should always remain humble and be appreciative of everyone’s love and support. “
Filled with emotion, Shanice is adamant that the entire experience has given her a different outlook on life. “It has been more of an emotional experience than anything else. I am overwhelmed by all the love and support that I have been receiving from my family, friends and well-wishers. I feel that everyone is going an extra mile to make me feel royal and I am forever grateful.”
Shanice also believes that the pageant has helped to shape her concept of beauty. In her mind, beauty can never be defined by one singular definition. “A woman’s beauty is shaped by her perception of herself and being truly genuine and optimistic from the soul. It is all a matter of how she feels within, carries and respects herself, how comfortable she is in the skin that she’s in and her ability and willingness to help and inspire others. That’s what makes a woman beautiful.”
Shanice is of the firm belief that “beauty pageants offer participants more than just a title and crown. Pageants help to mold young women into productive citizens and help to further shape these women into being great assets to their country and to the world. “ Having already been molded into a brilliant talent and representative for the Turks and Caicos Islands, this young beauty now has her eyes on the 2014 Miss Universe Pageant.
“Besides traveling, all the glamorous photo shoots, appearances, television and radio interviews, I am making final preparations towards my platform which is to alleviate the challenges faced by youth particularly with unemployment. I’ve also started intense coaching and training and will be completing all the necessary preparations in order to be a strong representative for my country at the 2014 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant”, notes the twenty one year old.
Shanice is appreciative of everyone who has continued to support her throughout her pageantry and hopes that everyone will be empowered by her favorite quote: Pray more. Fear less. Live better
If you will like to follow the updates and pertinent news during Shanice’s reign as Miss Turks and Caicos Universe, you can visit www.MissTCI.org.