crowning on stage

Miss Bahamas Universe recap..


Tomii Culmer is crowned Miss Bahamas Universe 2014.
Tomii Culmer is crowned Miss Bahamas Universe 2014.

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?’

ladies in waiting

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.

Tomii Culmer in Nu Woman's Summer/Autumn 2010 issue
Tomii Culmer in Nu Woman’s Summer/Autumn 2010 issue
Ominique Burrows in Nu Woman's Winter/Spring 2010 issue
Ominique Burrows in Nu Woman’s Winter/Spring 2010 issue
Rokara Hepburn on the cover of Nu Woman's Fall 2012 issue
Rokara Hepburn on the cover of Nu Woman’s Fall 2012 issue

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.

tomii swimsuit

Ominique Burrows
Ominique Burrows
Rokara Hepburn
Rokara Hepburn
Tomii Culmer
Tomii Culmer

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!

Editor with Cardell J. McClam
Editor with Cardell J. McClam
Jessica Frances and Celeste Marshall (former Miss Bahamas Universe).
Jessica Frances and Celeste Marshall (former Miss Bahamas Universe).
Cardell McClam with Kedar Clarke and friend.
Cardell McClam with Kedar Clarke and friend.


* List of Judges: Grace Fontecha, Walter Greene, Zuri McDaniels, Ty Jonnston, Nicole Murphy, Carole I. Barnett, Braneka Bassett.

Contestants: Toni Bethel, Tomii Culmer, Ominique Burrows, Rokara Hepburn, Gabrielle Wong, Deandra Brown.

Hosts: Jerome Sawyer & Leslia Miller Brice. President: Michelle Malcolm.

Check out our album on Facebook -

Miss Bahamas Universe Finale

 ©Nu Woman Magazine 2014.



Diana Ross Winner of the 2014 Ella Fitzgerald Award

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is delighted to present the Ella Fitzgerald Award to Diana Ross, for her extraordinary contribution to contemporary jazz vocals. The award was presented to her by Alain Simard, president and founder of the Festival, and André Ménard, artistic director and co-founder of the Festival, last evening (July 3rd) at 10 p.m. during a private meeting in the Place des Arts’ Salon vert (Green Room) after her concert in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier (Événements spéciaux TD series).

Diana Ross is the 16th winner of the Ella Fitzgerald Award. The Festival created the award for its 20th anniversary in 1999, annually conferring it upon a jazz singer of significant talent who has had a major impact and influence in the international scene.

A Diva with a capital D if ever there were one, showbiz icon and genuine living legend, Diana Ross couldn’t have offered us a better gift than this very first visit the Festival—for its 35th birthday! The incarnation of glamour to the very tips of her fingers, winner of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Diana Ross’ career is a musical odyssey that stretches over 50 years, including Motown classics Where Did Our Love Go, Love Child, Stop! in the Name of Love and I Hear a Symphony, dance smashes Love Hangover, Upside Down, Touch Me in the Morning and One Love in my Lifetime, the jazz of Lady Sings the Blues and the theme song of Mahogany, Do You Know Where You’re Going To.

Add in 100 million albums sold, eighteen #1 songs, 8 American Music Awards… it’s impossible to imagine a more gold-plated CV!

The famed singer arrived as part of her In the Name of Love tour, accompanied by a full 15-piece orchestra (Opening act: her daughter, Rhonda Ross). July 3 and 4, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Événements spéciaux TD series.

In accepting the prize, Diana Ross will be following previous Ella Fitzgerald prizewinners Holly Cole (2013), Liza Minnelli (2012), Sade (2011), The Manhattan Transfer (2010), John Pizzarelli (2009), Aretha Franklin (2008), Harry Connick, Jr., (2007), Etta James (2006), Al Jarreau (2005) Tony Bennett (2004), Bobby McFerrin (2003), Dianne Reeves (2002), Diana Krall (2001), Dee Dee Bridgewater (2000) and Diane Schuur (1999).


tap header 2

TAP Into This!

Who is TAP?

Tap 1 web
Photography: Barry Williams. MUA: Flawless Facez. Clothing: Velvet Hanger. Styling: Aneka Stewart

Tracy Ann Perpall, popularly known as TAP, describes herself as ‘the tongue and cheek vlogger’. Beyond doing videos and television, she is an optimistic, ambitious and passionate person who’s crazy about acting, film and anything related to the performing arts.

“I’m that girl who has known what she’s wanted since she was 8 years old…twirling around in my bedroom, looking in the mirror, practicing Oscar acceptance speeches; hoping to one day to take the world by storm. I’m a fighter too. I am also someone who pushes to the very edge if I’m going after a certain goal”.

TAP says that inspiration for the projects usually come from her everyday life.

“A lot of times, I get inspiration from conversations I’m having with my girlfriends….those usually lead to the funny vlogs that I do on my “justcallmeTAP” Youtube page. Sometimes the vlogs are based on stories that I watch on the news. For instance, my domestic violence campaign “Roses”, was directly inspired by some of the horrific stories that I saw on the news.”

TAP is a very proactive person and believes that if there is something positive to which she can contribute, she gives it all her energy.

“I decided to use my voice and the audience and following that I have garnered to raise awareness about the alarming rate of domestic violence occurs in The Bahamas. Sometimes, I get inspiration just from thinking aloud to myself, which I do a lot! Inspiration is something you can’t really contain or predict…I’ve gotten some of my best ideas in the bathroom too…is that too much information? Ha!”

TAP talks about what ‘grinds her gears’.

In The Bahamas, people tend to underestimate the time, ability, energy and money that go into being an entertainer, an actress or doing any sort of performing art. It takes a lot of time and a lot of teamwork to put a lot of these projects together. I’m sure that any artist will agree with me when I say, that even if you’re looking at a 4 minute video or maybe one photo image… the outcome of what the audience sees, took an amazing amount of effort, time and energy to complete. I hate that sometimes people act like, what we as artists do is so easy…but I always say…if it was so easy, then everybody would be doing it…and that isn’t the case. I also try to remind myself of something my brother once told me, that it’s not the people who watch your work…it’s not their job to really understand, it’s their job to enjoy.

I do feel a lot of pressure to perform, to do something grand, to outshine the last thing I did and sometimes I do feel like having a pity party for myself and I want my fans and those who enjoy me to feel it too…but I just have to tell myself to suck it up, because feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t produce results.

TAP discusses the entertainment industry in the Bahamas and some of the changes she will like to see:

  1. I will love people to be more professional, punctual and not take things so personally. It’s hard because it is an art form and we as artists can be so emotional. We need to learn that this is a business and to put personal feelings and alliances to the side. I try as much as possible to separate my personal and professional life. Although I love to be dramatic on screen, in my every day life, I am actually very private and most importantly…DRAMA FREE!!
  2. I wish corporate Bahamas and the government or powers that be and whomever may be able to financially contribute to Bahamian artists and young people, would remove the stick that’s up some of their butts and realize that this isn’t 1918 and that being an artist is a REAL career and that it IS a skill just like being a lawyer or a plumber. Stop trying to ‘swing’ artists. Stop offering us payment in gum or cupcakes (the cupcake thing is a TRUE story). Stop trying to always beat us down on our prices. Stop offering us yellow painted rocks and calling it gold…because at the end of the day, artists help to push the culture forward, artists help to preserve history. We are story tellers and no community is complete without us.

    Tap web additional
    Photograph: Barry Williams. MUA: Flawless Facez. Clothing: The Velvet Hanger. Styling: Aneka Stewart.

To read more on TAP check out our Summer 2014 issue on TAP Into This!

Pages 34-42 Nu Woman’s summer 2014 issue.

Be sure to check out TAP’s documentary  “BWAPEN” to be released July 2nd at

©2014 Nu Woman Magazine

The Bahamian & Caribbean woman's magazine


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