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Miss Carival contestants meet the media

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The Miss Carival competition has surely risen in stature in the region if the significantly increased number of contestants taking part is anything to judge by. At the first competition in 1985, there were seven contestants. The 2008 pageant has doubled that with a hefty 14 contestants from across the Caribbean. On Wednesday, July 2nd, eleven of those young women took time out of their hectic schedule to participate in a “Meet the Media” session.{{more}}

  • Miss Dominica: Marah Walter revealed that she has always been interested in pageants because she loves the stage. The first pageant she entered was Miss teen Dominica; placing 2nd runner up. From then on, it was her dream to take that one step further and enter the Miss Dominica pageant. Marah eventually entered this year and successfully nabbed the Miss Dominica 2008 title. She is very much enjoying the preparation for the competition despite it being “…tiring at times.” More so, she takes great delight in meeting young women of other nationalities and getting to know them and their culture. In a display of confidence, Marah declared that she intends to make it a hat-trick for Dominica as that island has won Miss Carival for the past two years.
  • Very much a tomboy when growing up, Miss Trinidad and Tobago: Katrina Geetooah’s mother was responsible for her daughter getting involved in pageants. Her mother wanted her to try something different from playing basketball and football. As well as entering pageants, Katrina does a great deal of runway modeling. Currently, she holds the title of Miss Caricom International. Katrina admitted that she was thoroughy enjoying the preparations for the event. “It’s fast paced but if you enjoy doing it and you have a passion for it then it’s a lot of fun!” Not just a pretty face, she is currently undertaking a degree in Chemistry at the University of the West Indies.
  • Currently doing a degree in Odontology at the Santa Maria University in Caracas, Miss Venezuela: Sirenia Cedeno Lopez has very strong family values. She chose Odontology because, despite wanting to forge a career in the medical field, she didn’t want to study straight medicine. Sirenia began modeling at the tender age of 13 then later extended that experience to pageants. This being her first visit to SVG, she related that she finds Vincentians to be very friendly and warm – very much like the people of Venezuela. “The people are very caring!” she exclaimed.
  • Miss Puerto Rico: Rosaura Latorre began modeling at quite a young age, but only started taking part in pageants 2 years ago. Although she is finding the experience to be “…unique and enjoyable”, she has not forgotten what her goal is – to win Miss Carival. Rosaura declared that she is going to represent her country to the fullest and make it proud. On the topic of her fellow contestants, she was emphatic about what a lovely group of women they are. “I get on with them very well! I love them all…”
  • “It’s an unforgettable experience!” This is what Miss Dominican Republic: Clary Peres Linares has to say about her participation in the Miss Carival pageant thus far. She spoke of how happy she is to have been given this opportunity because not only does she get to learn about the other nationalities, she also gets to impart her knowledge of the Dominican Republic with others. Clary was particularly impressed with Vincentian cuisine as she gushed about the way food is seasoned and prepared.
  • With ambitions of becoming the premier News Anchor, Miss Antigua and Barbuda: Tasheka Lavann is a family-oriented, religious and determined young woman. Currently pursuing a BA in Media & Communications at the University of the West Indies (Mona campus), she credits her mother with developing her appetite for participating in pageants. Tasheka related that she sees a lot of similarities between Antigua’s and SVG’s carnivals. She admits that the experience is truly an unforgettable one but she has not lost track of what she came here to do. “The goal, for any of us, is to win!” she stated. And she seems hell bent on leaving SVG with the crown firmly on her head.
  • Miss Anguilla: Kafi Gumbs is currently studying Marine Biology at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is an extremely well-spoken young woman and explained that she usually finds it easy to combine pageantry with her studies, as they mostly take place when she is on break from university. However, she is enrolled in summer school this year, so her participation in Miss Carival is a bit more challenging. As soon as she is done with the competition, she will have her final examinations. “It’s pushing me to the limit. This is a test, and only the fittest will survive.”
  • Issues with low self esteem is what pushed Miss Bahamas: Kazherea Rolle into pageantry. Her friends and family believed it would be an effective way of boosting her confidence. And it surely worked. Brimming with quiet confidence, she described her preparation for the competition as being “…very strenuous!” but thoroughly enjoyable because she had never traveled within the Caribbean before. She further deemed it to be a great opportunity to know her island people more. Kazherea particularly loves Vincentian scenery because of it mountainous, green terrain. “I’m accustomed to the flat landscape of Nassau,” she explained.
  • A keen dancer, Miss St Lucia: Soriah John is a long-standing member of the Miracles Dance Company and believes that her participation in various pageants only serve to strengthen her talent as a performer. She admits that she was slightly apprehensive about meeting the other contestants because it is not uncommon to encounter snobbish and unfriendly participants. However, she was relieved to find that all the young women are warm and easy to get along with. In particular, she was blown away by the jovial natures of Miss SVG, Miss St. Kitts & Nevis, Miss Trinidad & Tobago and Miss Antigua. Soriah believes that as the region continues in the direction of integration, pageantry can be one of the marketing tools for “…our diversely talented region.” Furthermore, she promises to wow the audience with her talent. “You can expect something big from me and, by extension, St Lucia.”
  • Miss St Kitts and Nevis: Marice Roberts has been entering pageants since she was in Secondary School. Her successful participation in these events did nothing but fuel her desire to take part in the national Carnival queen pageant, which she promptly won this year. She finds the preparation for Miss Carival to be rigorous but deems it to be totally worthwhile. “I hope to represent St. Kitts to the best of my ability.”
  • Last, but certainly not least, St Vincent and the Grenadine’s very own Ronique Dellimore is bubbling over with excitement, as she is chomping at the bit to show the public that she was indeed the right choice for Miss SVG. She explained that her training for Miss Carival is nowhere as tedious as that for Miss SVG, and that she is not nervous in the least about her performance tonight. Ronique promises Vincentians a spectacular performance that will surpass that of the Miss SVG competition. “I am your queen and this is what your queen can do!” she declared. She has found a lot of support for this venture, despite some believing that she was the wrong choice. “I’m at the point now where I’m representing SVG. One thing with them is that they may not back you then, but once you’re representing the island, you have Vincentians’ full support!”

Contestants from the British Virgin Islands, Guyana and Jamaica had not yet arrives in the island at the time of the “Meet the media” session. With such confident, attractive and talented young women, Miss Carival 2008 will surely be memorable. (JSV)

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