Sunday, September 26, 2010

Miss World 2010: Meet Miss Trinidad and Tobago

The twin island of Trinidad and Tobago is the southernmost nation of the Lesser Antilles. Trinidad is more industrialized and Tobago is more laid back and secluded. Trinidad's economy is more dependent on its petroleum industry and Tobago depends more on tourism. Even though they share a common history since 1889 when they were joined as a British Crown colony, there are unique differences that define each of the islands. Trinidad and Tobago is the birthplace of the ever popular calypso, soca, steelpans and limbo and features each year one of the most popular carnivals in the planet. The island nation became independent in 1976. In Miss World, Trinidad and Tobago won the title in 1986 with Giselle Laronde and has a successful history on this pageant. This year, the island nation will be represented by Davia Chambers, who won the Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2010 pageant last summer. proudly presents Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2010 in an exclusive interview for our series Meet the Misses.

1.    Give us an introduction of yourself.
I am an 18 year old from Tobago. I have the distinction of being the youngest representative from Trinidad and Tobago to Miss. World in its 60 year history. In addition to being a trained model with significant run way experience, I am involved with various charitable causes and devote time to working with and mentoring young people; believing in the importance of giving back to society and making a positive difference in the lives of others. I am presently working as a television news anchor and a journalist.

2.    Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
I am from Tobago and anyone familiar with these two stunning islands would agree that Tobago is Trinidad’s more laid back, easy going and relaxed little sister. The pace on the island is much slower than it is in Trinidad.
I come from a small coastal village called Black Rock which is a very close knit, traditional community. The people who live there are friendly and warm and genuine. It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child and the support from my friends and neighbours in Black Rock has been overwhelming and they have encouraged me to reach further and climb higher in my pursuit to bring home the crown.

3.    What does it mean to you to represent your country at Miss World?
For any of the 120 young women the feeling is the same. I feel proud, hopeful and a bit apprehensive but I am confident that by making the best effort and giving it my all, I can bring honour and recognition to my homeland.

4.    What preparations have you done so far or will you do for the Miss World final?
My regimen has been intense. Trinidad and Tobago has a solid reputation to uphold. People around the world expect us to always do well whenever we enter Miss World and although the National Directorship changed hands in 2009, the new committee is just as intent on keeping our proud legacy alive. Michael Raghunanan has spared no effort to ensure that I have the best trainers and handlers so that I will be fully prepared for the demands of competing at the highest levels internationally. I spend hours in the gym, do countless photo shoots, make public appearances and devote a great deal of my time to my “Beauty with a Purpose “project.

5.    If you have to describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?
“What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God”

6.    Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
At Miss World 2020 sitting on the judges’ panel as a former winner, helping to decide the fate of one lucky young woman in some far off exotic locale.
Alternately, I am happily married with children of my own, a loving spouse and a high powered career in journalism, in addition to being the Editor in Chief of my own Caribbean lifestyle magazine and I still am a former Miss. World title holder and the firecest “Bond” girl ever.

7.    Would you prefer being beautiful and rich or poor and smart?
I would actually prefer to just be happy and to know that my life is purposeful and that in some small way I make the world a better place to live in. Money and looks fade but character and virtue are indelible and define you as a person.

8.    Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
I admire our country’s first female Prime Minister, Mrs. Kamla Persard Bissesar because the impact of having a female Prime Minister has been a positive one. Young women in Trinidad now feel empowered and emboldened to pursue their chosen career paths, confident that no one will doubt the ability of a woman to function in a “man’s world” nor her ability to excel beyond expectations.

9.    If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
Thankfully I don’t have to make that choice. There truly is no place on earth I would rather be or live than Trinidad and Tobago. I would, however, like to visit the African Continent, the Mediterranean and Nepal (climbing Mount Everest is a dream of mine) and spend a year immersed in the culture, cuisine and fashion of France.

10.    What do you think is the biggest problem facing the world today and what should be done about it?
Poverty, hunger and disease would be high on my list. While these are issues which have plagued humankind for centuries I believe that if we stop being indifferent to the needs of our fellow man, we could actually find solutions to these problems and build a more caring, progressive and peaceful world for future generations.

11.    Do you believe a beauty queen should be politically correct when answering a controversial subject  or should she express her personal views on the issue?
This is a tricky question because I have been thought to always be honest. The values which were inculcated in me make it difficult for me to be politically correct when faced with certain issues. I believe that one should be able to express oneself freely and in a perfect world this would be acceptable. We don’t live in a perfect world though and people have feelings and those feelings can be hurt so usually I would err on the side of caution and choose to keep some of my stronger views and opinions to myself.

12.    What do you most look forward to about the Miss World Festival?
Learning about the rich tapestry that is China. The people are so steeped in tradition and culture and historically they have given us so many remarkable and wonderful inventions. I am particularly excited about seeing the Great Wall and journeying to Inner Mongolia to see the tomb of Genghis Khan. I look forward to meeting the other contestants and hopefully, establishing lifelong friendships with all of them. What excites me most though is being able to show off the work of some of our top fashion designers like Dexter Jennings and Claudia Pegus to the rest of the world. Trinidadian designers are the fashion world’s best kept secret.

13.    The winner of Miss World will be the 60th Miss World. Which former winner do you most admire and why?
Would I be biased if I said Giselle Laronde (Miss World 1986 from Trinidad and Tobago)? Truly she has been an inspiration to me. She is graceful, accomplished, classy and still relevant. Giselle has actually been working with me on deportment and etiquette and after just a few sessions I noticed a drastic improvement. I know that she is still very much admired by Mrs. Morley and is always well spoken of in international circles and she has been supportive of all the past representatives from Trinidad and Tobago. I also admire Kiki Hakansson (the first title holder in 1951) for being a trail blazer and setting such incredibly high standards. It’s always difficult to be the first in anything because you become the standard by which all others are judged.

14.    The motto of Miss World is Beauty with a Purpose. What does Beauty with a Purpose mean to you?
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

15.    Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.

I am humbled to be the latest in a long line of Caribbean beauties from Trinidad and Tobago who have all made their mark on the Miss World pageant. I look forward to your comments and views and I promise to do my best to live up to your expectations. I encourage you to be supportive of all the brave young women in the competition and to keep hurtful comments out of the public forums. These women are all beautiful and deserving of respect and they should be valued as human beings.

and finally…
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Personal Motto: My personal motto is- “The greatest blessing comes to the one who freely gives and expects nothing in return.”
Favorite Food: Curried crab and dumplings which is a blend of crab meat, curry and coconut milk served over flat flour dumplings.
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Song:  When I call on Jesus all things are possible by Nicole C Mullins.
Favorite Movie: The Sound of Music.
Favorite Book: 7 steps to Better Living
Favorite Singer/Band: Alicia Keys
Favorite Actor/Actress: Halle Berry who actually took part in Miss World 1986 which is when Trinidad and Tobago won its first and only title to date.

Special Thanks:
Michael Raghunanan, national director of Miss World in Trinidad and Tobago
Davia Chambers, Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2010

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