Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Solange Sinclair wants to show off Jamaica more

Published:Sunday | October 1, 2017 | 12:08 AMShereita Grizzle
Miss Jamaica World 2016 Ashley White Barrett, crowns new queen, Solange Sinclair.
Winner of Miss Jamaica World 2017, Solange Sinclair
Shorn Hector/Photographer Winner of Miss Jamaica World 2017, Solange Sinclair
The Jamaican flag
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If the sparkle in her eyes could reflect colours, they would light up with the black, green, and gold of the Jamaican flag. Solange Sinclair, Miss Jamaica World 2017, is the epitome of national pride. As she readies herself to represent Jamaica in the global Miss World pageant, the 24-year old beauty has one goal more important than taking home the crown, and that is to use the platform she has been given to show the world that Jamaica is much more than just sun, sea, and sand.

"Jamaica is beautiful, physically beautiful beaches and breathtaking mountainous terrain but it's the people who make Jamaica who we are. I'm no longer doing this competition for developing myself. I'm doing it for my country. I want the world to understand our spirit, our rhythm, and our vibrancy. I want them to be able to understand our spirit and the fire that burns within us, that makes us so special, so strong and so resilient," Sinclair said. "I'm definitely confident that I can go over there and represent myself the best way I know how. I want to be able to show the rest of the world who I am, and I think I will be able to do that by showing them where I come from."

 

Flag is essential

 

The latter is the reason that Sinclair simply cannot survive the trip to China if she doesn't have her Jamaican flag with her at all times. While one might think her cell phone or make-up would take top priority on the list of must-haves for the freshly-crowned queen, Sinclair lists her country's flag as the one thing she doesn't want to forget.

"My flag is the last thing I will pack because it's the first thing I want to see when I open my suitcase over there," she said. "Anywhere I go in the world, I always walk with my flag, because that's who I am, and it's always a conversation starter because I get to talk about my country."

As the niece of Garry Sinclair, former managing director of FLOW and granddaughter of the late Jamaican-American actress Madge Sinclair, Solange will quickly point out that despite her family's legacy and connections, nothing has ever been handed to her. Proud of all she has accomplished, especially the Miss Jamaica World title, she credits her successes to sheer hard work.

"Before the crown was handed to me, no one knew who Solange Sinclair was. Garry is his own person, Madge Sinclair was her own woman, and so the connection wasn't really there," she said.

"I went into the competition with a fierce battle ahead of me. I spent a lot of time with 17 beautiful and intelligent women. Each of them has their own story, and any one of them could have walked away with the crown."

Sinclair is also the cousin of former Miss Universe Jamaica Kaci Fennell but says that she feels no pressure to follow in her footsteps.

"I wouldn't say pressure is the correct term. Kaci has set the bar beautifully high as any and every queen should," she said.

 

Duty

 

"I have a duty as Miss Jamaica World to represent my country to the best of my ability, and I will do just that. It's not just Kaci's example that I have to follow, but all the queens as they have paved the way, and it's all of their

footsteps that I'm walking in."

With that said, Sinclair noted that past winners had been reaching out to her, lending support and giving advice, something that she says means the world to her.

"These ladies have set the path and they are the ones passing the torch on, but they're not just handing it to you saying, 'Here you go, have fun', they're helping because they want me to understand the path that they've already walked, and that's very important."

Solange leaves for China on October 20. The finale for the global pageant is set for November 18.

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