Mon | May 22, 2017

Kaci Fennell - Queen of the world

Published:Monday | March 2, 2015 | 3:00 AMBarbara Ellington
Kaci won the Miss Jamaica Universe crown and people's heart.
Jacqueline Jackson (left), marketing director and pageant manager for Uzuri, listens as Miss Jamaica Universe, Kaci Fennell makes her point.
Miss Jamaica Universe Kaci Fennell, strikes a coy pose for Flair.
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Kaci Fennell did not get the opportunity to reside in the luxurious Miss Universe apartment in New York for a year, but she's certainly touring the world like a queen.

Fresh from a recent trip to Grand Cayman, Fennell, will, in a matter of days, jet off on a busy itinerary which includes New York, St Kitts, the opening of the Pan Am Games in Canada, the African Cup of Nations in Brazil, a modelling assignment in Puerto Rico and a jazz concert in Miami, Florida, and she has received invitations from as far away as the African continent.

"And the invitations just keep coming," Jacqueline Jackson, marketing director and pageant manager for Uzuri, franchise holders of the Miss Jamaica Universe, told Flair in an interview last Wednesday. Jackson said they have been so flooded with requests for the popular Miss Universe finalist that they are now in the process of getting legal advice to ensure that all her rights are protected and she's not exploited.

Just over a year into taking over the franchise, Uzuri International, a well-known fashion design house, have hit the ground running. They has introduced some exciting features into the contest and are now recruiting contestants from the United States and will hold mini pageants islandwide from which the winners will be included in the next Miss Jamaica Universe contest. "The month of June will see finals from the diaspora as well as the northern and southern parts of the island, followed by the finals on August 29," Jackson explained.

"Kaci's success has influenced prospective contestants and sparked excitement in title hopefuls, so grooming has started, and where we see potential, we will tell the girls to prepare, if not for this year, then next year. We were confident about Kaci from day one - we saw her positive attitude, and knew she would do well," Jackson said.

Oozing confidence, Fennell told Flair that the contest has changed her life; "In a very quick time I went from Kaci to Miss Jamaica Universe and being so well received by everyone, I was overwhelmed," she said proudly. "This is a huge deal - everywhere I go people tell me they are proud of me and that I represented them well. It has warmed my heart," Fennell added.

The outgoing Fennell said she has made many friends among the contestants and knew everyone by name, even before arriving in Florida for the contest. "I did my research and

surprised everyone by using their names once we were introduced," she revealed. Among the other beauties with whom she has developed lasting relationships, are those who represented Greece, Honduras and British Virgin Islands. "I look forward to seeing them on my travels and we all keep in touch via a WhatsApp group," Fennell told Flair.

She plans to use the next two years to further her modelling career and, thereafter, she will return to college to pursue a studies in either culinary arts or special education.

barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com