Soyini Phillips ready to transform Miss Universe Jamaica Central
In 2014, Soyini Phillips won the first Miss Universe Jamaica Central Pageant. Now, at 23 years old, the beauty queen, TV presenter and journalist is the new pageant manager. Pointing out that it has been a lifelong dream of hers to contribute to the holistic development of young women, Phillips described this latest achievement as an honour.
“It’s a franchise that is looked upon by so many not only in Jamaica, but internationally because it’s a pageant that helps women excel with confidence. It was definitely something I wanted to be a part of because I want to help young women become better persons in society,” she said. “It truly is an honour. I think the reason I took on the competition was because I wanted to make sure that girls would leave gaining so much, they’ll never be the same.”
Phillips says having gone through the competition herself, she has inside knowledge of where the pageant is falling short and how to fix it. “I’ve entered the competition before and I’ve won, so I know what it feels like to go to Nationals and not have the support you need to excel. Now that I’m in the position to help somebody else this year, and hopefully many girls after that, I want to give it my all,” she said. “I understand the Miss Universe competition and I’ve worked with so many that have won the competition and many who are organisers, and so I’m getting a lot of help, and that’s the most important thing. It is also a platform I can use to promote charity-affiliated projects, and I want to make sure young women understand that charity is very important. I mean good, and I really want to see these girls do well.”
With that said, Phillips comes to the helm with a plethora of ideas, which include training with some of the best in the business. “What I want to do with these girls is have immense training sessions. I want to do a series of sessions on speech, walking and etiquette. I want to make sure that she (the winner) flies to New York and be trained by Lu Sierra, who I’ve met personally and she’s absolutely amazing,” she said. “We haven’t had a winner from this side in the Miss Universe Jamaica competition and I want to give my winner that opportunity to get the best possible chance at winning the actual national title.”
Listing her mother, Blossom Bent, as the main reason she has been able to achieve all she has, Phillips says she doesn’t feel this latest responsibility will become a burden. In fact, she sees it as the thrust she needs to move into the next realm of greatness. “My mom is my whole world. She has never questioned any of my dreams, even when they seemed unattainable. She always encourages me to be myself and keep going, and that’s what I will do,” she said. “This really is a great responsibility but I’m really passionate about it, so it won’t become a burden. It is more like a driving force in my life. I want to ensure that girls all over Jamaica are inspired by the level at which I will be taking this competition. It’s not going to be the regular competition where they come, rehearse and leave, and someone is crowned a winner. We really want to help women find themselves.”