Five Questions With Miss Jamaica World Shanique Singh
University of the West Indies medical student Shanique Singh, having won two of the Miss Jamaica World all-important fast-track events – the Serengeti Talent Fast Track Event, which she won with a traditional Indian dance and the Fort Clarence Beach Beauty Event – was in a good position to walk away with the crown when she entered the Courtleigh Auditorium last Saturday evening for the finals of the competition.
At the night’s end, the 25-year-old beauty, wearing the sash Miss Howard Johnson Realty, was announced the winner to overwhelming applause. Singh also won the Beauty with a Purpose prize.
With congratulations coming from all angles, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange were among the first to hail the new queen, who was crowned by Miss Jamaica World 2021, Khalia Hall.
It has been a hectic week for Singh, and 5 Question had a quick chat with her before the real work starts – her preparation for the Miss World finals, even though the location and date of the 71st Miss World grand coronation have not yet been announced.
1. What were your thoughts going into the finals, and who has been your biggest motivator?
I thought to myself that this is it. All that I’ve been working for over the years comes down to this night. I need to burst and hold back nothing in order to prove to the judges that I am here. My biggest motivation comes collectively from my closest group of family and friends. They believe in me so much, and that is a huge deal, especially when I’m having my down moments.
2. At 19, you entered Miss Jamaica World. To what extent did that experience prepare you for Miss Jamaica World 2022?
I try to learn from every experience that I have. So in 2016, the competition for me was win or learn; I never thought of it as losing because I gained so much. It was my first big pageant, and I soaked in everything that I could, from the walking to speech and interview prep to the etiquette classes. These were all life lessons for me, and I took all of that with me in this pageant, BUT I still had an open mind to learn more and take corrections.
3. How challenging was it to balance being a med student and being in the competition?
I had taken a leave of absence for the semester in order to dedicate all my time to the pageant. It was a very hard decision that was well thought out. I figured the degree will always be there for me to complete. But being Miss Jamaica World has an age limit, and this is something that I’ve always wanted for myself. So I decided to take a leap of faith and take the break, which meant I would have needed to work extra hard to not let it be in vain.
4. If there is one moment during this exciting Miss Jamaica World journey that you could freeze and frame, what would it be?
The reactions of my supporters in the crowd when my name was called on the final night. Seeing the jumps of excitement and hearing all the cheers really fills my heart, and I love watching the reaction videos.
5. Your Beauty with a Purpose project focused on period poverty. Tell us a little about this and why it is so important to you.
Period poverty and the mental and emotional impacts of the menstrual cycle is something that is not talked about enough. I would love for people, not just women, to be aware of these issues because only then can we eliminate the taboo that is caused by ignorance. Women and girls need to experience this natural process without feeling ashamed of themselves. A lot of people do not know that period poverty affects a lot of our females. Some girls even end up missing school because they cannot afford sanitary items. And this should not be so because sanitary items are not a luxury; they are a necessity.
BRAWTA: You must have been asked this question a hundred times ... but here we go. Are you related to Miss World 2019/2020 Toni-Ann Singh?
Not that I know of. But it would be a wonderful thing … being related to such an amazing human being.