Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Meet the Universe Jamaica contestants

Published:Thursday | August 18, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Kemesha Empty
Kamiele Hamilton
Shanice Clarke
Abenah Gonzalez
Tamika Wilson
Candice McLeod

Twenty-three beautiful young women will be vying for the 2016 title of Miss Universe Jamaica, to represent Jamaica on the international scene and have their lives changed forever. Today, we introduce you to some of the contestants with their vital statistics. We also asked them the following questions:

1. What are your hobbies?

2. What is the last school you attended and your scholastic awards?

3. What are your five year goals?

4. What is your life's ambition?

5. What is your motivation for entering the competition?

6. What is your most unusual experience?

7. Describe your proudest/happiest moment.


Abenah Gonzalez


Miss Ping's Fabric

Age: 25

Height: 5'7"

Vital statistics: 34-27-37

Occupation: Designer and model

Favourite colours: Red and royal blue

Favourite food: Lobster

Favourite sport: Tennis

Favourite singer: Beyonce

Favourite actor: Will Smith

Favourite film: Gods of Egypt

1. Blogging and wardrobe styling.

2. Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts (Textile Art & Fashion Design). Scholastic awards/achievements: Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Textile Art.

3. To have a happy home and become a global ambassador for Jamaica. I also aim to become internationally established in fashion and have several Abenah Adelaide outlets globally. I hope to be a voice for causes that are relevant in society, such as cancer awareness, human trafficking, world-class education and training, family planning, and to empower women globally.

4. To become a global ambassador for Jamaica, a positive role model for the youth and my peers, and to empower women globally. I hope to build a charity foundation to help and mentor youth to gain world-class education so that our country may become more competitive on a global scale. Finally, I want to be a happy mother and wife because family is important to me.

5. To use the platform to become a voice for causes relevant to our society as well to empower women.

6. As a very enthusiastic, ambitious and family-oriented person, losing my father was shocking and heart-wrenching. I was only 17 years old, and he died shortly after I graduated from high school. It affected me greatly then, as I was no longer full of energy but very depressed. Now I hope to be able to help others who have faced similar experiences.

7. My proudest moment was representing Jamaica at the International Fashion Showcase.


Shanice Ebony Clarke


Miss Cool Oasis

Age: 21

Height: 5'8"

Vital statistics: 33-26-38

Occupation: Inventory analyst, student and model

Favourite colour: Purple

Favourite food: Curried goat/ackee

Favourite sport: Tennis

Favourite singer: Michael Jackson

Favourite actor: Jennifer Lawrence

Favourite films: The Hunger Games/Titanic

1. Reading.

2. University of the West Indies. Scholastic awards/achievements: Associate Degree in Business Administration,

15 CSEC and CAPE subjects.

3. Complete my master's degree and become an international actress.

4. Be the first Jamaican to win the coveted Miss Universe title, and also to be the first Jamaican to win a Best Actress award at the Oscars.

5. I was motivated to enter the pageant after being inspired by Yendi Phillipps and Kaci Fennell. I hope that by taking this step, I will also be an inspiration to young women, as these former queens have been to me.

6. Having a dream and actually seeing that dream unfold the following day.

7. Crowned the first runner-up in the Miss Universe Jamaica Northeast.


Kemesha Empty


Miss Triple Century Sports Bar

Age: 26

Height: 5'11"

Vital statistics: 34-26-36

Occupation: Student/model

Favourite colour: Yellow

Favourite food: Stewed peas and rice

Favourite sport: Track and field

Favourite singer: Whitney Houston

Favourite actor: Tyler Perry

Favourite film: Titanic

1. Travelling, cycling and swimming.

2. La Sorbonne (France). Scholastic awards/achievements: Associate Degree in Tourism, Hospitality and Entertainment Management.

3. To obtain my master's degree, travel to at least 10 more cities, build a sustainable business and be a role model to others - especially my siblings.

4. To become a flight attendant, then open my own business.

5. I was motivated by watching young women like myself make a difference in the lives of others through charities, motivational speeches and building self-confidence.

6. Tasting French cheese (Camembert) for the first time and realised that this particular cheese had the foulest smell ... yet it tasted good!

7. When I received my acceptance letter for college.


Tamika Wilson


Miss St Ives

Age: 26

Height: 5'9"

Vital statistics:


Occupation: HR coordinator

Favourite colour: Peach

Favourite food: Curried chicken with plain rice

Favourite sport: Volleyball

Favourite singer: Mariah Carey

Favourite actor: Denzel Washington

Favourite film: Man on Fire

1. Cooking, watching movies, singing, swimming, photography, going to the gym and travelling.

2. University of the West Indies Open Campus. Scholastic awards/achievements: Certificate of distinction in supervisory management, certificates in business studies and certification in cosmetology.

3. Complete my Bachelor of Science degree in human resource management and starting my career in human resources.

4. To become one of Jamaica's leading human resource practitioners. Too often employees are taken for granted in many institutions, and with my love for their well-being, coupled with my drive to make a difference in the labour force, I believe I can have an impact by implementing various programmes that govern company and employee relations.

5. To have an opportunity to represent my country with beauty, grace and intelligence. I believe that a pageant like this will help me develop into a well-rounded individual, and it will allow me gain as much knowledge as possible.

6. Swimming with dolphins.

7. Being the first person in my immediate family to attend university has to be my proudest moment, as I am setting a positive trajectory for my siblings to follow.


Kamiele Hamilton


Miss TRESemme

Age: 23

Height: 5'8"

Vital statistics: 32-26-32

Occupation: Tax assessor

Favourite colour: Olive green

Favourite food: Jerked pork with roasted sweet potatoes

Favourite sport: Track and field

Favourite singer: BeyoncÈ

Favourite actor: Tika Sumpter

Favourite film: Law Abiding Citizen

1. Reading, modelling and dancing.

2. University of the West Indies. Scholastic awards/achievements: Miss Academia Award 2008 (Miss Teen Portmore), Academic Award of Excellence 2010, Valedictorian (Bridgeport High School), TAJ Exemplary Service 2013-2014.

3. Start my own business and create an organisation that will assist infant schools or the disabled community with essential tools needed in their daily lives.

4. To take care of those around me.

5. I believe that competitions such as this aid in personal development and building self-esteem. By entering this pageant, I hope to achieve a better me. In addition, this platform will help me in creating steps needed to achieve my five-year goal.

6. To attend a school where I knew no one and was forced to start fresh. It was unusual for me because being in a new environment meant I had to fight every day to maintain who I was and be true to myself. It taught me how to be strong and adapt to change.

7. Being selected as valedictorian of my high school. All my hard work and determination paid off.


Candice McLeod


Miss Jewel Resorts

Age: 24

Height: 5'8"

Vital statistics: 33-25.5-39

Occupation: Banker

Favourite colour: Yellow

Favourite food: Salt mackerel and roast breadfruit

Favourite sport: Netball

1. Playing netball, volleyball and going to the beach.

2. University of the West Indies (Western Jamaica Campus). Scholastic awards/

achievements: Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance.

3. To establish a successful foundation geared towards children with special needs, and to complete my master's in business administration, which will make me more aligned in achieving my ultimate professional goal of being a banking executive.

4. To become a banking executive, in addition to making a difference in the lives of others.

5. To be an ambassador for my country while voicing my support and raising awareness for children with special needs.

6. Jumping off a cliff into water, even though I can't swim.

7. Being crowned Miss Universe Jamaica Northeast 2016.