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Miss World crowning inspires new pride in St Thomas

Published:Wednesday | December 18, 2019 | 12:10 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer
Tishauna Mullings, Chevening Scholar from St Thomas.
Tishauna Mullings, Chevening Scholar from St Thomas.

As Tishauna Mullings sat in the ExCel Arena in London witnessing the crowning of Jamaican Toni-Ann Singh as Miss World 2019 last Saturday, she had special pride because the winner was a fellow St Thomas native.

Mullings, who also made history for her parish in becoming one of three St Thomas natives chosen among this year’s Chevening scholars, said she could not have missed the opportunity to support activist.

“As a Chevening scholar on a student budget in expensive London, I didn’t think twice about spending the money to get a ticket to a good seat and book a taxi to go watch her win. I felt it in my spirit that she would make history, so I couldn’t miss it,” said Mullings.

“I knew there was a lot of ‘pot-cover type’ of celebration back at ‘yaad’ and excitement amongst people from all walks of life in Jamaica. The in-person view was priceless, though, and we gwaan bad each time Toni-Ann advanced to another round.”

Mullings, who owns and operates a social enterprise in St Thomas called NexxStepp, is pursuing a master’s degree in development administration and planning at the University of London, another step, according to her, to becoming what she calls a ‘St Thomasian development practitioner’.

The Chevening scholar said she was heartened by the groundbreaking earlier this year for a new urban centre and the scenes of construction workers performing surveys for a multibillion-dollar road project overhauling the corridor from Harbour View in St Andrew through to St Thomas.

Singh, she said, has given her another reason to be proud of the eastern Jamaica parish of St Thomas.

“She has grasped the attention of the world and seized the opportunity to tell them about our little pearl called St Thomas,” said Mullings. “I have been seen as ridiculous on many occasions over the last 12 years for pushing for development of my parish.”

She charged residents of St Thomas to position themselves for greatness, as she believes that the parish is now ready for a great future.