Regina’s ready to make waves
Miss Barbados World Regina Ramjit recently returned from the Miss World 2013 contest in Indonesia. Speaking with EASY magazine, she related her experience at one of the most prestigious events in pageantry and how she hopes to do more with her charity. The 19-year-old is at the University of the West Indies studying biochemistry which she hopes to “either branch off into pharmaceuticals or follow my dream of being a paediatrician. I’m still weighing my options.”
Why did you want to become Miss Barbados World 2013?
Pageantry has always been an interest of mine but I was very selective of the pageant I would enter. Over the years I watched Miss Barbados World (MBW) and decided that it was the right choice for me because of its platform and its overarching theme of Beauty with a Purpose. I love the fact that it’s not just all about walking on stage and being pretty, but supporting causes and the etiquette and speech training which are life skills. Those aspects attracted me the most to MBW.
I also thought it would be an absolute privilege for me to represent my island Barbados on an international stage where I could showcase my Bajan culture to 127 other contestants in Indonesia; and Miss Barbados World being the highest level of pageantry in Barbados.
You won The Beauty With A Purpose Award for your project The Wish Campaign, where you worked along with the Precious Touch Foundation Inc., to make the life of the children with life-threatening illnesses better. Why did you pick that charity and will you be continuing work with it?
The main reason I decided to work with the Precious Touch Foundation Inc is because I lost a childhood friend when she was just 16 years old. She wasn’t fortunate to achieve her wish of finishing secondary school, so by working with Precious Touch and seeing the success of children’s wishes made me feel a sense of comfort, accomplishment and a connection to my friend that passed. As long as possible, I definitely will continue to work with the foundation.
The Miss World 2013 in Indonesia was a little scary with the threats against the competition. Did you feel scared or nervous about your safety at any time?
When we were in Bali I felt safer there because the threats were mainly coming from Jakarta. Coming closer to the time we were supposed to transition to Jakarta (before the organization announced the permanent move to Bali) I was a bit nervous, but the Miss World team ensured that security was tight in and around the hotel and any places we travelled to. We were heavily guarded at all times. In the end the show was held in Bali, to much success.
Describe the pieces you carried to the competition?
The pieces I took with me were endless – from Barbadian souvenirs to be gifted to the delegates and partnering organizations, to gowns, swimwear and costumes.
For Dances of the World, for example, I learnt a choreographed National Dance of Barbados where I depicted our traditional “Nut Seller” and performed in front of a panel of judges to be chosen as one of the main acts in Dances of the World on coronation night. My designer gown was made by Lester Welch and was judged for the Designer Gown Award.
I also took a DVD presentation of my charity work for “The Wish Campaign” where it was judged for the Beauty With A Purpose Award.
Who travelled to Indonesia to cheer you on?
Just a week before the show, my mother Ruth Ramjit, the franchise holder Leah Marville, and creative director Tashida Cox came to Indonesia to support me. I had the full support of the BTA [Barbados Tourism Authority] offices in Barbados and London who weren’t in Indonesia, but were looking on and supporting very closely.
What were some of your most memorable experiences in Indonesia?
My most memorable experiences in Indonesia would definitely be when we visited Bali Safari and Marina Park. You would watch National Geographic or see photos of different animals but to be a few feet away from creatures so exotic was mind blowing. We were also fortunate to watch live Indonesian theatre shows that depict dramatizations of the different aspects of Indonesian culture. They put a lot of work into the dances, detailing of the costumes, the make-up, their amazing props. The shows were also very interactive which made the audience feel a part of the production.
Who was your Miss World roommate and did you bond with any of the girls?
My Miss World roommate was Miss St Kitts & Nevis, Trevicia Adams. Coincidentally, Miss St Kitts was also Miss Barbados 2012’s roommate, as well.
We got along great from day one and supported and motivated each other during the competition. I also made friends with majority of the Caribbean girls like Miss Bahamas, Miss Belize, Miss Curacao and Miss Dominica. I also was friends with Miss Guatemala, Miss Cyrus, Miss Norway, Miss Ecuador, Miss Nigeria and Miss Ghana.
Tell us a typical day during your Miss World experience.
Waking up at 6 a.m., for breakfast. At 8:30 a.m., we would usually leave the hotel to go to either to a tourist attraction or rehearsals. Lunch was at 12:30 p.m. Following lunch was either rehearsals again or an excursion or exhibit. Then we would wrap up the day with dinner at a very lush restaurant. All the while there would be scores of photographers and videographers (paparazzi) calling us by our country, trying to get a picture – that was definitely a new experience for me.
How was the Miss World 2013 finale?
It was a surreal experience but I had lots of fun with it. I loved the rush of the quick changes and waiting to hear who made Top 20, Top 10 and Top 5. I also got a chance to be a part of a performance with a popular boy band called Blue – which was exciting because we got to dance and sing on stage with them.
Back home from Indonesia . . . what are your plans wearing the Miss Barbados World 2013 sash?
Since I’ve been back I have a few photo shoot for my sponsors and for the Miss Barbados World Organisation. My reign is technically now beginning, so I will be making a number of corporate and private appearances during the next few months. Largely, I’ve been meeting with my charity committee for the continuation of “The Wish Campaign”.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about.
I have a very assertive personality. However, I have great compassion for children. They are my “soft spot”. It brings me joy to be around them.
Do you think your Miss World experience has changed your life and how?
Definitely, it has changed my life. It has taught me to be more responsible and it has helped to hone my interpersonal skills. I can confidently say that I am more self-aware and conscious of worldwide cultures and customs.
What positive words would you give to young women wanting to enter Miss Barbados World?
Don’t let the negatives of who you are or what others say deter you from entering Miss Barbados World. For me thus far, it has been a great opportunity in terms of personal growth and maturity. It has helped me become a better person. So I would urge young women to put your best foot forward and grab hold of this opportunity to make a difference. At the very least, you will emerge a better, more developed person. (NS)