What is your typical day as a pageant queen?
The early part of my routine is pretty much the same on weekends and weekdays. The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a full glass of water before breakfast. Afterwards, I tend to go over emails and dedicate some time for myself before I head to the gym. Since I am currently a student, most of my time on weekdays is spent on schoolwork; however, I also make time to prepare for the weekend.
My weekends are spent mostly focused on my charity work and, if I have time, for photo shoots. Before I won Miss USA, I worked five jobs on the weekend. Sometimes I would have 20 hour days and go from one job to the next, including performing every weekend in In the Heights!
Photos by Martin Wilson
Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?
One difficult obstacle I dealt with during the pageant was the combination of a stomach infection, the flu, and sea sickness. In order to fight through, focused on while also was and had - that I have theatre to thank for that mentality. Theatre has helped me learn the discipline to push through and focus for a performance regardless of physical and mental health.
Many misses have said that their dream since a child was to participate in a pageant as prestigious as Miss World (or Miss Universe). It it your case ? And if so, why ?
Growing up I watched beauty pageants with my family. As a child however, I was always drawn to the arts. Playing an instrument or singing professionally was my dream. I loved being a part of something greater than myself. I believe that is why I was drawn to charity work at such a young age. Pageants came into my life once I realized that I could create a platform that was geared towards issues that I was passionate about. Miss Intercontinental CA was the first opportunity I had to compete in a pageant and fight for something I believed in. That is the reason I wanted to participate - to make a difference.
Photo by Christian Nelson
Your favorite beauty queen ?
Miss Kenya Universe 2016. She is the definition of a survivor and was fearless in telling her story. She faced tremendous adversity in her life, but she fought through. She embodies vulnerability as a strength.
Mary Esther Were's mother died when she was four and her father later died from complications of diabetes. She won Miss Universe Kenya 2016 in Nairobi. She participated in Miss Universe 2016 in Manila, at the age of 27. She became the first ever delegate from Kenya to advance past the first round, finishing in the Top 6. She has written a novel she hopes to get published soon and is a Marketing Administrator for CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. She would like advocate for HIV awareness, drug addiction and affordable rehabilitation.
Where do we hope to see you In the next 10 years?
In 10 years, my hope is that I have had made a difference. Whether that is through my charity work, or from being a voice to those struggling with mental disorders, saving one life would be more than enough for me. I also hope that I am still performing and that I am still involved in the arts while continuing to use that as a platform for social change.
Thanks to the beautiful Raquel for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss Intercontinental pageant.