An 18-year-old aspiring entrepreneur has won the inaugural ‘I am a big Deal’ Miss Berbice pageant.
Farah Valentina Bates copped the title from eleven other contestants on Sunday morning at the Albion Sports Complex. Bates, a Rose Hall Town Corentyne resident who is pursuing a diploma in Public Management at the University of Guyana Berbice Campus, competed under the platform ‘suicide awareness and prevention’.
The contest saw the delegates competing in four categories: talent, costume, beach wear and evening wear, with the top five having to answer a question based on their platform in the intelligence segment, to decide the winner and positions the others will occupy.
The first runner-up is 17-year-old Tatiana Lancaster of Rose Hall Town, who competed under the platform ‘climate change and its impact on Guyana’. Lancaster, who was a crowd favourite throughout the competition, is also a university student pursuing an associate degree in Social Work.
Pre-contest favourite Lottoya Williamson, a 30-year-old English major at the University of Guyana, copped the third place spot, as she represented her platform, ‘violence against women’, an issue which has affected members of her close family.
The fourth spot went to Atasha Pantlitz, 17, of Princetown, Corriverton, after she sought to bring awareness about HIV/AIDS. Pantlitz attends the Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre.
Shaquilla Sharpe, a 22-year-old from Limlair Village, Corentyne, placed fifth.
Meanwhile, Bates also won the best gown prize. Her gown was designed by Randy Madray. She also won best smile and best talent. The People’s Choice award was given to Latoya Williamson, while 19-year-old Kelisha Ramoutar, who chose domestic violence as her platform, was judged Miss Photogenic.
The person with the best walk throughout the pageant was 17-year-old Tatiana Lancaster, who performed under the platform of ‘global warming awareness’.
The “I’m a Big Deal/Miss Berbice Beauty” pageant was promoted by RD Productions.
Promoter Royston Drakes says the event will be an annual one. According to him, the concept is to “empower young women” in every aspects of their lives. The pageant focused on education, empowerment, discipline, talent, and building self-confidence and leadership qualities. The pageant is also aimed at encouraging women to take up roles as leaders in society. (Andrew Carmichael)