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Breaking News:

Nine vie for Miss World Bahamas crown

The beauties
  • Whitney Isaacs.

  • Geena Thompson.

  • October Johnson.

  • Rotalya Williams.

  • Sharonique Russell.

  • Tanisha Jones.

  • Nyisha Tilus.

  • Jerell Strachan.

  • Galy Joseph.

SHAVAUGHN MOSS
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
shavaughn@nasguard.com

Published: Jul 14, 2017

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Nine young women are vying for the Miss World Bahamas title and the right to represent The Bahamas at the Miss World pageant in China in November.

Sharonique Russell, Abaco; Tanisha Jones, Bimini; Rotalya Williams, Cat Island; October Johnson, Exuma; Jerell Strachan, Grand Bahama; Geena Thompson, Long Island; Galy Joseph, New Providence; Whitney Isaacs, Paradise Island; and Nyisha Tilus, University of The Bahamas, will compete under the theme “Metamorphosis” — a theme through which the Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) hopes to shed light on its transformational program as it aims to help the public understand that the Miss World Bahamas is more than just a pageant.

“The pageant is the icing on the cake,” said MBO President Michelle Malcolm. “The actual cake is the journey our contestants take once they enter the competition — a journey that leads them on the road to self-discovery. That is what this is all about. This is truly for them — a metamorphosis … a revealing of their true nature and hidden potential that was buried deep within.”

MBO’s mission is to bring out the personal bests women seek to achieve by cultivating their passions, self-image, and education in an environment that encourages the pursuit of purpose, promotes discipline and supports the strengthening of character.

The organization prepares them to take on the world as women who are aware of the power that derives from fulfilling their purpose and who use that power to impact the welfare of humanity. MBO achieves its mission by training and unveiling women through their annual pageant that incorporates intensive grooming, coaching and preparation that culminates in the coronation of Miss World Bahamas.

A series of preliminary competitions will be held leading up to the finale on July 30 at the Baha Mar Convention Center. The preliminary competitions serve as a means by which scores will be accumulated — coupled with public votes through the Miss Bahamas app to determine the top six semifinalists, and eventually the queen.

The evening gown and talent competition will be held on Sunday, July 16 at Sapodilla Restaurant at 7 p.m.; with the national costume competition on Saturday, July 22, Rooftop at The Pointe at 7 p.m.

Ticket prices vary from $25-$35 for preliminary events, $75 general and $125 VIP for the finale. Tickets are available at Airbrush Junkies in the Mall at Marathon or from any contestant.

 

Sharonique Russell

District: Abaco

Age: 20

Height: 5-9

Favorite color: Black

Favorite food: Curry chicken

Favorite sport: None

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment was a day in high school. I was on the assembly line and my guidance officer was giving out gifts … I was talking amongst my friends and I just heard my name called, so everybody was clapping. I walked up on stage about to receive my gift … well I thought I was, but she called me because I was making too much noise and wasn’t getting a gift. She told me to exit the stage and everybody was booing me. That was really embarrassing.

 

Characteristics you would look for in a winner.

The characteristics I would look for in the winner are the basics — honesty, how reliable you are, how pleasant your attitude is, and most definitely how you respond to criticism, and I have those characteristics.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

My greatest accomplishment so far was graduating high school. High school was challenging for me and sometimes I doubted myself that I would not make it to the very end, but I did, and I’m very happy about that.

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

It’s about transitioning into something beautiful. No matter the hardships you face in life, just get back up, dust yourself off and continue to go. At this point in my life I feel like I’m going through that metamorphosis phase, blossoming into someone more beautiful, and being a bigger and better person.

 

Name a female that inspires you the most.

A female that inspires me is my late grandmother. She stood up for what she believed in, she was a beautiful person, and she was a God-fearing woman. Even on her dying bed her wish to the family was to hold on to God’s unchanging hands. And that is definitely the lifestyle that I want to live and the woman I want to grow up to be.

 

Tanisha Jones

District: Bimini

Age: 20

Height: 5-9

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite food: Cheeseburger

Favorite sport: Track and field

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

Transformation means being confident in yourself, knowing your values, knowing who you are, the person you’re becoming, and the person you’re trying to be.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

My greatest accomplishment is graduating high school. It was really hard for me, because I moved to Florida in between my 12th grade year, and I had a really hard time with mathematics and this one particular teacher wasn’t helping me with it. I ended up watching YouTube videos and teaching myself, and I got to graduate and passed the class.

 

Name a female that inspires you the most.

The lady that inspires me is my mom. She taught me all the things through life and she’s a very strong woman, because I grew up without a father, and she’s the one who played both roles in my life. She did a great job raising a daughter and raising three other siblings that I have. And I’m very happy to call her my mother, because she’s a strong and powerful woman.

 

What are you passionate about?

I’m very passionate about track and field. I love talking to athletes and helping them calm their nerves and giving them the pep talk before their races so they can execute it right, or helping them with their task for the day.

 

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

If I was a judge, I would look for beauty, confidence and personality. And I would also look for somebody who would play out their platform really well.

 

Rotalya Williams

District: Cat Island

Age: 20

Height: 5-3

Favorite color: Pink

Favorite food: Anything Bahamian

Favorite sport: Basketball

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

This year’s theme metamorphosis is very unique, and oftentimes when we think of metamorphosis we refer to the biological process by which a caterpillar transitions into a butterfly. However, in this year’s pageant we’re focusing on the transition and development of the whole woman, and change is a process that we as individuals all go through, and it’s a really uncomfortable process, however, the most uncomfortable things stems for the biggest opportunity, and means for growth in life.

 

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about youth empowerment, as we as young people just need a little inspiration and motivation to accomplish our goals and dreams, and everything that we have set for ourselves and just to know that we are here with a mission, and that is to live in our purpose and pursue everything that God has set out on this earth for us to do.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

This might sound really simple, but it’s really unique and something that I hold near and dear to my heart, and we all as humans reach a stage in our life when we have to answer the question who am I and what is my purpose here on earth. And I would have to say that is my greatest accomplishment so far, was the day I discovered who am I as an individual, as a citizen in my society, as a woman, as a sister, as a daughter, as a friend. What is my place on earth and what is my purpose. What is my life’s mission and that has to be my greatest accomplishment so far.

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment happened last summer in the parking lot of the Marathon Mall. As I left the store to go to my car, apparently my key stopped working and it was a few people in the parking lot at the time. This lady came to me and said are you okay? And I was like, fine, I’m good. So she said is your key okay? You need me to call a locksmith? And I’m like, no I’m good, really I’m good, and at this time I’m like panicking, and when I panic I shake, so I’m near shivering, and more people came because she drew a lot of attention, and at the same time, someone I knew walked by and they were like, Talya, that’s not your car. And I think I was really embarrassed because I walked to the wrong car. It was the same brand.

 

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

The first thing I would look for in a queen is a sincere woman — a woman with integrity, a woman with grace, and a woman that is ready to represent The Bahamas on the international stage, and I believe that, that woman is me.

 

Name a female that inspires you the most.

The female that inspires me the most is my mother, simply because she worked too hard not for me to be great.

 

October Johnson

District: Exuma

Age: 24

Height: 5-7

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite food: Tacos

Favorite sport: Soccer

 

What are you passionate about?

The thing I’m most passionate about is art. I don’t think there’s a really strong market for the arts in The Bahamas and I would like to see more of that in the future.

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

One summer I was hanging out with some of my friends and we were on a beach, and I recall seeing a guy that I liked and we were playing tag, and he tagged me, so I went taking off to catch this guy, and I ended up falling flat on my face.

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

When I hear the word metamorphosis, the first thing that comes to mind is butterflies, because they start off as these ugly caterpillars and then they turn into this beautiful creation, these beautiful butterflies. Personally for me, I think the universe puts us through exactly what we need to become who we are and what we’re meant to be.

 

Name a female that inspires you the most.

There are many females that inspire me — my mother, my sisters, my family members, my aunts, my cousins.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

My greatest accomplishment so far — passing my driver’s test. I had such a hard time getting my driver’s license. I failed the written twice and I took the driving test twice. And on the second time I passed the driving test on Valentine’s Day, so now I’m a certified driver, even though I’m a horrible driver, according to my friends.

 

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

If I were a judge in the pageant, the thing I would be looking for in the contestants would be somebody with personality, someone who is genuine and someone who is a hard worker. These values are indications that the contestant is serious about themself, serious about others, and serious about the pageant. Helping people is number one. It’s the number one thing I look for, that’s why I think someone who is passionate about who they are, confident about who they are, serious about their work, serious about their platform, serious about helping other people is important for me as a judge.

 

Geena Thompson

District: Long Island

Age: 24

Height: 5-9

Favorite color: Khaki

Favorite food: Fried calamari

Favorite sport: Volleyball and CrossFit training

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

When you think of metamorphosis, it actually means to transform from something immature into the adult phase. Having been in the pageant before, I can really tell you the benefits that a pageant has into you becoming a metamorphosis of the person as a woman. You have a lot of time within a pageant to become very introspected, to look into your true desires and what you want for yourself and what you want for your country.

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

We all know how tough leg day is and it makes it even worse when you’re walking in heels. I remember I was going to the gym early in the morning and I went to work, and I was ambitious enough to put on a pair of heels after leg day, and to get to my office you have to go down into a basement and I had all my bags on top of me. I was ready to conquer the day. Someone walked with me down the stairs — it was about 10 stairs, and on the second one, I just dropped and all my fruits and everything started rolling out of my bags. I was so embarrassed.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

I would have to say my greatest accomplishment so far is the day I felt I became an adult; this was the weekend of my 21st birthday, I got baptized. I graduated from university with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and law.

 

Name a female that inspires you the most.

I definitely have a lot of female influences that inspire me, but who I would say inspires me most would definitely have to be Shaunae Miller (Uibo). Before the 2016 Olympics she always inspired me, just because we went to the same school, so I grew up knowing her in inter-house track meets, and then I knew her nationally, and then when she went of to college. In 2012, Shaunae went to the Olympics and she wasn’t successful in her goal, and then she came back around in the next Olympics and she literally dived for gold, and that is what I plan to do — I plan to dive for gold.

 

What characteristic would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

If I were judging the pageant, I would look for someone who is confident, someone who loves their country, and someone who loves people and charity.

 

Galy Joseph

District: New Providence

Age: 19

Height: 5-9

Favorite color: Orange

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite sport: Basketball

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

When I think about metamorphosis I think about profound change, and looking back on my life, I think I’ve changed profoundly over the years and matured, and that’s what it’s all about — change — good change. And I think the theme is embodying who I am as a person and who I have become.

 

What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about reading. As a child I loved to read books, from fiction to drama, and I grew up reading books and loving the library, and so that’s what I’m passionate about. I like to tell people to learn to read, and that’s why I participate in no-profit organizations that promote literacy, so I’m a literacy advocate pretty much.

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

When I visited my friend’s church and they were praying, and I was super sleepy, so I kind of stood there with my eyes closed for awhile, and when I opened my eyes everyone was looking at me. That was the most awkward sit down I ever had.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

Enrolling into college. I’m the first person in my immediate family to go to college, and that’s a big thing for my family and me. And obtaining the highest GPA I ever had in my life, so that’s a big thing.

 

Name a female that inspires you the most.

A female that inspires me would be my mother … it’s typical answer I know, but she’s an inspiration to me because she migrated from Haiti and came here, not knowing what her future would be like, but 20 years later she’s here with her daughter in college and she’s pushing me to do the very best that I can, and not settle for anything and just reach for greatness. Through all of her hard work, through all of her sacrifices, and getting me and my sisters together, she inspires me so much.

 

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

If I were a judge I would look for a person who is confident, able to adapt easily and also has a great personality.

 

Whitney Isaacs

District: Paradise Island

Age: 17

Height: 5-7

Favorite color: Aqua and lime green

Favorite food: Pasta

Favorite sport: Swimming

 

What are you passionate about?

Helping others, because I feel as though it can get me one step closer to my purpose than I am now.

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

When I think of the term metamorphosis I think of developing, growing and transforming into something beautiful. When you hear the term, you first think of a caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly. This term personally relates to me. I was not always confident. I did not believe in myself and I always doubted myself. With the help of the pageant I’ve transformed into something bigger and more beautiful.

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

It would have to be last night, I was very tired — it was a really long day, and I went to the neighbor’s door and was tugging on the handle for like five minutes until I remembered my room number was 297 and not 298, so it was pretty embarrassing. They came out of the room, but I was already in my room.

 

Name a female that inspires you.

Oprah Winfrey inspires me because she’s a strong, powerful black woman. And despite her challenges she did not let them keep her down. She kept on going and now she’s the richest black woman in the world.

 

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

If I were a judge I would look for a confident, well-rounded young lady — perhaps someone like me.

 

Nyisha Tilus

District: University of The Bahamas

Age: 25

Height: 5-8

Favorite color: Mustard (as in faith of a mustard seed)

Favorite food: I am a foodie, still hunting for my favorite dish

Favorite sport: Track and field

 

What are you passionate about?

I am most passionate about mental health and mental health awareness, reason being that I have two little brothers who suffer from some sort of disability, and I also have a mother who was a victim of domestic violence, and persons place more attention on her physical ailments as opposed to what was going on with her psychologically, so growing up I always had a passion for the mental psyche.

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

This year’s theme metamorphosis means so much to me. I can relate to it on so many levels. As Miss University of The Bahamas, we just transitioned from college to university and that in itself speaks volumes. Most persons think of butterflies when they hear the word metamorphosis and transitioning from a not-so-beautiful into a beautiful butterfly. When you think about it, words can’t even begin to describe that end result based on that process, so with metamorphosis, I think about the process and also diversity, because no butterfly comes out looking the same. They all come out looking different and beautiful, so for me it’s the process, the change, the transition, but also the diversity.

 

Name a female that inspires you.

The woman that inspires me the most I would have to say is my mom, the reason being she went through a lot. She has been in an abusive relationship for as long as I can remember, she survived cancer, she has four kids for the man that used to abuse her, but she stuck it out just so we could have a happy life. Although she went through hell, she made sure that we were smiling, she made sure that we had an environment that was just family-oriented, but you never know how far a smile can go. And it just keeps me going, and she keeps me going so that’s why she is my inspiration.

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

I used to dance at First Assembly in Abaco and I had just moved to Nassau, and it was our pastoral anniversary and I was called to do a dance for that service, so in the middle of the dance, there was a puddle of water, and I slipped and fell on my bum in front of everyone, and it was so embarrassing, but I had to keep it together and finish the dance and then run to the bathroom because my butt really hurt.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

I would say my greatest accomplishment is winning Miss University of The Bahamas, reason being I would be the individual to embrace that change, and that process from college to university, and its something I embody, it’s something that I try to just be and represent, which is change, which is diversity, and just be that, embrace that, so other persons can embrace it as well. With growth you have to change, you have to go through stages, and that would be my greatest accomplishment.

 

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

If I was judging the pageant, the characteristics I would look for is the heart of a servant — reason being, in order to lead you must first serve. You must be genuine, be true to yourself. I feel as though you must have integrity, but most importantly serve, because it’s not really about you. Oftentimes persons forget that it’s not about what you do or what you say, but how you make people feel and what you do for others. It has more of a lasting effect. Once you go beyond you, everything just falls in place.

 

Jerell Strachan

District: Grand Bahama

Age: 17

Height: 5-9

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite food: Everything, because I like to try new things

Favorite sport: Track and field

 

What does this year’s theme metamorphosis mean to you?

When I think of metamorphosis I think of the seed principle, which simply means there is more to you than people see and there’s more in you than you think. So strive for the best, do your best, and be all that you can.

 

Name a female that inspires you the most.

A woman that inspires me would be Shaunae Miller (Uibo). Everyone knows that I love to run and she’s a famous track runner, and she’s representing The Bahamas which is what I would like to do when I grow up — represent The Bahamas in the Olympics. She inspires me because she went to the Olympics and beat the best in the world, and that’s very inspirational.

 

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?

If I were a judge in the Miss World Bahamas pageant I would definitely look for a woman who is patriotic, a woman who will serve and represent her country as a beauty ambassador.

 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment would have to be when I was trying to learn how to ride a bike. My brother and his friends were playing basketball on the court and I took it upon myself to ride this bike knowing I couldn’t ride a bike, and when I tried to ride the bike I literally rode into a tree and it was so embarrassing I ran inside and cried.

 

What are you passionate about?

I am most passionate about empowering young persons to remain confident and strong, even after being bullied. Seeing my sister come home lonely and having low self-esteem, that made me feel powerless to know that I couldn’t help her. As a result of that we decided together to create an anti-bullying club known as ABC for Teens to stop this vexing issue. As an extension of the ABC for Teens we have created ABC for Kids, because kids are getting bullied every day, and we have learned that 70 percent of children are bullied every day in schools. So we have visited local schools on Grand Bahama Island to stop this vexing issue.

 

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