'Do not be just a pretty face, what is within is more important': Miss Seychelles 2015 contestant Chette-Pah Semerano
Miss Seychelles...Another World Contestant 5, Chette-Pah Semerano. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - For 21-year-old Chette-Pah Semerano participating in the Miss Seychelles…Another World beauty pageant is the fulfilment of a childhood dream.
"I always wanted to take part but I just never got around to submit the application form to take part until this year," Chette-Pah told SNA in an interview.
“My desire to participate grew stronger last year…I was in Italy, but I could follow what was happening and was fascinated with [2014 Miss Seychelles…Another World winner] Camila - this is what finally pushed me to say I have to do it this year,” she told SNA in an interview.
Furthermore, Chette-Pah was supported by her sister who also joined the pageant as this year’s contestant Number 4, but unfortunately she had to pull out of the contest after charges were laid against her relating to an incident which was termed as a "childhood scuffle" with a neighbour when she was only 15 years old.
Miss Seychelles - an opportunity to pick up new skills
In spite of her sister’s sudden exit, Chette-Pah who is from North East Point, a coastal area in the northern part of the main Seychelles island of Mahé, was determined to keep going, adding that it had been a learning experience where she has gained new attributes, including communication skills and the confidence to address challenging subjects.
“The hardest part has been to juggle the preparations that come with the pageant, personal life and work,." she said. "However, I find comfort in talking to some of the other girls who are going through the same process, [and in] my family and my workplace.”
Chette-Pah currently works as a sales assistant at Cosmo Mode boutique which specialises mainly in cosmetics, other beauty products, gifts and jewellery.
The 21-year-old says she enjoys seafood despite being allergic to some varieties. Having studied history, she also has a passion for non-fiction books based on influential figures from the past.
A personality from the past which she feels has inspired her is Marylin Monroe.
“Yes she was pretty, but she also had a very hard life, always remaining strong in the public eye,” says Chette-Pah.
Spontaneous - this is how the young beauty contestant describes herself as she believes too much planning can lead to disappointment.
Helping boys making the transition fro primary to secondary
While she is trying her luck at becoming the next Seychelles beauty queen, Chette-Pah is also using the platform to give something back to the community.
Taking from her own personal experience where she moved around a lot during her school years, having to adapt to new schools and friends, her beauty with a purpose project aims to help others through this kind of transition.
Knowing first-hand the difficulties that this can bring, Chette-Pah told SNA that initially she wanted to help students in their transition from primary to secondary school.
“This transition is a milestone where many can get lost due to peer pressure and venture into unruly behaviours, getting into fights as well as experimenting with drugs and alcohol among others. Often this means teens spend less time focusing on their education.”
Throughout her journey in the Miss Seychelles beauty pageant Chette-Pah says she has noticed that similar projects are being undertaken by several groups hence she is now focussing only on boys, since she feels they tend to be most affected as a result of the transition.
Her goal is to engage with them through out of school sessions to help them feel more self-confident and learn effective ways of dealing with bullying and peer pressure.
“We’ve all done silly things during those years and most of the time it’s not because we wanted to but rather because we were trying to fit in or impress others. This is why it is important for people to be comfortable with who they are,” she said.
Education is key - know your priorities
Like many people, the 1.67m tall young lady has also had her share of sad experiences in life which she was brave enough to share with SNA.
At the tender age of 10, Chette-Pah and her mother survived a car accident, which unfortunately cost the life of her aunt, an experience that she believes has allowed her to showcase her true strength.
“After the accident I was left with quite a few scars. Although I had the chance on more than one occasion have them removed through plastic surgery, I decided to keep them. I am not ashamed of my scars because God decided to give them to me and they are a part of me,” she said confidently, adding that these scars serve as a reminder of the accident since she has no memory of that particular day.
Chette-Pah, who speaks Italian fluently after having lived in Italy for more than a year, says she has been exposed to many cultures through the many travel opportunities she has had so far.
“…I feel lucky to have experienced different cultures, it really opens up your way of thinking and I’m lucky that it has also guided me when it came to following the latest fashion trends,” she said with a smile.
For Chette-Pah, education is the key to one's future, hence she is encouraging the youth of Seychelles to take their studies seriously.
“Stay in school and know your priorities. Especially the girls out there, don’t be just a pretty face, what is within is more important.”
As pageant night approaches Chette-Pah had this to say to her other colleagues "whoever deserves to win shall win” while adding that she hopes all the contestants will be giving their best and having a good time.