Miss Seychelles pageant a platform for contestant Ella Marie to promote island nation
Ella Marie is currently following a tour guiding course at the Seychelles Tourism Academy. (Miss Seychelles - National Pageant, Facebook)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Coming from the northern Mahe district of Bel Ombre, Ella Marie wants to make a career in the tourism industry.
Marie, 19, spent her childhood with her grandmother, who she sees as her top role model who has taught her important values.
SNA caught up with Marie to learn more about her participation in the Miss Seychelles beauty pageant and how that will impact her life.
SNA: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your back ground, your parents, siblings.
EM: I grew up with my dad and paternal grandmother and since I was four years old, my mum moved to France. But we communicate and she is visiting soon.
My grandmother thought me life values and the power of prayer and hope. Ten years ago, I was in a very bad accident. I was hit by an SPTC (Seychelles Public Transport Corporation) bus when crossing the road in the vicinity of the old English River clinic. I had severely injured my back and till now I still need therapy. Everybody thought I would not make it, but with the prayers, I pulled through.
SNA: What are your qualifications and what are you doing career wise?
EM: I studied at the La Rosiere primary school and Belonie secondary schools. After that, I joined the Seychelles Institute of Technology for a course in electrical. I did it to show that a woman can do the same job as a man. It was not easy but at the end, I got my certificate and what I learned will benefit me later in life.
Tourism is a field that has always interested me and I am currently following a tour guiding course at the Seychelles Tourism Academy. It’s an interesting course where I am discovering a lot about my country, its history, culture and cuisine.
I can say with confidence that I know all the corners of Victoria, thanks to the course. I am not too keen about tour guiding but I’d love to get a job within the airline industry.
|(Michel Desnousse) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA: What pushed you or encouraged you to join the pageant?
EM: I am sometimes a shy person and I see the pageant as a way to boost my self-confidence. I see the beauty pageant as something which will change and mark my life. Something I will not forget. The pageant presents us contestants, a platform to promote Seychelles on another level. Seychelles is not only the sea and sand -- there is the Seychellois people, with their tradition and culture.
SNA: Apart from work what are your interests, hobbies?
EM: I am an avid reader and my favourite book is Staying Strong by Demi Lovato. I am also passionate about beauty and in fact, I went around the neighbourhood doing people’s hair and manicures and pedicures.
I was not taught how to do it. It sort of came naturally for me. I did work for a short period in a hairdressing salon and gained some experience. Although I sometimes get paid for it, I do it mostly for the pleasure it gives me. I also model and have done some modelling for Jouel (local jewellery company).
SNA: What project will you be working on for the pageant?
EM: For my project, I have decided to work with children who have cancer. I have chosen a small boy of 3 years old who was born with cancer. I wanted to work with children because they have not set their minds on anything. Adults, when faced with the disease, think of death, whilst a child will not share this perception. So I want to be in his life, spend time with him, just be there for him. I will also try and raise some money for him and try to make his life different and better. I have always wanted to join the cancer concern association because losing someone to cancer is very painful.
|(Miss Seychelles - National Pageant, Facebook) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA: What will you advise young women who are scared or not confident in joining pageants?
EM: Young women should not be afraid to join any beauty contest, because joining is a bold move, and anybody who does it is building up confidence. The experience will change their lives. So I would encourage them to join pageants.
SNA: Your expectations after this experience?
EM: I would love to be amongst the five finalists, but if I don’t, I will still come out a winner. I will definitely continue with my project. And most importantly you have to be true to your dreams!
SNA: If ever crowned what changes/difference will you want to make or bring to the society?
EM: Life evolves and progresses and we human sometimes regress. Some aspects of our lives are dying, like our Seychellois culture. I want to revive our islands tradition and some values we no longer practice. Like remembering your past and having respect for our elderly.