Tag Archives: pageant

Pageant. But wait, there’s more!

Here it is again, the month of April, the month where the annual Miss CHTM Pageant is usually held. This was the night where the long days and even longer nights of “working the catwalk” came to fruition.

Miss CHTM pageant is usually a big upcoming event as girls take on months of practice and dedication. They learn to walk with pride, speak with confidence, and perform a talent.  The pageant which usually showcases approximately five girls or more was reduced to three this year. After a few hiccups, on April 8th it was safe to say, hard work pays off.

The theme this year was Hidden Treasures and the contestants represented three special gems: Citrine worn by contestant number one, Jameelia Stephens; Amethyst worn by contestant number two, Mariah Simmons and Zircon worn by contestant number three, Kiyandra Tomlison. The lovely contestants walked the walk, and talked the talk as they paved their way to the grand finale and crowning of Miss CHTM 2017. Colourful displays of creativity, clothing and talent were showcased on stage before three guest judges and an enthusiastic audience. The panel of judges included: Mrs. Christine Rollins, member of staff, Mr. Eric Bain and Dr. Jennifer Bethel.


The MCs for the night were Keshae Bovell and Jasonta Bowen –  they welcomed the beautiful ladies to the stage as well as the ‘broadway’ performances from our very talented students.  The pageant started with an opening dance which was choreographed by the former Miss CHTM Winner (2015) Shanice Gittens.  The categories included Casual, Swimwear, Talent and Formal wear.

MCs Keshae Bovell and Jasonta Bowen

At the end the night, the winner of the pageant was contestant number three, Ms Zircon Kiyandra Tomlison from the beautiful island of Jamaica. Congratulations go out to Kiyandra for a wonderful job done. Congratulations also go out to the other contestants for doing a wonderful job and giving it their best.

On that day, the Miss CHTM Pageant was not the only special event that took place. Whilst the pageant ended on a happy note, the balance of the night was a tribute to departing direct, Dr. Andrew Spencer. The special segment dedicated to this news was filled with happy memories and sad undertones.  Heartfelt speeches were given as everyone took trips down memory lane. The night ended with beautiful vocal rendition by the lovely ladies of CHTM and cutting of a cake. Dr. Andrew Spencer, we wish you all the best in your future endeavours; you will be missed.

Overall, with the newly crowned Miss CHTM 2017 and the departure of Dr. Andrew Spencer, April 8th 2017 was not a night to easily forget. Congratulations and best wishes goes out again to the winner of the Miss CHTM pageant. We look forward to you becoming the best you and an outstanding ambassador for CHTM.

By Shanice Jordan, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Rajkumar, Von Woodside, Donella Blackman, Kendrea Harris and Keron Best

A Night of Elegance

After months of grueling practice, the night we’ve all been waiting for was finally here. The five contestants, Anika Chambers, Auri-Mae Thomas, Donella Blackman, Christal-Ann Downes and Akylia Blackman prepared backstage for the competition. The MCs for the night, David, Ayeisha and Jenielle along with the performers rehearsed. Everyone’s legs were shaking, nerves were rattling and the anxiety of each audience member filled the air as we awaited the beginning of this highly anticipated pageant.

The opening dance, expertly choreographed by CHTM’s dance instructors, Safiya and Tashawna, set the tone for the night, as it exuded passion, excitement and a touch of class. Immediately following was the introduction of each contestant. This was a defining moment for the girls as they had only one chance to make a lasting first impression on both the audience and judges. With confidence I can say “Well done girls!” Their speeches were everything I expected and more.

The Goddess Wear segment which followed showcased their creativity. Never have I seen such gorgeous designs and the best part is…they made their outfits themselves!! Each contestant went all out for this category and graced the stage with a triumphant glory as though they were saying to the audience, “Yes, I made it myself in case you were wondering!”

Up next, the Casual Wear segment. Each contestant brought her own style and flare to the stage as she modelled her outfit to the audience and the judges, hoping to prove that she had the best ensemble of the night.

Finally, my favourite part of the competition, the Talent segment! It began with a heartfelt and tear-provoking rendition from Anika of Jessie J’s “Who You Are.” Her performance was adjudged Best Talent.  It was well-deserved if I must say. Auri-Mae, Donella and Christal- Ann all did monologues that evoked various messages for the audience. The last contestant, Akylia switched it up. She performed a dance entitled “Rhythms”, which was choreographed by Shanice Gittens, Miss CHTM 2015.

Christal-Ann's Talent performance
Christal-Ann’s Talent performace

Adding to the array of talent portrayed by the girls was Mark-Andrew Coke. I don’t think my post would really do justice to the night or be complete if I didn’t mention his performance. Whilst there were other great entertainers throughout the night, Mark’s performance stood out the most for me. He performed “Troddin”, his own composition, as though he had been performing for years. It was truly amazing!

Mark's performance of 'Troddin'
Mark’s performance of ‘Troddin’

Ahhhh yes…next the swimwear segment. The fitness sessions done by myself definitely paid off for the contestants. My goodness did they “slay!” The swimsuits worn by the contestants hugged their bodies in all the right places causing the crowd to erupt in a frenzy as they strutted across the stage showing their toned physiques. The uniqueness of Donella’s swimwear, hand-made by Latifah Forde, worked in her favour as she was given the prize for the Best Swimwear.

The last garment segment of the night was finally upon us, Formal Wear. The girls came dressed to impress and they didn’t disappoint. The contestants all looked beautiful and well poised in expertly tailored gowns with intricate designs. Donella seemed to be a crowd favourite as well as a favourite of the judges as they awarded her another prize for Best Formal wear.

Donella's Formal Wear
Donella’s Formal Wear

Immediately following the formal wear category was the most detested part of the night……the dreaded Question & Answer segment. One by one, the girls pulled a question from the basket and answered to the best of their ability amidst the piercing eyes of the audience and attentive faces of the judges. All the contestants gave intelligent and thought provoking responses.

It was time for the judges to deliberate. It seemed like eternity as we waited anxiously for the crowning of Miss CHTM 2016. Finally, the results were in….and they are:

Miss CHTM 2016- Donella Blackman

Miss CHTM 2016 and Miss CHTM 2015
Miss CHTM 2016 and Miss CHTM 2015

1st Runner Up- Anika Chambers

2nd Runner Up- Auri-Mae Thomas

Miss CHTM 2016, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up
Miss CHTM 2016, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up


Miss CHTM 20216 and friends
Miss CHTM 20216 and friends

Heartfelt thanks go out to all who worked so hard to make this event as memorable as it was. To our sponsors, friends of CHTM, performers, contestants, MCs, judges, choreographers, fitness instructors, modeling instructors, photographers, makeup artists, contestant support teams, audience, and everyone else I may have failed to mention –  THANK YOU!

by Dionysia Andrews, BSc. Tourism Management, 2016

Photography by Keshae Bovell and Dionysia Andrews © 2016

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s been approximately two months and the girls have been hard at work. The days are winding down, hearts are racing, legs are shaking and it’s only a matter of time before the crown is bestowed upon the new pageant queen. Who will be Miss UWI CHTM 2016?

Header group photo (2)

This year’s pageant theme is “Raw Beauty”. Each contestant is from second year and coincidentally they all study hotel management. Initially, there were six contestants but only five remain as Nicole Miller suffered a knee injury which forced her to drop out of the race. After weeks of practicing walks, poses, turns, talents and other ‘pageant like’ activities, the remaining contestants are on the last lap in the race to win the crown. With the help of experienced training coach Emilomo and the previous pageant contestants as mentors, they have come a long way from shy, timid college students to bold, beautiful pageant ready young ladies. “Ladies, what you do in practice is what you will end up doing on the day,” she said as they walked without adding poses and turns or when they had blank facial expressions. “Smile!” was one of the most frequently used commands.

Amidst the regular rehearsals with walk routines and question and answer preparations, were the fitness sessions. Boy, did they dread seeing the gym instructor Dionysia Andrews present for rehearsals; they knew that meant a work out was imminent. They groaned and complained but they still pushed through each session knowing it would be worth it in the end. As for the opening dance which was choreographed by Safiya Miller and myself, they were a bit more receptive. They caught the moves almost immediately. Perhaps their work out sessions should have been Zumba classes instead of actual exercises.

It was an amazing couple of weeks sitting in rehearsals observing the whole preparation process and the growth and development of the contestants. Whether directly or indirectly, the whole experience thus far has positively impacted their lives and helped to form a different appreciation for each other as more than just schoolmates, but sisters. Now let me introduce you to the five beauties.

Contestant #1 representing Apollo: Goddess of the Sun

Name: Anika Chambers

Anika Pic
Philosophy: “Turn your face towards the sun and let the shadow fall behind you.”


Contestant #2 representing Gaea: Goddess of the Earth

Name: Auri-Mae Thomas

Philosophy: “A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.”
Philosophy: “A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.”


Contestant #3 representing Khione: Goddess of the Snow

Name: Donella Blackman

Donella Pic
Philosophy: “Don’t let the troubles of today empty your strength for tomorrow.”


Contestant #4 representing Cybele: Goddess of Nature

Name: Christal Ann Downes

Christal Ann Pic
Philosophy: “Winning isn’t all, but the drive to win is everything.”


Contestant #5 representing Eos: Goddess of the Dawn

Name: Akylia Blackman

Akylia Pic
Philosophy: “Let the dawn be to you as its beginning of life and let the setting of the sun be to you as its close.”

The night they have been preparing for is right around the corner and the girls are filled with anxiety. Come April 16, 2016, a new Miss UWI CHTM will be crowned. The lessons learned during this journey will be used not only for the competition but will be carried over into the lives of these beautiful young ladies. They have already won just by being on this journey and having the opportunity to learn and grow. Ladies, I wish you all the best!

By Tashawna Bartley, BSc. Tourism Management 2016

Photography by Samantha Seedath © 2016

Miss UWI CHTM 2015: Tribal Royale

The anticipation is over; the moment we have been waiting for is finally here – Miss UWI CHTM 2015: Tribal Royal. Five Tribal Royal Queens from the Oromo Tribe, Samburu Tribe, Chaga Tribe, Hausa Tribe and Kalenjin Tribe are backstage and ready to take the spotlight. Lights dimmed. The anxiety in the air is widely spread among the audience and the contestants. The audience is indeed surprised as the particular segments flow, each queen portraying her interpretation of true beauty. It was indeed a lovely night enjoyed by all.

Congratulations to the Miss UWI CHTM 2015: Tribal Royale Queen, Shanice Gittens

(Best Gown; Best Tribal Outfit)

And congratulations to all the beautiful queens:

Nicolene Garriques , First Runner Up; Miss Congeniality

Safiya Miller, Second Runner Up

Erica Mellows, Best Smile

Alicia Gardener, People’s Choice Award; Most Improved

Special thank you to the sponsors:

BahaRetreat Anti-Aging Spa

Foxy’s Sweet Treats

Rainbow Dental Centre

Beatrice Gardener (Rings)

Make up by Lisa Wallace

Nailed It

Cookie Caterer

Cupcakes Unlimited

Waynehead Productions

HYFY Fitness

Jay Isaacs Photography

Eye Candy

The Loft Salon and Nail Boutique

Makeup by Skyline Beauty

Hair by Trina Creation

Thanks to our Judges:

Ms. Angel Cartwright

Mr. Zhivon Young

Ms. Shanice Toussaint

Thanks are also extended to those who contributed to the success of the event:

Masters of Ceremony

The Pageant Committee

Contestant Chaperones


Jourdain Lowe

Katrina Turton

Sanje and Company

By Juleine Fogo (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)

Photography by Krystle Mahabir and Juleine Fogo © 2015

Poised and Practiced for Perfection

It’s coming down to the end of it all and the practice for perfection is intense. Ladies, pageant ready, are swallowing the nerves, replacing it with a smile, heads high as their heels, depicting the instructions drilled into them by pageant training coach, fellow student, Emilomo. She looks on her handy work and expresses the final guidelines with authority, “It’s the final days girls, and I want to see how things will look on the actual night.”

Behind the curtains however, the girls admit how scared, excited, stressed and nervous they feel with the reality that the big day is upon us. We’re here to win, to have fun, to try something different, to live, laugh, love and create memories. The journey for each is different but the bond they have built has made the journey worth embracing.

This pageant experience though small, has instilled values and personal growth into each contestant.

Miss Chaga Tribe confesses that the journey has taught her to deal with other personalities and to choose her battles wisely. She has grown in confidence as she has been forced to transform pressures into strength and negativity into positivity. This has all been facilitated by her loyalty to her philosophy, “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”

Safiya Miller - Ms. Chaga Tribe
Safiya Miller – Ms. Chaga Tribe

Miss Hausa Tribe admits she has learnt the value of time management. She shares her greatest benefit from the experience as the opportunity to speak out more as a result of the speech therapy received in training. The emphasis received on building self-confidence has impacted her drive to harness her talent and her attitude to overcoming her challenges

Nicolene Garriques - Ms. Hausa Tribe
Nicolene Garriques – Ms. Hausa Tribe

Miss Samburu Tribe is grateful for the experience as it has taught her how to balance the event along with school and a personal life. She has been forced to draw on her strength in her times of weakness as she is rooted by her personal outlook on life – the harder the struggle, the sweeter the victory. As she overcomes the challenges she continues to shine like the butterfly cluster (constellation Scorpius).

Alicia Gardener - Ms. Samburu Tribe
Alicia Gardener – Ms. Samburu Tribe

Miss Oromo Tribe is happy that she rejected the inner voice recommending she withdraw from the competition. Her battles with low self-esteem has seen significant change as she has been forced to dedicate her time and step out of her comfort zone to accomplish a variety of the tasks required of them along their journey. She is convinced that each of the girls she has been blessed to share this journey with deserves the crown for the work they have put in but the reality stands, may the best Queen win.

Shanice Gittens - Ms. Oromo Tribe
Shanice Gittens – Ms. Oromo Tribe

Miss Kalenjin Tribe remains passionate about the step she has taken towards this competition and is adamant to maintaining her confidence as the day approaches. As she mentioned in her blog, pageant continues to be a learning experience for her and she is now poised and prepared to take the runway.

Erica Mellows - Ms. Kalenjin Tribe
Erica Mellows – Ms. Kalenjin Tribe

The training coach shares her final sentiments to the contestants, “It has been a long, hard and somewhat stressful journey however it has been my pleasure working with each contestant. You are all beautiful and unique in your own way and I ask that as you all approach the final step, you do your best and shine. The audience is in for a big surprise! I love you girls.”

As we enjoy the sights and sounds of Ms. UWI CHTM 2015 Tribal Royale let us never forget that  each journey pursued is a learning experience and another process in shaping the jewels we are meant to be. We wish all the ladies the very best and look forward to witnessing the unveiling of true beauty.

by Juleine Fogo (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)

Photography by Krystle Mahabir © 2015

Miss CHTM 2015: My Experience

Preparations are well underway for the Miss UWI CHTM 2015 pageant, with vigorous training sessions and photo shoots to match. The theme Tribal Royale: Honouring our Past Embracing our Future stems from the committee’s vision to join the world in honouring our heritage and encompassing it into our future.

As the only plus-sized contestant of six – why join this pageant?

My answer is simple, beauty is being comfortable and confident in your own skin. As a contestant in this pageant, one must use the opportunity to portray their true beauty. Entering this pageant is my personal statement of confidence and self acceptance. Through it, I will be confident and showcase my inner and physical beauty and hope that it radiates outward for others to see.

Also, being my final year at CHTM, what other fun way to end the year! It is also a great opportunity to bond with my fellow contestants, who have ultimately become like family.

Each day is a new learning experience for us, because we not only learn things about ourselves, but also about communication, leadership, poise and how to conduct ourselves in a manner befitting a pageant queen. I never saw pageantry as a competition, but rather as a learning experience.

On Valentine’s Day, we conducted our introductory shoot which was amazing. The photos are up on the Facebook pageant page Miss UWI CHTM 2015: Tribal Royale, for persons to vote for the People’s Choice.

Photography by Krystle Mahabir © 2015

On February 22, 2015, runway training took place with runway specialist, model, former Miss Barbados World contestant and very own student, Ms. Emilomo Akpevwiehor who whipped us into shape and taught us how to work the runway and how to strut our stuff with poise.

So come out one and all on April 11, 2015 as we crown the Miss UWI CHTM Pageant Queen for 2015.

by Erica Mellows (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)