All details were taken care of; the red carpet was laid out, the purple and white decorations were in place, the pageant contestants were beautiful and the judges were ready for the spectacular Miss Roots pageant on Saturday, Nov. 15.
Brock Roots African-Caribbean Society (Roots ACS) hosted their fourth-annual pageant that featured Brock students from an array of different countries. Eight individuals were chosen to participate in the event, including Miss Congo, Miss Ghana, Miss Jamaica, Miss Kenya, Miss Nigeria, Miss Tanzania, Miss Trinidad and Miss Sudan.
While the itinerary was structured as a standard pageant, Roots ACS wanted to focus more on the confidence of the ladies, rather than solely their beauty. Through a combination of showcasing traditional clothing from their countries, beach wear, formal wear, as well as the talent and Q&A portion of the night, contestants were given the opportunity to demonstrate to the audience and judges that they exuded the self-confidence that would ultimately win them the crown.
Second-year Media and Communications student and Events Coordinator Tife Emiola represented Nigeria in last year’s pageant, which helped her overcome first-year jitters.
“Competing as Miss Nigeria was so much fun. I’m usually a shy person but at the time, I was trying to break out of my shell and the pageant really helped me do that,” said Emiola. “I met a lot of people and made many friends through Roots ACS, which was something that I was worried about being in first-year.”
Nona Bader, fourth-year General Arts and Sciences student, had a similar enlightening experience with the Miss Roots pageant, as she represented Sudan in 2013.
“I’m very self-conscious about my body and the pageant made me feel confident in that aspect. The theme and the event itself is about self-confidence. We live in a society that judges women based on their bodies, clothes and speech, and women need to realize that they don’t have to meet these mainstream ideals of beauty,” said Bader.
Throughout the night, audience members also showcased their confidence by participating in the Best Dressed Man and Woman competition and an impromptu dance battle on stage.
The pageant participants demonstrated their talents in everything from singing to slam poetry, with one contestant completing a painting in under five minutes. Performers from Brock Live4Dance also made an appearance, adding to the theme of the show.
After the audience cast their votes for the People’s Choice and the judges were ready with their results, the following contestants were awarded and crowned: Miss Roots – Miss Jamaica 1st Runner-up – Miss Kenya 2nd Runner-up and Miss Congeniality – Miss Sudan People’s Choice – Miss Nigeria
Karam Tawfiq, fourth-year Psychology student, acted as one of the five judges and was thoroughly impressed by how all of the ladies carried themselves that night.
“It was amazing. This kind of event is important because it serves to embrace and showcase women’s confidence. Society is very focused on beauty and what you look like but as a judge, I am here to witness how the ladies present themselves, looking beyond and deeper than just beauty. All of the ladies were radiant and did a fantastic job,” said Tawfiq.
Roots ACS is an on-campus club that works to encourage cultural awareness and to create solidarity among African and Caribbean students. While other events that this club will be hosting for the rest of the year are still in the works, one of their main goals is to entertain those who share these cultures and to educate students who would like a fresh perspective.
Brock Roots ACS is on Facebook and Twitter! Follow their social media feeds via BrockRoots.