Twenty-year-old Keisha Brazh under the African name ‘Serwah Mawusia,’ is representing Ghana. Keisha is currently a second-year dental student at the University of Guyana pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. Wanting to steer clear of the myth that Africa is a continent filled with poverty, Keisha chose Ghana. “I chose Ghana because it is diverse in its culture and traditions and is one of the leading countries of Africa owing to its considerable natural wealth. One of the many things that sparked my attention about Ghana is that it was once known as the Gold Coast and was the first sub-Saharan country in African to gain its independence,” Brazh said.
Keisha, who is a reserved person, said the pageant has brought out a bold side of her and she hopes that should she win she could inspire young people like herself to be more confident in themselves, and most importantly to never settle for a life less than they are capable of living. This Pisces young woman enjoys singing, dancing and playing Nintendo and video games.
Yousanna ‘Yousanna Okalo’ Pompey is an Aviation Security Officer who works at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. She will be representing Kenya.
Should she win, Yousanna would want to focus on impacting Afro-Guyanese youths in society through youth forums. “I’d want them to embrace our culture, our colour and to love who they are no matter their skin tone because black is beauty,” she said. Yousanna is currently studying Industrial Relations Management, a University of Guyana Institute of Distance and Continuing Education programme. Her hobbies include: playing cricket, swimming, boxing, reading novels (Danielle Steel) and enjoying outdoor games like sal-out.
Representing Botswana, is twenty-year-old Nia ‘Makera Amera’ Jacobis, a Customer Service Representative at Sambora.
According to Nia, at one time Botswana was said to be one of the poorest countries in Africa but has grown to become one of the most stable African countries. “If I am to be Miss Guyana African Roots 2017, I’d bring about awareness of our culture through school programmes and promote it through exhibitions. Becoming the queen will help to promote my culture; I’ll be able to reach more persons this way,” Nia said.
Nia is also a certified nurse and has a diploma in caregiving from the Venezuelan Institute. She enjoys dancing and singing R&B, Reggae, Soul and Hip-Hop.
Last to be interviewed was Abina ‘Princess Abina’ Souvenir representing Zimbabwe. She is currently a student at the Carnegie School of Home Economics, who will be competing in the junior category of the pageant. “If I should become queen,” Abina said, “I’d use my reign to channel my energies into teaching Afro-Guyanese about their culture and encourage them – help them to understand that they have great merit and worth. I will do so through hosting African cultural events such as workshops and cultural fairs so as to raise funds for the under privileged as well.” The Aquarius teen attended the North Ruimveldt Multilateral Secondary School. Her hobbies include singing and dancing to Reggae and Soul, interacting with friends and reading educational books. Her favourite colours are: red, black, white, purple and blue.
The other contestants, who were unable to make the interview, Katifa ‘Katifa Uwagboe’ Leitch (Zimbabwe), Rishanna ‘Kia Nazambo’ Lambert (Uganda), Chrisann Stephens and Shanima Muna.
There has been a switch regarding the pageants. The Mr/Miss Guyana African Roots Young Adults Pageant is now slated for August 11 instead of 12, while the teens’ pageants will go down on August 12 instead of August 11. The venue has been changed as well and is now at Queen’s College (QC) instead of the Theatre Guild as was mentioned before. The week of activities remains the same (August 6 to 13). The venue for this is at QC as well.