'My Jamaica, sweet Jamaica, we did it!' — Toni-Ann Singh 4th Jamaican to win crown

Observer senior reporter

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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Twenty-three-year-old Toni-Ann Singh stepped into the history books by becoming the fourth Jamaican to be crowned Miss World.

The psychology and women's studies major, who swept the title from over 100 representatives at the annual pageant held in London yesterday, follows in the footsteps of Carole Joan Crawford in 1963; Cindy Breakespeare in 1976; and Lisa Hanna in 1993.

In the moments following the coronation, Singh posted to social media expressing her gratitude to those who assisted with her journey to the crown.

“My Jamaica, sweet Jamaica, we did it. My heart is filled with love and gratitude. Thank you so much for believing in me. You pushed me to believe in myself. I am not only honoured but humbled to be the 69th Miss World. Thank you to my family and to my friends. The love and support you poured into me now allows me to pour into the world,” she shared.

Second place went to Miss France Ophély Mézino, with the third spot going to Miss India Suman Rao.

Singh, who also won the talent segment of the pageant with a performance of Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing, shared the Miss World win with young girls around the globe.

“To that little girl in St Thomas, Jamaica, and all the girls around the world, please believe in yourself. Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. It's for you to truly understand that no matter where you're from and the cards you're dealt in life, your dreams are valid. You have a purpose,” she said.

Her list of 'thank yous' also extended to the franchise holders for the local pageant, Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange and the Miss World organisation.

“I am willing and ready to do the work; to officially be the face that represents the core of Miss World, 'Beauty with a Purpose'. And last, but of course not least, thank you, God. Thank you for allowing me to walk the path towards my purpose. My heart is full,” said Singh.

Singh charmed her way throughout the entire three-hour production, starting with her introduction in the Dances of the World segment which was set to the popular track Toast by current reggae sensation Koffee.

However, she seemed to clinch the crown during her interview with media personality and Miss World judge Piers Morgan. She was clearly emotional when asked who is her inspiration, but held it together as she spoke of her love for her mother.

“The most inspiring woman to me is my mother. If my mother and father are the roots and I am the tree, then really any work that I do, anything that I am able to change in the world, it is the fruit of their labour. I have watched her pour everything into me even at the sacrifice of her own wants and needs, and that's why I am able to sit before you today,” she responded

“I was told you were going to make me cry but I din't think it would be this way,” she then joked with Morgan.

Having won the talent title, it seemed a done deal when Singh belted Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing and later lead her fellow contestants in song.

She was clearly shocked when she was announced winner by Miss World Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Julia Morley. Singh was crowned by outgoing queen Vanessa Ponce de Leon of Mexico.


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