Jamaican beauty ready for Miss WorldSunday, November 21, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Miss Jamaica World 2021 Khalia Hall left the island yesterday for Puerto Rico to compete in the Miss World pageant set for the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan on December 16.
The effervescent beauty spoke to the Jamaica Observer ahead of her departure and explained that she was thrilled to be able to represent her country on a global stage such as Miss World and was looking forward to the experience. Hall further explained that she is looking forward to performing to her best abilities and is not concerned that the reigning queen is Jamaica's Toni-Ann Singh.
“I am feeling truly grateful at this time as I prepare to go to Miss World to represent my country. I am grateful to the Miss Jamaica World organisation, my family, friends, and the numbers of strangers who have come up to me an offered even an ounce of support and encouragement. Since I was crowned Miss Jamaica World it has not been lost on me how much persons have been pouring into me to help me perform at my best in Puerto Rico. Since that time I have been involved in training, in grooming, stage presentation, speech, and there is also my talent piece which is an original song. I have also been working on a dance piece for the Dances of the World segment. There are so many moving parts to get me to this stage and I am just so humbled by it all and will do my best to make my country proud.”
“There is no pressure to live up to Toni-Ann's performance. The truth is we are two different people and I am just going in to do my best. I am exceptionally proud of what she did at Miss World in 2019, but Jamaica has over the years done so well at this pageant. In recent years we have consistently finished well and taken the Miss World Caribbean title, so I am preparing myself to just use that as more of a boost and motivation rather than pressure,” she shared during a telephone interview from the departure lounge of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Reports indicate that 109 contestants are down to compete in this year's pageant. This includes first-time entrants representing Iraq and Somalia, as well as representatives from countries such as Cuba, Sint Maarten, Estonia, and Guinea, who are returning to the competition after a prolonged absence.
Hall also said aside from participating in the actual competition she is most looking forward to meeting the other girls from all over the world.
“I have done some travelling but I doubt it will compete to meeting all these over 100 other girls representing their countries and cultures all in one place. I am so looking forward to learning about some of these places that I've only heard of. I do speak a little Italian, so I can't wait to speak to Miss Italy, and just sharing my Jamaican culture with my fellow contestants,” she said.
The 25-year-old mechanical engineering graduate who hails from St Ann, beat 14 other finalists to take the local crown on October 9. She holds a masters' degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and is also a chef specialising in plant-based cuisine. As part of her Beauty With a Purpose project, Hall staged a pop-up café in St Andrew recently, with funds going towards one of her main projects, the Mustard Seed Communities, which looks after abandoned children.
Co-franchise holder of the local competition, Weston Haughton, told the Sunday Observer that he is pleased with the preparation Hall underwent ahead of her departure for Miss World and is confident that she will do well.
“Khalia is a fantastic young woman and I know she will represent both herself and Jamaica to the best of her abilities. We are so pleased to have prepared her for this step of the journey and would be absolutely delighted if we could have a back-to-back win. She heads to Puerto Rico with a clothing collection from some of Jamaica's fantastic local designers, and trained by some of the best talents that the country has to offer,” said Haughton.
Jamaica has won the Miss World title on four occasions — Carole Joan Crawford in 1963, Cindy Breakspeare in 1976, Lisa Hanna in 1993, and Toni-Ann Sing in 2019.