Interview with Jasmin Assanoh who runs House of Pageantry and is also a retired Beauty Queen
So Jasmin, thank you so much for speaking to me today, this is a unique interview for me as you are a retired pageant queen but are still in the pageant community as you are now a Pageant Coach.
Firstly can you give us some back ground from when you competed such as previous titles and experience ?
My first competition was actually when I was 18. I entered Miss Ghana UK 2012, I placed Top 10 and won Miss Personality. After the pageant I actually got “scouted” by a lady called StyleCheckDee who mentored me and taught me a lot about personal branding, pageantry and modelling. I then went on to train a few girls in Miss Ghana Germany 2013 and Miss Africa Germany.
I entered Miss Face of Africa EU but dropped out after realising that the management style of the Director wasn’t something I could support. I believe I entered a few others but withdrew as it was too expensive. Finally, I did Miss Africa GB 2016, placed 2nd runner up and Miss Ghana UK Tourism 2018 where I placed 1st runner up.
Between 2012 and 2016 I did a lot of modelling and fashion shows including coordinating and choreography as well as training girls and boys on their walk.
From 2013-2016 I was also managing my own beauty pageant with a group of university friends – Mr and Miss ACS (African and Caribbean society/students) UK.
What drew you to compete in pageants ?
I lacked a lot of self confidence due to family issues and thought to myself pageants can really help me grow. I also saw an opportunity to make a difference within the African and Caribbean community.
You must love the pageant community as now you have stopped competing you now coach are some of our future queens. What made you decide to go into pageant coaching ?
Even during secondary school days, I use to mentor girls on their personal development. I was in year 10 and I would be assigned a year 7 student and that has followed me until now.
The ability to identify the development areas of young girls/boys and women comes easy to me. My years of working within youth work, education and teaching have made me develop key transferrable skills.
I love seeing people strive and grow from how they were to who they want to become. I love to nurture and guide people and I thought to myself why not apply that to pageantry where it all started for me because that’s something I missed from some directors and pageants.
I guess the last reason I became a coach, was that during the time I started pageants and modelling, I didn’t see many girls that were a bit more curvaceous and/or petite. Most girls were tall and slim. So I wanted to bring a bit more diversity to the modelling, pageant and coaching industry.
How long have you been coaching and can you give us the links to your sites ?
I have been mentoring and coaching now since 2013. A lot of girls and boys I have worked with come back to coach with House of Pageantry.
Our website is http://www.houseofpageantry.com and you can also find us on Instagram: @houseofpageantry and Facebook if you search House of Pageantry.
Can you tell us some of your success stories from pageant coaching ?
We did a House of Pageantry bootcamp last year and it was amazing. One girl joined us and this what she said
“After attending House of Pageantry’s bootcamp, I took your words for it and had a go to compete again. I had nothing to lose. I took everything I learned from the bootcamp and applied it to the pageant. You really did push me to feel like I could enjoy it as much as you and Abigail have. I went on to compete in Miss Pride of Africa UK 2019 and won. Thank you for everything you taught me.”
This is why I love coaching. You can really inspire someone to be more than what they see themselves. She was so so shy and nervous when she came to the bootcamp but she listened, asked questions and applied her knowledge. That’s the impact we leave on all our girls.
What are the main areas you work towards when coaching ?
We do all round Coaching. But I believe a few of our greatest strengths are
Personal Development Plans, Platform development Plans
Understanding what it means to wear your crown
Of course the pageant walk as well but my favourite areas are those above. Here you get to really know the person you are coaching and are able to tap into their inner beauty and grow them from there.
What tips can you give to future queens ?
-Enjoy the process -Have fun -Make friends -Be always true to yourself -Research, practice and plan
How do you feel pageants have changed from when you competed ?
There are more diverse body shades, races and religions that now compete. You have amazing pageants now for curvaceous women, you see women from the Muslim community competing, you see women with afro hair winning big international pageants.
I just love to see the diversity because that means all small girls can see themselves in at least one woman.
What are your future plans within the pageant community are you planning any other pageant ventures ?
For House of Pageantry to run more online courses. Not sure if I will compete again but who knows what the future holds.
Thank you so much for agreeing to the interview it’s interesting to learn your experiences from competing and also coaching !! Much love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020