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  • Writer's picturecharlotte lister

Interview with Makeva Armant-Muhammad – Mrs. Louisiana Earth 2020

Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey it’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens and more about the systems that they represent.

Can you introduce yourself ?

Makeva Armant-Muhammad, 28 years old, Mrs. Louisiana Earth 2020

What made you enter pageants?

I originally entered pageants to help a friend who was producing her very first competition. At that time, I didn’t understand the world of pageantry at all, and I was simply competing to fill a spot, but after I won the title of Miss QUEen of PSI PHIre, I felt a major shift in my self-confidence and my desire to be onstage. I continued to compete because I loved the rush of excitement and self-assurance it gave me. I also loved meeting and learning from all of the veteran queens.

Can you tell us about your pageant journey so far ?

I began competing in 2013 and won my very first competition as Miss Omega Psi Phi at the University of Louisiana Monroe. I then competed in the Miss ULM pageant where I won the advertisement sales award. Later, the I held the title of Miss Black East Baton Rouge 2017, Miss Black Louisiana USA 2018, Royal International Ms. Louisiana 2019, and International Role Model Ms. 2019.

My journey throughout pageantry has looked and felt different in each system that I had the opportunity to represent, but one thing that has remained constant is my desire to be an example to my community members of what it means to truly transform your life.

What made you decide to compete in the Mrs. USA Earth system ?

I decided to compete for the coveted Mrs. USA Earth title because I came to unfortunate realization that, like myself, many people in poor/low-income neighborhoods don’t have the support or knowledge needed to reduce their carbon footprint and preserve our environment. I have decided to act as a liaison between low-income communities and Mother Earth by first teaching myself ways to live sustainably and eco-consciously and then taking what I learn and sharing it with others. I want to be the example that, although I didn’t grow up recycling, or even understanding the concept of global warming, it is never too late to make a POSITIVE impact and advocate for others to do the same.

What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?

Pageants have taught me that my purpose and passion are important and they matter. Because of pageantry, I have had the opportunity to travel throughout the country promoting my platforms – whether it be Diversity and World Language Education or The Reteach Project, focusing on learning and living a sustainable lifestyle. I’ve learned that more people share my passion than I even realized. Visiting schools to teach mini French lessons or speaking with a stranger about climate change and even hosting community clean ups has given me a sneak peek into the lives of others. I’ve been able to connect with them on a higher level because they too understand the importance of connecting communities to form strong bonds that save all of our futures.

What’s your pageant platform and why ?

My platform is The Reteach Project. I come from a neighborhood where climate change, sustainability and carbon footprint aren’t words that you hear often – if ever. Growing up in the deep south, we weren’t taught the importance of recycling or environmental conservation, so I grew up not understanding the impact my choices had on our Earth. I want to break that cycle. Through The Reteach Project, I am educating myself and then others on the knowledge of environmentalism in an effort to empower the next generation to take action against climate change.

What’s your dream title?

Well, I technically already have my dream title as Mrs. Armant-Muhammad because I was so blessed to marry my dream guy. But in the world of pageantry, my dream title is always the one that I hold at present. I feel that I am lucky and honored any time I am given a platform to make a change in my community, and I’ve used every single one of my pageant titles to do just that. Currently, my dream title is Mrs. Louisiana Earth USA, and I am on a mission to have my next dream title be Mrs. USA Earth.

If you were to win Mrs. USA Earth what would it mean to you ?

If I were to win, to me, it would mean that the judges saw my heart and my passion, and they believe in my ability to continue educating our communities and leading them to a sustainable future. Of course, I would be extremely happy and proud of myself.

What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens?

Always be true to who you are. We are all here to learn and grow, so don’t feel the need to be someone that you’re not. I cannot stress enough how much our voices matter as pageant queens, and our individualism is valued.

What have you been doing in the run up to the final of Mrs USA Earth ?

I have been doing a ton of researching, learning about sustainability, and practicing with my coach to prepare for my interview with the Mrs. USA Earth judges. I’ve also been working daily on the building of my nonprofit Immersed, Inc.

I’ve worked on my “Think Global Act Local” Campaign a ton as well. I planned an Eco Immersion/Clean Up Bingo Game to get others involved in learning about the environment and taking steps to reduce waste in our neighborhoods, parks and oceans.

Favourite ever appearance ?

My favorite appearance thus far has been my Community Clean Up Challenge that was this past weekend. I was able to organize three teams in three different cities to compete in cleaning a neighborhood or park. We had more people participate than I expected, and together, we collected and dumped over 30 bags of trash from our communities. I’m proud that I was able to inspire so many people to participate, on my behalf, in the cleaning and beautification of our cities.

How has the lockdown due to Covid19 affected your pageant journey ?

The lockdown due to Covid19 has forced me to adjust my plans as I prepare to go out into my community and advocate for our Earth. In addition, all of my pageant prep to has gone 100% virtual. I have been making virtual appearances, having virtual meetings, and doing virtual pageant prep with my coach, Jackie & Commit to the Crown Coaching. However, although everything has gone virtual, I’m glad that I have still been able to stay on track and prepare myself physically, mentally, and emotionally for the Mrs. USA Earth competition.

Has your reign been extended due to COVID19?

It has not. Fortunately, I began my reign just in March, so I still have about 9 months to complete it. I plan to make the most of every minute by continuing to offer resources, knowledge and opportunities for community members to get involved in contributing to sustaining our neighborhoods.

What makes a good pageant role model?

In my opinion, a good role model is someone who not only gives great advice, but also takes his/her own advice and lives as proof of how that advice can transform someone for the better. I believe a role model should be personable, accessible and relatable.

What’s your favourite pageant round?

The evening gown competition is my favorite because it’s when I feel the most confident, beautiful and elegant. I love the way my gown flows as I glide across the stage, and looking out into the audience smiling back at me just fills my heart. It’s a feeling unlike any other.

How do you deal with pageant nerves ?

I refocus my energy on the positive – the fact that I am here and given the opportunity to share my passion and platform with the world. I take a deep breath, and I go out and have fun.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions it’s been lovely getting to know you and more about your platform. I wish you all the best in the future. Much Love Charlotte Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.

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