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  • Writer's picturecharlotte lister

Interview with Young European Ms International – South London , Cheniel Henderson

Thank you so much for having an interview with me it’s great getting to know all about fellow pageant queens pageant journeys and the systems that they are representing.

So first of all what made you enter pageants?

I moved here to the UK when I was 16, I felt like my life was turned upside down. After a few years of finding it hard to make friends I came across a pageant on Instagram and just applied for it, didn’t think anything of it at the time until a week later I got a call from the director telling me I made it as finalist and from that moment I got the pageant bug.

Can you tell us about your pageant journey so far ?

I have yet to win a pageant, I came very close but I don’t just take part to win, I love the experience. Winning will be the cherry on top. I have had the following placings, Miss Caribbean UK 2nd runner up, Miss Diamond UK 2016 2nd runner up. I have also had the opportunity to represent Jamaica in 2 international pageants, one being Miss Globe.

What made you decide to compete in the YEMI System ?

Mainly the Queens at the time, watching them on social media and at events, they all are so friendly and I love their sisterhood. I looked back as past queens and saw that there is always a sisterhood. The YEMI motto is, Aspire to Inspire, which allows you to have your own charity and platform. That was important to me, as my platform is to support women and families going through domestic abuse. This is something very passionate to me. Another important thing was that there were no points for appearances as due to my job it is very hard for me to do a lot of appearances.

What the best thing that pageants have taught you?

That it’s ok to be me and I am enough. Many times I have doubted my self worth and then I take a look back and remember what I learnt from pageants and I remember I’m great being me.

Your pageant platform is supporting women and families going through domestic abuse. What made you decide on this platform and can you tell us more about it ?

I’m really passionate about supporting women and families that have gone through or going through domestic abuse and spreading awareness of the signs.

This is such an issue today, as people believe that abuse is a private matter. But 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Currently in lockdown there have been a high raise in domestic abuse at home.

It affects them in one or more ways, physically- with bruises, mentally, as many women fall in to depression and severe anxiety and emotionally as they may no longer feel themselves and become withdrawn. Their children are also affected in similar way as 90 percent of domestic abuse in a family home happens with presence of children.

How has COVID-19 changed your pageant journey so far ?

A number of events I was planning to attend have been cancelled which is sad and I miss pageant land, but I am using this time to support pageant sisters with their online campaigns and also fundraising for my chosen charity Solace Women Aid to help with their emergency appeal and also working on my platform more.

What’s your dream title ?

I would love to win YEMI 2020 and go on to Texas for internationals and hopefully take home an international crown.

If you were to win what would it mean to you ?

Last year I came away with 1st runner up so it would mean the world to me. It would be great to represent a pageant with an amazing sisterhood. I would also use my platform to spread awareness on domestic abuse.

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

Enjoy every moment! Also never compare yourself to others as your amazing.

What makes a good pageant role model?

A role model is someone that represents their true self, someone who inspires and support others and stand up for issues they believe in.

What’s your favourite pageant round ?

Fashion round, because this can be anything and gives the opportunity to really show my personality.

How do you deal with pageant nerves ?

I plan ahead. It’s never too early to plan, the more prepared I am the less worries I have. Also on pageant night I just have fun as it helps me to relax.

It’s been lovely reading your answers, I wish you every success at your final please keep me informed. Much love Charlotte Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.

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