In Caribbean news. As part of our continued thrust to engage with the UK African and Caribbean communities has appointed our first Pageant Correspondent. We would like you to meet the newest member of our growing family; Ms Zena Bland.

This twenty-two year old journalism student at Middlesex University isn’t only passionate about writing; she is a professional dancer and a beauty queen. That’s right, a beauty queen! Out of ten beautiful Guyanese ladies, Zena was crowned ‘Miss Guyana UK 2012 First Runner Up’ last year, November 17th. We think she will be ideal for the job; as her reign comes to an end on the 27th November 2013 and she’s excited to bring to you full coverage of African and Caribbean pageants in the United Kingdom. Who better, than a pageant girl to enlighten us all?

Zena Bland

Zena Bland

Zena feels that both African and Caribbean beauty pageants should have more exposure in the media and our community. Many people tend to stigmatise these events as a money making venture; which in all fairness it is, because it’s a business. However our pageant correspondent salutes pageant organisers as she believes they create a platform for young women to elevate themselves: find their inner beauty and talents, gain courage through public speaking, learning to give back to their community through charity work and even learning more about themselves and their countries. Friendships are gained in the course of beauty pageants, some contestants achieve opportunities such as: mentoring, modelling, presenting and many other ventures.

As journalism student, Miss Bland is happy to take on the role of being the pageant correspondent for and she encourages young people who love to write; are interested in the entertainment sector or have different creative arts interests to contact CaribDirect as we welcome new perspectives from such individuals.

Miss Jamaica UK 2013, which takes place on November 30th, will be the first beauty pageant that Zena will cover for us. She is rather familiar with this pageant as her dance group ‘MoneyWheel Dancers’ had opened the stage of this annual event two years ago. Experience is Miss Bland’s primary tool which she will use to bring an up close and personal view of the world of pageantry. The Guyanese beauty queen is aware of the preparation process, the emotional journeys and the personal development which all contestants endure through these events. So she plans on interviewing two contestants, the founder of Miss Jamaica UK, Ms June Daley and the winner of Miss Jamaica UK 2013.

Miss Guyana UK 2012 First Runner Up wishes all future contestants the best in their beauty pageant endeavours and says, “Confidence is a crown every lady should wear.”