When she entered the Miss Jamaica World pageant over the summer, Toni-Ann Singh had one thing on her mind – to empower women.
Now almost three months after winning the pageant, Singh has been crowned Miss World 2019. She beat competitors from 110 other nations for the crown at the grand coronation show which took place in London on Saturday, December 14.
“I entered the Miss Jamaica World pageant because I wanted to use the platform to continue my work with women. I feel that this opportunity will allow me to continue to, on a wider scale,” Toni -Ann said in an interview with BUZZ.
Singh is the fourth representative from Jamaica to have won the Miss World title. The previous title holders are Carole Joan Crawford (1963), Cindy Breakspeare (1976) and Lisa Hanna (1993). Jamaica now ranks third place as the country with the most Miss World winners.
Singh who said she would like to emulate the grace and elegance of former Miss Jamaica queens shared the most valuable lesson that she learnt from participating in the Miss Jamaica World pageant.
“The biggest thing I learnt was self-confidence. I’ve never thought of myself as a model or a beauty pageant contestant. My goal is to empower young women. I realised that there was more to me than I realised. And, I have the Miss Jamaica World pageant experience to thank for it,” she confided.
Crown of Beauty, franchise holders for the Miss Jamaica World pageant since 2018 has again scored success. Last year, the 2018 queen finished in the Top 5 at Miss World.
Dahlia Harris and Weston Haughton are Directors of Crown of Beauty. Harris was elated over Singh’s win.
“We are heartened that Jamaica continues to maintain a rich legacy in the Miss World competition. There were over 100 contestants and for Jamaica to come out on top, is testament to the ability we have to consistently achieve excellence at the global level,” said Harris.
She gave kudos to Minister of Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and the Jamaica Tourist Board who have been instrumental in getting Singh to London to compete in the Miss World finals.
“The Ministry of Culture and the Jamaica Tourist Board have been instrumental in her participation in London. We will be working with both entities to ensure that Toni-Ann gets the kind of homecoming that she deserves,” Harris shared.
“She has a lovely way about her. I am not at all surprised that she won. I am absolutely thrilled.”— Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976
Prior to the grand coronation of Miss World, Singh was named the winner of the Talent fast track competition. She performed her winning rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing during the telecast of the coronation.
Jamaica’s Cindy Breakspeare who won Miss World in 1976 described Singh as a very talented individual.
“She is such a talented vocalist. She has a lovely way about her. I am not at all surprised that she won. I am absolutely thrilled. Jamaica the world,” said Breakspeare.
“She is an outstanding young woman with a wonderful personality, a beautiful soul, and extraordinary talent.”— Minister Olivia Grange
In a statement on Saturday afternoon, Minister Grange commented on Toni-Ann’s win.
“I am so happy for Toni-Ann. She is an outstanding young woman with a wonderful personality, a beautiful soul, and extraordinary talent. She represented Jamaica so well during this competition and now we all have an amazing new Miss World. Toni-Ann is clearly the best choice.”
The statement continued, Toni-Ann has made the entire country so proud. We are all walking on air, especially the girls at the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation location in St Thomas — Toni-Ann is so passionate about her parish and women’s issues — and she has been working with us at the Ministry to make a difference in the lives of the young girls who attend the Centre.”