Shaniah Dick was crowned Miss Grand Seychelles 2023 in a short ceremony at the Hilton Labriz Silhouette Resort's gastro lounge at Bel Ombre on Sunday.
Dick was bestowed with the crown previously worn by "Miss Seychelles... Another World" winner – sponsored by Jouel. The 19-year-old student is now preparing for the upcoming Miss Grand International in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on October 25.
The first Miss Grand International was held in Bangkok in 2013 under sponsorship from Thailand's government and under the banner "End the War and Violence".
This will be Seychelles' first participation in the pageant, and other contestants will be from Bonaire, Gibraltar, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uzbekistan.
A newly launched beauty pageantry association - Miss Grand Seychelles - is introducing young women from Seychelles to the event with a committee led by Gabriella Gonthier as chairperson.
In order to be chosen to fly the Seychelles' flag in Vietnam, Dick had to audition before a panel of four judges, who not only judged her on her beauty but on her project proposal.
"MGI is very specific that the women should not only have physical beauty, but they should also present a strong project to help their communities," said the new association's executive member Melissa Pool.
A newly launched beauty pageantry association - Miss Grand Seychelles - is introducing young women from Seychelles. (Jude Morel) Photo License: CC-BY
Dick's project is aimed at finding children living at the President's Village at Port Glaud safe housing once they are 18. Most of them are placed there due to their parents not being able to look after them or other social or drug related issues.
"As part of my internship at social services, I have seen many of those kids who either have nowhere to live and some are even in prison," said Dick, who is a social services student.
"I thought it would be great to find a suitable place for them as some of them are young adults and are still at school at the time they reach their 18th birthday," she explained.
When asked why no pageant was held to choose the beauty queen, Pool explained that as the organisers did not have enough time to hold one "and MGI allows for auditions to be held, we chose to do that instead."
Six young ladies answered the Miss Grand Seychelles call for contestants – mainly on social media and four took part in the auditions.
The next Miss Grand International will be crowned by outgoing queen, Isabella Menin from Brazil.
Meanwhile, Pool revealed that the association was in the process of working to hold the National Miss Seychelles Beauty Pageant. This will help to have the various beauty queens under one umbrella when looking for eligible contestants to take part in future pageants.
Source: Seychelles News Agency