Miss Jamaica Universe Davina Bennett passes through South Florida on her way to the Miss Universe pageant on November 26.
by Tanya Ragbeer
Last week 21-year-old Davina Bennett, Miss Jamaica Universe 2017, stopped off in South Florida on her way to compete in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas. The finals of the pageants will be held on Sunday, November 26.
The guest of Cheryl Levy, producer of the Miss Jamaica Diaspora Pageant, Davina was offered a brief tour of South Florida, including a visit to the City of Lauderhill, and a meeting with Jamaica’s Consul General to the Southern USA, Franz Hall.
“We work very closely with the Miss Universe Pageant in Jamaica,” explained Levy, “our winner will be going to Jamaica for the Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant.”
Crowned on August 26
Davina who stands at 5’ 9” was crowned Miss Jamaica Universe on August 26th at the grand coronation ceremony held at Kingston’s Pegasus Hotel.
She’s a former Pulse model who walked the runway of London Fashion Week, and a 2nd year marketing student at the University of the West Indies. She told CNW she entered the Jamaican contest as she felt ‘unaccomplished,’ and wanted to “reach a wider platform.”
Davina sports a 70’s style afro. She said, she didn’t plan the hair style but after her grandmother passed she had cut her hair and decided to let it go Afro. “It has become my greatest asset. I’m just gonna keep growing it.” She said she is trying to “empower other females to embrace their natural hair.”
Davina admitted being very excited to represent Jamaica in the Miss Universe pageant. “It’s a new adventure, definitely one of the biggest impacts in my life. I’m a bit nervous. but nerves are good,” she said with confidence.
She prepared hard for the Miss Jamaica, and continues doing so for the Miss Universe pageant. This includes plenty gym time, speech training, sleepless nights… talking and motivating herself with her personal mantra, “just finish; execute and finish.”
Advocate for the deaf
She has adopted the mission to provide a platform for the deaf. She has been touring Jamaica promote the Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf to “bring awareness to the deaf by getting the exposure from the Miss Universe Pageant.”
She currently coaches Jamaica’s first deaf model, who was her inspiration behind starting a foundation to help the deaf “who need the opportunity, or someone, to stand up for them.”
Davina was born in Mitchell Town, Clarendon, and attended Clarendon College where she said she learned a lot of “core values and morals.”
Offering a message for the Jamaican Diaspora, Davina said, “Tell everybody to embrace themselves. Just be confident, know you’re worthy, you’re beautiful and you’re good enough.”
Jamaica has never won Miss Universe
In the Miss Universe pageant, Jamaica has secured 6 top ten finalists: Sandra Foster in 1989, Kimberley Mais in 1991, Nicole Haughton in 1999 and Christine Straw in 2004. Two of the six placed in the top five: Yendi Phillips was 1st Runner-up in 2010, and in 2014 Kaci Fennell placed 4th Runner-up.