First Miss Deaf Seychelles crowned


Shana David, first Miss Deaf SeychellesMiss David, a 24-year-old teacher of sign language, competed with four other contestants at the International Conference Centre on Sunday.
Making Dreams Come True was the theme chosen for the pageant, organised by the Association for People with Hearing Impairment.

Attending this first-time event were Minister for Community Development, Youth, Sports and Culture Vincent Meriton, principal secretary for Education Jeanne Simeon and sponsors.

Family and friends of the five competitors were there to give their support, as well as Miss Seychelles Islands 2008, Elena Angione.

Anita Gardner, the association’s chairperson, said the contest is organised internationally and is an initiative that helps to build confidence in young deaf women.

She said she was satisfied with the results of four months’ practice and congratulated the five contestants for their excellent work.

Mrs Gardner said she was also pleased with the support of families and friends, which helped to show the importance of the event.

Miss David, who was crowned by Miss Deaf South Africa 2008, Portia Oliver, received R5,000 as her first prize, and the other prizes will be presented later.

She will take part in the Miss Deaf World pageant on July 9 in Prague, Czech Republic.

A panel of five judges declared 21-year-old Mary Ah-Kon First Princess, while Miss Angione crowned Debra Dogley Second Princess.

Miss Ah-Kon received R3,000 and Miss Dogley R2,000, both from sponsor Cable & Wireless.

Miss David also received three other titles – Miss Photogenic, Miss Sympathy and Best Evening Wear.

She was judged Miss Sympathy by her four colleagues, a title equivalent to Miss Personality and used at the Miss Deaf World pageants.

Mr Meriton said the show was a demonstration of knowledge, determination and confidence, and he thanked the association for introducing such an initiative.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to people with hearing impairment and thanked all the sponsors for lending a hand in making the pageant a success.

He said R50,000 will be handed over towards publication of the sign language dictionary.

All five girls answered questions from the judges and were interpreted by Mrs Gardner.

The audience enjoyed dancing, mimes and songs by the competitors, and well-known artists such as Chico, Smash Kid and YF Crew also performed.

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