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By Sharmain Grainger
Some people pursue their aspirations for personal gains, but there are others who we might
Vena Mookram takes the spotlight as Miss World Guyana.
say are a bit selfless, since they embrace aspirations that are really intended to help others. An individual who could aptly be described as the latter, is the recently crowned Miss World Guyana, Vena Mookram.
During a recent interview, the soft-spoken but ever-smiling Mookram admitted that even days after winning the crown she still feels extremely excited. But she isn’t merely excited because she has claimed the coveted crown. Rather, she explained, that she feels more confident that she will be in a better position to advance her Beauty with a Purpose Project – ‘Promoting Physical Fitness and Nutrition in relation to the prevention of diabetes’.
On the evening of June 25th, 2017, at the Kingston, Georgetown Marriott Hotel, Mookram outshone nine competitors to claim the coveted Miss World Guyana crown. But even before she was crowned, Mookram was already a winner, having secured awards for the being Miss Multi-Media, Miss Photogenic and claiming the GTT People’s Choice Award. In fact, Mookram was happy to walk away with those awards, because she was sure that one of her competitors would have claimed the crown. “When they called my name I really did not expect it, but it was a really nice surprise anyway,” Mookram confessed.
The 18-year-old, whose infectious smile alone might have been enough to win her the crown, is really hopeful that her ‘victory’ would give her a bigger platform to help promote her Beauty with a Purpose Project, since she is convinced that many people do not even see the importance of making healthy choices as it relates to exercise and diet.
Mookram’s choice for this health-oriented project was really in her quest to amplify the issue of chronic non-communicable diseases with a particular focus on diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease in which an individual’s blood sugar level becomes too high. This occurs because the body’s insulin production is inadequate, or because the body does not respond properly to insulin, or both.
According to the World Health Organisation [WHO], the treatment of diabetes involves diet and physical activity along with lowering blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that can damage blood vessels. WHO has reported, too, that diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputations. A WHO report states that in 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose. Based on many later expert reports, the situation has not changed. Right here in Guyana, thousands of people continue to suffer annually from diabetes.
“Diabetes is a condition that has specifically affected my family,” said Mookram who claims to be
Sporting her crown, sash and signature infectious smile.
aware that the disease is one that also affects many other families too. It was for this reason, she said, that she has sought to help address its scourge by embracing measures to combat the prevalence of the preventable type of diabetes, while at the same time promoting how people can live healthy lives, even if there is no escaping its infiltration.
Aside from healthy eating, she had long recognised the importance of physical fitness, which essentially led to her becoming a fitness fanatic. Mookram is currently a member of the Extreme Fitness Gym located at Diamond, East Bank Demerara. Exercising for her has becoming an important feature of her life since, according to her, “it helps me not only to keep healthy, but it motivates me to get things done.”
Moreover, her aim is to encourage other people to become more involved in physical activities and healthy eating too, a move she believes will help to prevent the high rate of chronic diseases that the local health sector is faced with. She has moreover embraced the slogan “let’s get fit and healthy” for her project.
As part of the Project, she has been working closely with diabetic patients through the Youth Leaders in Diabetes, the youth arm of the Guyana Diabetic Association, and she also has plans bringing into being a Fitness Park in the Diamond community. An area has already been identified for this initiative, and Mookram said she has been in discussion with officials of the Grove/Diamond Neighbourhood Democratic Council on the way forward. Once approval is granted, she envisages sections of the completed Fitness Park outfitted with mechanisms to aid the process of fitness for both the young and the old.
“It is all coming together very well so far,” said Mookram of her project. She anticipates that by the end of August, things will be fully in place.
She has been getting the full support of family members, friends and the Franchise Holder of the Miss World Guyana Pageant, Ms Natasha Martindale, but in the realm of pageantry, there is no such thing as too much support.
“The entire Guyana has been supportive, people are constantly commenting and liking what I do [on social media] and I think that is extra motivation for me,” said Mookram.
Those desirous of lending additional support to Mookram during her journey as Miss World Guyana can write to firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting to do so.
Even as she works to take her project forward, Mookram has to simultaneously make preparations for yet another grand event, the ultimate intent of claiming the crown – that is, to represent Guyana on the international stage in China at the Miss World Pageant. According to reports, the 67th Miss World Competition, which will see Mookram representing Guyana, will be held in China on November 19, 2017.
She is currently very engrossed in preparatory activities, including a belly dancing routine. And since a sport and fitness segment will also be included, Mookram has been ensuring that she continues to make regular time for the gym, amidst her business schedule. Learning to better strut her 167-centimetre tall figure is also a big part of her preparation.
In fact in anticipation of the big pageant, Mookram has already designed her own outfits for the night of the grand finale, which she hopes will be brought to life by local designer, Quinton Pearson. And for those who are anxious to learn more about her outfits, well, Mookram intends to ensure that they are a surprise; perhaps as surprising as her entry into the Miss World Guyana Pageant.
Mookram is a proud past student of Queen’s College where she completed her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination before moving on to The Bishops’ High School to undertake the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). On the heels of completing CAPE, the aspiring Entrepreneur/Economist quietly applied to be a part of the Miss World Guyana Pageant.
No one, save her mother and sister, was aware of this move until the delegates were officially announced by the Miss World Guyana organisation.
Mookram’s fresh face has ever since been thrust into the pageantry limelight. But she remains the humble, kind-hearted person she has always been. Her favourite pastime is exercising, but she also enjoys travelling and reading. In fact, she has described herself as “a big Harry Potter Fan.”
According to Mookram, once she is done with the Miss World Pageant, she anticipates that she will continue to compete in some aspects. She, however, noted “my next competition probably won’t be a pageant, but I hope to participate in some kind of a fitness competition, because it is something I am passionate about and would like to do.”
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