Miss Seychelles contestant Falaine Dora loves the sea and everything that has to do with Seychelles' turquoise-coloured waters.
Dora, 18, comes from Les Mamelles, a district with some areas demarked as hotspots where drug traffickers are affecting members of the community. For this reason, Dora's project is geared towards young people using drugs.
SNA met with Dora to learn more her reasons for joining the Miss Seychelles beauty pageant.
SNA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
FD: I spent my childhood at La Louise and La Misere with my aunt and cousins because both my parents were working in Bahrain. The days with my aunt, my dad's sister, was filled with love and good memories. At 12, my parents came back and it was easy to adapt with my mum, who over the years had come on holiday many times. This was not the case with my dad, as I had never seen him before and we had only talked over the phone. With time we bonded and I have five other siblings.
SNA: What are your qualifications and what are you doing career wise?
FD: I went to school at Plaisance and after that joined the Maritime Training Academy. It was an easy choice because I love the sea and fishing -- well anything that has to do with the sea. I graduated in March after completing a course in Science and Laboratory.
I'm expected to join the Seychelles Fishing Authority where I will be working in the laboratory. However, this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life; it is only to get some experience. My aspiration is to join Seypec (Seychelles Petroleum Company) and work one of their tankers. I know this career is seen as male dominated, but I must admit that I was never discouraged during my training as my male colleagues were very supportive almost protective of me. I remember a two months attachment I did on Cousin island and it was a time I felt really safe.
SNA: What you encouraged you to join the pageant?
FD: I want to build up my self-confidence as this is something I lack. I see myself as a shy person.
SNA: Apart from work what are your interests?
FD: I love singing, which is not surprising growing up with cousins like Isham, Collin and Isis Rath who are well known on the local music scene. My favourite artist is French Christopher Maillet. I love his songs. I love Ralph Amesbury (local singer). I am not into the techno and ragga which young people tend to favour nowadays. I also enjoy athletics but sadly I had to stop because I was having health problems. Cooking Creole food is another thing I like doing. One dish I can cook all the time is grilled trevally (karang in Creole), with pawpaw chutney and a nice fish soup.
SNA: For this pageant what project will you be working on?
FD: Coming from a district being ravaged by drugs, my project will be about getting young people out of drugs. I know that this is not easy but if I can get one young person to stop using and go into rehabilitation, then reintegrated into the society, this will be a lifetime achievement.
I also want to support and mentor those who want to give up the drug habit. Of course, I will not be doing this alone and I will be approaching different individuals, as well as the Ministries of Education and Family Affairs to assist me.
SNA: What will you advise young women who are scared or not confident in joining pageants?
FD: They should not let others or what they say be a hindrance, sometimes people underestimate others. So young women should not be afraid if they feel they want to join a pageant, they should do so as we are also there to support each other.
SNA: What do you expect to gain from this experience?
FD: I want this experience to make me a better person, I want to be a better Falaine. I want to be a role model to my peers and to society in general.
SNA: If ever crowned what changes will you want to make to the society?
FD: One change I want to make is getting one young person to stop using drugs, to go into rehabilitation and get reintegrated into the society. I want my district, Les Mamelles, to be a better place. So I will continue with my project.