The first Seychellois beauty queen to participate in Miss University Africa won the Best Video Presentation during the pageant on Saturday, December 2 in Nigeria.
Falaine Dora, the 19-year old contestant representing the island nation, felt that it was the simplicity of the video that contributed towards her getting the recognition.
"What a better way to show the beauty of Seychelles than through Bazaar Labrin? I did not expect to receive the award, but I felt so happy, honoured and excited," said Dora.
Bazaar Labrin is one of the most popular bazaars held in the country, attracting a lot of tourists as well as locals. It is held every Wednesday afternoon until late evening at the Beau Vallon beach, on the northern side of Mahe, the main island. One can buy local delicacies and dance to the Islanders' traditional rhythm 'moutia'.
The production of the 44-second video was done by two brothers from Paradise Media, Johnny and Roger Volcere.
"To be frank, we were not expecting to see the video voted as the best. Though we did not have much time, we made the best of what we had at hand and did a quality job," said Johnny Volcere, one of the co-owner of Paradise Media.
He explained that Dora approached them just a week before leaving for the pageant.
"As we didn't have much time, we did a lot of improvising, aiming at showing the beauty of Seychelles," said Johnny Volcere.
He continued by saying that "it goes to show that what we are producing in Seychelles is on an international standard."
Dora learnt about the pageant through her agent at Coral Model of Seychelles, Joelle Fabre.
Contrary to other beauty contests, this pageant puts emphasis on intelligence and education rather than on the looks of the contestants.
Founded in 2010, Miss University Africa is a non-bikini pageant committed to promoting and celebrating the beauty and innate potentials of female students on the African continent. Its overall goal is to discover intelligent young women, unify university students, youths in Africa and promote African culture.
"The competition itself was intense - very tiring. I even fell sick that I had to go to the hospital but most importantly I had lots of fun," said Dora, adding that it was a great experience having been in Nigeria and interacting with other contestants.
"I have gain lots of experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life - I will no longer take anything or anybody for granted. Miss University Africa has taught me values, respect, love and has helped shape me into the woman I wanted to be," said Dora.
The pageant also provides the winner with a platform, through the Miss University Africa Foundation, to discuss issues of vital social importance and find lasting solutions, reach out to the less privileged and provide assistance.
Participating in the pageant were 54 young ladies from all over Africa. The winner of this year's pageant, Lorriane Nadal, hailing from Mauritius, won $50,000 and a full scholarship to any African university. The first and second princesses were from Somalia and Nigeria, respectively.