After an absence of over two decades, Seychelles will return to the Miss Universe pageant this year, represented by one of the island nation's experienced beauty queens, Gabriella Gonthier.
The 24-year-old was nominated as Seychelles' Miss Universe beauty queen by Telly's Modeling Agency after she won the Miss University Africa Tourism 2021 title. She was appointed on June 9 as Miss Universe Seychelles 2022 by the Miss Maurice Organisation.
With the appointment, Gonthier became the second Seychellois to represent the island nation at Miss Universe, an international pageant that celebrates women of all backgrounds, empowering them to achieve their goals. It was 27 years ago in 1995 that Maria Payet represented Seychelles for the first time at the pageant.
Gonthier told SNA that "being the second Seychellois to go to Miss Universe really shows that someone cannot tell me that the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon... Dreams do become a reality when you manifest. I am over the moon and I don't think that there are words to describe the emotion. I am humbled by this opportunity."
The 71st edition of the Miss Universe pageant is scheduled to be held later this year, with the location and date to be announced at a later date. Miss Universe 2021, Harnaaz Sandhu of India, will place the coveted crown on the head of her successor at the end of the competition.
Gonthier said that she has already started to physically and mentally prepare for the event.
"Mentally I am surrounding myself with very good energy that brings hope. My preparations are not just for me but also for my country. I will be in a better place to know the preparations for the pageant after I go to Mauritius next week. This is when things will kickstart," she added.
Her first official international trip expects to start end of June to Mauritius, Reunion Island - a French overseas department - in August, the United States in September and then Madagascar, for which dates still need to be confirmed.
The Miss Universe Seychelles 2022 contender holds an International Business degree and is currently working at the Department of Blue Economy as a senior monitoring and evaluation officer. With a great passion for modeling, she also enjoys advocacy, site-seeing, and photography.
The multi-talented beauty queen is not new to the pageantry world - in 2018, Gonthier was crowned Miss Regatta at the Seychelles Regatta event at Beau Vallon. Two years later, she took part in the Miss Seychelles pageant and won a prize for Best Creative Costume. Last year, Gonthier took part in the Miss University Africa pageant where she walked away with the Miss University Africa Tourism 2021 title.