King’s County Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, welcomed a baby girl on Christmas morning of 1997 named Tya Jané Ramey. A couple of months later, her mother returned to TT, and with the vibrant community of Five Rivers, raised a beautiful, all-rounded and eloquent young woman that is today our Miss World TT Representative. The beauty queen is a past student of Bishop Anstey High School East and today holds a certificate in Social Work. A five-year national athlete who continues to play volleyball has added basketball to her scope during her three years as a Social Work and Social Policy Minor student, at UWI St Augustine. Tya Jané continues to use her creative niche, through dance and music, specifically the saxophone, in her personal expression. Something that you may not know about her from first glance is that she likes barbering, and started a course to learn how to trim and fade hair. The WE mag team was graced by the presence of the six-foot-tall enchantress whose infectious smile warmed our hearts as she shared the story of her victory. Here is what she told us:
How does it feel to be crowned Miss World TT?
It’s surreal! It is a dream come true. I must admit that it only truly registered the morning after the crowning. I woke up, walked to the kitchen and was shocked at the bouquet of flowers sitting in a jar of water, with my sash, trophy and crown at its side. The reality of it all, broke my composure and I basked in the tears of joy that flowed right after. My 15-minute morning meditation was extended to almost an hour. I had so much to reflect on and to be thankful for. I feel so grateful to have shared the six-week developmental journey with nine beautiful and talented sisters. I am thankful that my hard work and efforts have been recognised and that God has granted me favour of not only the judges, but the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Tell us about your other successes in the different legs of the competition.
My dance and saxophone performance won me the Talent segment. The nurturing of my volleyball and basketball family, and the trainers at the Fitness Centre gym, all contributed to my first place success at the Fitness Challenge. I also made the top three for the Top Model and Most Photogenic competitions.
Why do you think people have a negative image of pageantry?
I understand why people would think of it as a cattle show. We have seen where physical features were the main factors of consideration in determining the winners of pageants. Each country or community may have their idiosyncratic idea of what perfect feminine qualities should look like, and women may have once desired and tried to fit into those unrealistic ideals. I am happy to say that we have evolved from that myopic approach, and have transcended the notions of pageantry from just being about vanity. The Miss World competition has sought to create a platform that truly represents the twenty-first century woman. It encompasses talent, fitness, patriotism, and beauty that goes beyond the surface and it facilitates the concept that women play an active role in society and are the front-runners for social change, represented in the form of Miss World’s ‘Beauty With a Purpose’ theme.
What have you learnt in preparing for the Miss World TT competition?
I expected to gain certain things when I advanced to the top 10 of the pageant; I predicted that I would have learnt how to walk like a pageant queen, the art of communication and perhaps etiquette. I didn’t anticipate the personal unveiling and intimate sharing that took place. Training with richard Young, an expert in the industry, proved to be one of the most edifying experiences during this journey. It challenged us (the contestants) to collectively tap into the concept of self and to excavate our appreciation of our Caribbean identity through storytelling; the convergence of content and form. This skill is not only going to allow me to reflect Trinidad and Tobago in the conversations I have, but may give me a unique and competitive edge at the international competition.
What problems did you face before entering the field of modelling/participating in the contest?
Months preceding the Miss World TT casting, I was preparing for the UWI intercampus games for volleyball and basketball. I had to sacrifice my first week of the games, that took place in Mona Jamaica, to fulfil my Miss World TT candidate duties. I missed out on sharing my team’s first victories, but was fortunate to get the opportunity to fly out (to Jamaica) to play in the final week.
What is your ultimate goal or biggest dream for your future?
Throughout my life, God has been revealing to me my purpose on this earth – To serve. Synonymous to the sinks and grooves of a key that is uniquely cut for a lock, so too were the circumstances of my life serendipitous and they manifested in a way that has led me to where I am today. The family I was born into, the community in which I was raised, the trauma which I experienced and the victories that I have won, were all intentional. My prayer is that I would fulfil God’s plan for my life, by creating an impact on the lives of others so that they might find restoration and empowerment.
Who is your role model?
I think the amazing women in my life, particularly my mother, have been such instrumental players in teaching me how to be strong, selfless, God-fearing and adaptable.
What are you looking forward to the most in representing Trinidad and Tobago on the international stage?
I am astonished at the stark personal development that has occurred in only six weeks. This pageant has challenged me to be the best version of myself and has shaped my holistic becoming. I could only imagine the growth that would take place in the next couple of months, and when I get to Thailand. Above all, this platform complements well with my passion for Social Work and Social Policy, and I am excited to be a part of helping to restore lives through my ‘Beauty With a Purpose’ project, and most importantly, showing the world what amazing things Trinidad and Tobago has to offer.