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Jul 5, 2019

Meet the Delegates for Miss Universe Belize 2019

At the Bliss this afternoon, eight delegates who made the cut to compete to represent Belize at Miss Universe Pageant were introduced and News Five was there. The line-up of beauties includes aspiring young ladies from here in the country as well as Belizeans living in the diaspora. Months of preparation will lead to the pageant which takes place on September sixth. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

About one year ago, the journey began for eleven delegates who vied for the title to represent the Jewel at the Miss Universe 2018 Pageant in Bangkok, Thailand. After several rounds of competition, Jenelli Frazer was chosen as the Belizean beauty to take the international stage. Today, a new set of confidently beautiful young Belizean women have been chosen to compete for the title and the crown. It’s nostalgic for Frazer, who was overwhelmed about the experience.


Jenelli Fraser

Jenelli Frazer, Miss Universe Belize 2018

“One of the things that was very important for me was letting them know, as soon as you’re revealed, whatever life you were living in the past; it is now over because you become a role model. And you want to be the next Miss Belize Universe and so it is really important that you conduct yourself in a respectable manner and respect people as well.  And I can see the excitement, but the fair as well because this is a big position. Like I mentioned in a previous interview, the weight is on your shoulder representing your country. But I trust and believe that they are excellent delegates and I can’t wait for you guys to see them.”


And within minutes, eight women from various backgrounds from across the country as well as the diaspora were revealed.  Meet the 2019 delegates for Miss Universe Belize title.


Destiny Wagner

Destiny Wagner, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019

“My name is Destiny Wagner. I am twenty-three years old and I am from Punta Gorda, Belize. I think I will make a fabulous Miss Universe Belize contestant because I love my country very much and I am very passionate about my community. I would like to use this as an opportunity to spread awareness about my country’s disparities such as mental health and child hunger. I was born and raised in Punta Gorda, Belize. I represent Barranco, I represent Cattle Landing and I represent Forest Homes. Wherever I go—and I travel a lot—I make sure I tell everybody that I am Belizean and I am a very proud Belizean.”


Aarti Sooknandan

Aarti Sooknandan, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019

“Hi everyone. My name is Aarti Sooknandan. I am twenty-four years old and I am so excited to be in the pageant right now. What I think makes me a good contestant is my passion for marketing. I am currently pursuing my MBA at Nova South-eastern University in Fort Lauderdale. I would like to represent the country of Belize because it is not only my home, where I was born and raised, but I believe that Belize is a place with so much good in it and I would love to be the person that puts those communities and those organizations that are already doing great things on the forefront.”


Rheann Smith

Rheann Smith, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019

“My name is Rheann Simone Smith and I decided to participate to show different young ladies that you don’t have to be the richest, with the lightest of skin, with the straightest of hair to be a beauty queen. Once you believe in yourself and you have that confidence, I believe that you should be able to do whatever it is that you set your mind to and that is what I’d like to show to all these young ladies.  Confidently beautiful to me means that you accept your insecurities, the things that you cannot change, and you feel good about yourself and you don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, how everyone looks and you just accept who you are.”


Tianney Lamb

Tianney Lamb, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019

“I’m not a pageant person, but what I like to say for people who are not a pageant person like myself is that you have to believe in yourself first. So that was what made we come on stage because I felt I had the courage enough to believe in myself and I felt as if this is something that I can do. You believe in yourself that much that you can push yourself to the limit and you could push yourself to persevere.”


Markeisha Young

Markeisha Young, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019

“I decided to join the pageant to prove to people that no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what background you have; as long as you know what you wanna do, you hold your head up high, remain humble while still being confident, then the sky’s the limit from there.  I believe that being on the international stage takes a lot of heart and a lot of strength. You have to be strong, you have to be emotionally ready for it, you have to know what you are going to represent.”


Vivian Magdaleno-Noralez

Vivian Magdaleno-Noralez, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019

“I am representing San Pedro; it has been three years since San Pedro has been on the Miss Belize stage, so I feel very honoured to be able to represent us once again. Not only do I feel honoured, it is a huge responsibility because I have a huge load on my back; a lot of weight to carry on my shoulders because I know my town, they love pageants and they have been looking forward to having a San Pedrana on stage again.”


While several of the delegates have experience in pageantry and working the catwalk, one specific delegate, twenty-six-year-old Destinee Arnold has represented Belize on the international stage, winning La Reina de la Costa Maya in 2013 and Miss Ethnic World. Now, that was over six years ago under the Queen of the Jewel franchise which is not recognized by the Miss Universe Organization. So, for Arnold to get an opportunity to represent the country at Miss Universe, she must compete in this national pageant. Here’s what she had to say.


Destinee Arnold

Destinee Arnold, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019

“Belize finally has the Miss Universe license and it would be my honour to be able to represent our beautiful country on that stage and take our pageantry in Belize to a different level.”


Duane Moody

“Now some people might say that you have an unfair advantage because you’ve represented the Jewel, as Miss Belize, in international pageants and have won those. So what would you say to that; that you have that unfair advantage?”


Destinee Arnold

“Well I do understand that everyone has an opinion and I represent that. But we have to understand that I put a lot of hard work, passion and dedication to pageantry; I am very serious about it. And if that is considered a disadvantage or an unfair advantage, then I am going to own up to that and say okay good, I am glad you’re recognizing the blood, sweat and tears that I have put into this.”


The pageant takes place on September sixth and the Belize City Civic Centre at eight p.m. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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