Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sh.Mkubwa Exclusive! 1st runner-up Miss AfriCanada Fatema Pardhan Speaks Out for the First Time!

Fatema Pardhan recently took part in the 14th annual miss AfriCanada competition and I had to do a feature on this smart, intelligent and beautiful Tanzanian Lady.  I love everything she stands for and admire her a great deal. She is simply Fabulous!! 

Sh. Mkubwa: Please tell me a bit about yourself
Fatema:I am a student at the University of Toronto doing a specialist degree in pharmacology. I also work part time as a math tutor and a supervisor at University of Toronto Tele fund. I am going to graduate next year.
Sh. Mkubwa: Congratulations on being the first runner up on the Miss Afri Canada. Was this your first pageant?
Fatema: Thank you very much.  Yes it was my first pageant. It was an amazing experience. I met so many wonderful ladies who are so passionate about giving back and making a difference in our African community. The 14th annual miss AfriCanada  was however   my first and last pageant but I will be involved in the organizing for next year's show.

Sh. Mkubwa: How did you get into pageant and what made you get into it?

Fatema: I applied online with a brief bio and then they sent me a form. After I filled that out and sent it, I heard back that I was selected. The best part of the selection process is that there is on discrimination in terms of your race or body type. You apply online and get selected card might be your enthusiasm knowledge and determination.

The only reason I did the pageant was to raise awareness about the kanga project which is a UK based initiative that is in the process of accommodating 64 girls into a hostel where they can be educated and also learn life skills such as sewing agriculture and also play instruments. I have always been passionate about opening my own charity, either an educational institution or  a medical institution in Tanzania and after I graduate I will become a part time philanthropist but right now I want to help kanga project to fundraise 15,000 dollars

Sh. Mkubwa: What did you do to prepare for the Pageant?

Fatema: Well we had compulsory rehearsals every Sunday where we learned dance, runway and public speaking. In addition to that I practiced my cultural introduction and talent in front of my family and friends. Also I found it very helpful to record myself, so that I could adjust / correct my pitch, pronunciation and expressions

Sh. Mkubwa: What did you learn from this whole experience? Give us the dirt about backstage are their cat fights etc between these eloquent ladies when they are not on stage?     

Fatema: Oh my god! Backstage was constant adrenaline rush! I was contestant no. 2 so I had to be ready first all the time. I had my befriend Monika Patel backstage with me and honestly it is now that I realize how important it is to have someone so calm, collected and talented with you. She literally0 helped me change and did my hair three times and also rehearsed all my lines with me. I love her. I seriously don't know how models do it, it's so stressful.

Hahahaha honestly there is no backstage dirt. All contestants were very involved in getting themselves ready. We all coded very well and in fact once I get back we are all going to Niagara Falls for a weekend. I am so fond of the girls and I can't wait for all of us to hang out again Bonded not coded
And best friend not befriend

Sh. Mkubwa: Tell me about the amazing clothing you wore during the pageant.
Fatema :Ok so I wore four outfits: the first one was the dance outfit which was designed by Rahyma Awanife who is a Toronto based designer. The outfit was so colorful and playful. The second and third were my cultural introduction and talent outfit which my mother sent to me. They were custom made. The cultural introduction outfit was a sari with Tanzanian flag colours to signify my Indian heritage and Tanzania identity. The talent outfit was a kanga wwhich said "NANI KAMA MAMA" and this was very apt for my talent since it was a poem about my mother. The last outfit was the evening gown which was designed by Ashley McFarlane, owner of Asikere Afana and my outfit won the best evening gown prize. It was a very simple but sleek halter dress with a peplum waist.

Sh. Mkubwa: I think you are fabulous for having the courage to stand infront of so many people to express yourself. How do you manage that? What do you think of when you are talking of walking down runway?
Fatema: Thank you so much again. I have always been involved in extracurriculars that require public speaking so over the years I have gained confidence and honestly in the moment I am constantly thinking about my next move. When I was talking on stage I constantly looked at familiar faces (family and friends) because I had practiced so many times in front of them. Also the crowd was amazing!!!! They were constantly cheering us on and that definitely gives you a boost of confidence!!
Sh.Mkubwa:How did you feel when you were crowned 1st runner up for Miss Afri Canada 2012?
Fatema: It felt amazing!!! I felt very accomplished and at that point I realized that when you work hard, you will achieve.

Sh.Mkubwa: Being African, our parents have a different view on a lot of our choices, what did they think when you told them you wanted to get into pageantry?
Fatema: Initially my parents were not too happy about my decision but when I explained to them the reason then they were less hesitant. I knew that morally I was not doing anything wrong but culturally I was doing something very wrong. They are 100 percent supportive of my views on philanthropy and will be there when I need help with my project but they would appreciate for me to raise awareness about my cause in a different way next time.

Sh. Mkubwa: I know you are involved with charity work while you are studying, could you please tell us more about it?
Fatema: Yes, I am/was involved with multiple charities: ‘Orphan Sponsorship Program’, ‘Heart and Stroke Foundation and Plan's’ also ‘Because I Am A girl Foundation’. The most important to me is Orphan Sponsorship Program. It is a club at University of Toronto and I am the fundraising director for the academic year 2012-2013. Our goal is to fundraise about $65,000 to support 130 Orphans from all over the world. I am currently supporting a 10 year old girl in Kenya.

Sh.Mkubwa: What are the three favorite things in your closet?
Fatema: My three most favorite things in my closet are my black pair of leggings from Style Mint or TNA, my green and black Tie-Dye Maxi from Mendocino and my Chanel bag.

Sh. Mkubwa:What are your future plans?
Fatema: I am not sure about my long term future plans but right after I graduate, I want to commence my own charity and score an internship with a cosmetics company.

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