TheBahamasWeekly.com randomly selected 10 Bahamians to canvas their opinions on highlights of The Bahamas in the year 2012, as well as ask about the upcoming 40th year of independence for The Bahamas, and the direction of the country. It is their way of highlighting Bahamians in the community, as well as share a wide variety of opinions. Their ninth feature was with Miss Universe Bahamas 2012, Celeste Marshall.
It was a great interview. Her popularity soared to new heights during the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant as she appeared in several NBC television commercials run in over 120 countries and throughout the international media as a top contender for the crown with her campaign #followthecrown.
1) What event do you feel was the most important for The Bahamas in 2012?
The Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Bahamas Women’s Suffrage Movement was the most important event in 2012 for The Bahamas to me. This is not only because I am a woman, but because it signifies the first time that women in this country were deemed equal to men. Since then, women have made great strides in government, politics, law, medicine, education and even sports. We have broken many barriers but still face many as well.
2) Who passed away this year that you feel will be ‘most missed’ and why?
The passing of Thomas A Robinson was a very sad event. I feel that he would be most missed. The impact that Mr. Robinson had on our world of sports and youth development with his trailblazing as an athlete set the bar high for others to aspire to. The development of the National Stadium and his constant efforts to advance national athletic programs have both illuminated the international spotlight upon us contributing to the success of several Bahamian Olympic successes, especially in recent years.
3) Who was the ‘most inspirational / influential Bahamian’ in 2012 and why?
His journey from humble beginnings in Cat Island to the pinnacle of the entertainment industry as winner of the National Academy of Motion Pictures Oscar Award for Best Actor makes Sir Sidney Poitier the most impactful, inspirational and influential person of 2012. As a native son of The Bahamas, he has continued to represent the country proudly and demonstrate that where there is no road, you can cut your own path to success. Most memorable would be his humility, pride and patriotism as he welcomed his family, friends and international celebrities to the renaming of the Paradise Island Bridge in his honor. Truly Sir Sidney Poitier is the measure of an influential man.
5) What/who do you feel is a Bahamian National Treasure and why?
I feel that the role of Miss Bahamas is a National Treasure. Each year an intelligent, poised, attractive, young woman is selected to represent our country in front of over six million viewers at the Miss Universe and Miss World competitions. In those weeks, as Miss Bahamas we have an opportunity to share our culture, development, educational standards, concept of beauty and our tourism product with the world. It is a title to be respected, supported, revered and promoted. I am humbled to represent my country and wear the crown of Miss Universe Bahamas before our children, in my community among my fellow Bahamians and on the world stage like many who have done it well before me.
6) Looking forward, where do you feel the country still needs to improve and why?
One of the keys to building a great nation and our economic, political, spiritual and social progress over the next 40 years is the empowerment of our children. We all bear the responsibility to positively impact our children, better educate them, serve as better moral examples, show them love and support as well as be more caring and compassionate. We must also be more diligent in our discipline. Society should be more focused on “training up a child on the way that he or she should go” so that 40 years from now we would see more development, growth, economic strides, genuine spirituality, less crime and more independent thinking leading to progress.
7) Is there an ‘unsung hero’ you feel should be recognize? If so, who and why?
An unsung hero in my life who never gets enough credit is my mother Lavette Marshall. Like many mothers, they seldom get an opportunity to receive the fruit of our sincere appreciation and praise for the work that they do inside and outside of the home. I want to take this opportunity to thank my mom for all that she continues to do for me, my father, my sisters and my entire family to make us better and stronger. She is a shining example of the woman I aspire to be.
8) Do you have a Personal Highlight for 2012?
The highlight of my personal and professional journey thus far as a pre-med student, beauty queen and international model would have to be both my participation in the Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as my trip to Nicaragua to model in the Operation Smiles Benefit and Fashion Show.
Along with Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes it was indeed a shining example of “Beauty with a purpose” as, I had the wonderful opportunity to raise funds and spend time with children who desperately needed reconstructive surgery to correct major birth defects and deformities. At both events, I served as an ambassador for my country, met people from all over the world and was reminded that with every experience comes lessons. With every lesson should come personal and spiritual growth. It was a blessing to appear in several TV commercials and articles that aired all over the world, and be reassured that with hard work, determination and support you can do anything that you put your mind to.
Celeste Marshall represented the nation well at the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas. Celeste appeared in 4 international TV and print Miss Universe campaigns which aired on NBC in over 120 countries. She was also featured by several blogs, newspapers and websites as an outstanding contender for the Crown. You can find videos, articles and photos of Celeste on her website www.celestem242.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.