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fairy-tale Pamela Uba on making the Black community proud and looking forward to Miss World

"The black community is proud, it is as if all these women who message me are wearing the crown too," Pamela says.

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Pamela Uba will represent Ireland at Miss World. Blue draped cocktail dress, €250

Pamela Uba will represent Ireland at Miss World. Blue draped cocktail dress, €250

Pamela Uba will represent Ireland at Miss World. Blue draped cocktail dress, €250

Beauty queen Pamela Uba sounds pure Galway down the phone.

Miss Ireland has pulled into a petrol station in Ashbourne, Co Meath to take my call after a busy day in the capital and she is brimming with excitement - the Miss World finals in Puerto Rico is just five days away.

Medical scientist Pamela says: “I will be there for three weeks and have like ten or eleven ball gowns and 40 dresses.

“I will do my hair and make-up myself every day, we all will, but I have learnt a lot of tips from all my Miss Ireland modelling. Charlotte Tilbury is my make-up sponsor,

“And we will be working non-stop and competing with each other but I want to make a lot of friends too.”

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Red slinky dress with gloves, €200

Red slinky dress with gloves, €200

Red slinky dress with gloves, €200

It may sound like a frivolous exercise in glamour but Ireland’s first black Miss Ireland, who spent the decade from 2004-2014 in direct provision, represents a changing Ireland, the championing of everybody who lives here.

Now a proud Irish citizen, she says: “The support has just been unreal from everyone.

“The Black community is proud, it is as if all these women who message me are wearing the crown too.

“My title is for everyone who felt they couldn’t be something, or do something, because of where they are from. Everyone is so supportive which is great, great feeling.

“I never thought this would be me, I mean I am a determined person, but this is like a fairytale come true.

“I am a medical scientist so this is very different to be in Miss World but I plan to just be myself, because that’s the advice from everyone. I will be posting every day from Miss World on my Instagram.”

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Pink party dress, €250

Pink party dress, €250

Pink party dress, €250

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Pamela wears clothes by another bright young woman, Dublin designer Ashley Byrne (26) who is ‘buzzing’ because her designs take centre stages on our Sunday World Sparkle shoot, with one of Ireland’s top celebrity photographers Evan Doherty.

Pamela says: “I just love the pink and white dress because it’s young, it’s modern and it’s edgy and the cut out at the cleavage is revealing without being too much, it’s just right. In fact, I am bringing the dress to Miss World and I look forward to wearing it.

Ashley worked as a hairdresser for years but discovered she loved making clothes when she couldn’t find anything she liked on the high-street.

“I bought a sewing machine. I was delighted, but it turns out I had bought a kid’s toy. That just shows how much I knew about sewing.

“When I got the correct machine, I was grateful that my aunty could teach me. I began to make outfits for myself.

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Gold gown, €200

Gold gown, €200

Gold gown, €200

“Now I’m the designer of Massive @ohmassive on Instagram. I use clothes as a way of self-expression. My designs are mainly made to order, and this gives me ability to meet the needs shapes, sizes, and styles. Generally, it would take between one to two weeks for a custom design.

“My goal for anyone who wears my label is that it makes them feel comfortable, empowered. I want them to flourish in their eye-catching, bespoke designs.”

  • INTERVIEW: CAOIMHE YOUNG
  • MODEL: PAMELA UBA
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: EVAN DOHERTY
  • CLOTHING: ASHLEYBYRNEX3@GMAIL.COM
  • INSTA: @OHMASSIVE_
  • JEWELLERY: FALLERS.IE, JEWELBOX.IE AND KARENMILLEN.COM
  • SHOES: COLMSHEEHYFASHIONFOOTWEAR.COM
  • MAKEUP: ALEXANDRA LUNGU FOR VANITYX MAKEUP (VANITYX.IE)
  • HAIR: EMMA THOMPSON FOR SALTED LOCKS BOUTIQUE HAIR (@SALTEDLOCKS)
  • SHOOT DIRECTOR: BRENDAN MARC SCULLY

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