Published On: Tue, Dec 18th, 2012

Miss Universe Curaçao With Impressive Presentation During ‘National Costume Show’ In Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV, USA – On December 14, Monifa Jansen, representing her country Curaçao during the ‘Miss Universe National Costume Show’, was one of the candidates which drew the most attention among the 89 competitors with her costume inspired by the flag of her country, an Eagle and the Carnival parades Curaçao is so popular for.

Curaçao Carnival and Miss Universe 

Carnival Queen and King elections, Carnival Music Festivals, indoor and street parties, and especially the Carnival parades, are without a doubt the island’s biggest cultural expressions. The Carnival season starts officially during the first weekend of January and lasts until Shrove Tuesday.

Multiculturalism

The island’s community consists of people originating from more than 50 countries who, as one large colorful family, unite to celebrate life in the most innovative ways. Monifa, as every “Yu di Kòrsou” (‘Child of Curaçao’), as Curacaoans call themselves,  was born and raised on the island and has lived Carnival in all its expressive forms.

The Eagle

The colorful bold ‘bald eagle’ symbolizes the evolution the new country is going through. Just as the eagle changes its feathers as it matures, Curaçao is also going through changes to confront new challenges it is facing as an autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom. As strong, decisive and dominant as an eagle, the country goes about its everyday business, not limiting itself for its size.

The Colors

The colors of this special eagle reflect the country’s national flag; the blue symbolizing the clear waters which surround the island and the year-round clear blue sky. The golden yellow symbolizes the tropical sun, and the white color, the salty foam left on the shores as the Caribbean Sea caresses the white sandy beaches.

Carnival Parades

The costume was inspired by the Carnival parades where more than one hundred groups, starting with primary school children parades, followed the Friday evening hereafter by the secondary schools parades, to finally reach the climax of the season during the Main Parade on Sunday and the Farewell Parade on Shrove Tuesday evening.

From east to west, Curaçao’s Carnival is the best!

Monifa Curaçao’s Cultural Ambassador

Monifa’s presentation without a doubt triggered the ones present at the show in Las Vegas, and the people who saw her on television, to one day experience Curaçao’s Carnival festivities. The beauty queen is in the States for the Miss Universe pageant as the cultural ambassador for her country.

More about Monifa Jansen

Monifa Joanne-Marie Jansen (born February 11, 1993, in Willemstad, Curacao) is a model, Miss Universe Curacao 2012 and hoping to fulfill one her lifelong dreams of becoming Miss Universe 2012.

Monifa is the younger of two sisters. Her father, a documentation officer in the shipping and oil movements department in the local refinery, and her mother, a former kinder garden teacher, are both born and raised on Curaçao, but their parents come from different parts of the world. From European, Asian and African descent, Monifa is already representing a great majority of the universe.

Sports have always meant a great deal to Monifa. From age 5 to 17, she's practiced ballet, volleyball, basketball, cycling, body shaping, swimming and track and field on a highly competitive level. With track being her favorite, she has dedicated up to 8 years of her life in this sport, earning the title of "Best sportswoman of the Dutch Caribbean" for three consecutive years. She has a total of 300 medals, and 45 trophies. In 2006, Monifa participated in "Mister Hercules and Miss Most Beautiful Body Shape", where she took home the ultimate title of "Miss Most Beautiful Body Shape", awarded by Mr. Olympia Ronny Coleman himself.

While practicing these sports, Monifa visited different countries to compete. Her visit to different countries had thought her different languages. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu, while she understands most of French and Portuguese. She's hoping to one day speak every language known to man.

One year ago, Monifa graduated from her high school, where she attended the Prepatory Scientific Education (Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs in Dutch). She was granted the student with the most accomplishments of her high school lifetime. Recently she started her studies in Law at the University of the Dutch Antilles. Not only does she want to become a lawyer, but she hopes to one day run for Prime-Minister of her country. She's always been fascinated by Argentina's former President Eva Peron.

From an early stage, Monifa has always been into entertaining. She's participated in many pageants and shows, both locally and internationally. But in 2011, she was about to accomplish one of her life's biggest achievements. She had entered the Miss Universe Curaçao 2011 pageant. On April 2nd, she was crowned Curacao's most beautiful woman, along with the prizes of "Best Body", "Miss Personality" and "Miss Critical Beauty", a special award selected by pageant experts from all over the world. She had earned the right to represent her country in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant, held in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Nearly a month after her election, on April 30, 2011, she received the disturbing news that she would not be able to compete due to circumstances regarding her birth day. According to the Miss Universe Organization, she was 10 days over the limit, which made her un-eligible to represent her country in that respective year. The first runner-up, Ms. Evalina van Putten, was then assigned to fulfill Monifa's duties.

But Monifa's potentials had not gone unseen. Not long after receiving the news that she could not participate in Miss Universe 2011, she was asked to represent Curaçao in Miss World 2011 that would be held in London, GB. On November 6th, Ms. Ivian Sarcos from Venezuela came out number 1 from the 113 other participants. Monifa unfortunately did not place in the final 15.

In 2012, Monifa has been assigned as Curacao's representative in Miss Universe of that significant year, thus making her the 3rd woman of her country to participate in both pageants. The pageant is said to take place in December, but a specific date or venue has not been given yet.

In September of 2012, Monifa was asked to become the ambassador of the Cliniclowns Foundations, an organization that involves in humanitarian work, visiting hospitals and nursing homes to interact with the habitants. Coming from a humble background herself, Monifa understands and appreciates the values that she's been given, and she's honored that she's able to use them to better lives globally. One thing that she's always been serious about is to become an example for the children of less-fortunate families. She wishes one day to start her own foundation that helps kids get out of the darkness and into the light.

This is what she had to say about becoming the first celebrity Cliniclowns ambassador: "If you take a minute to look around you, you'll realize that everybody wants to mean something in life. That is only fair. But not everybody has the ability to get to their goals fast enough. It takes hard work and a lot of patience. The very two things that can break a person. I know because I was there. Me joining forces with the Cliniclowns Foundation means that I will not stop until my dream is reached. My dream is to help others find their meaning in life!" 

In her personal life, Monifa loves to practice sports and be around friends and family. One thing she does best is bring people together. She's hoping to one day add party planner to her resume. Her favorite past time is watching movies. As an aspiring actress, she claims that that's the best practice one can get. She would also like to continue with her career in modeling.

We asked Monifa: What does winning (or losing) Miss Universe means to you?

She answered: "I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to win. Having that as my goal makes me want to work harder every day. I'm not only representing my country, but also the children of the world that believe that their lives have no meaning. Me winning would prove them otherwise and give them the strength, hopefully with my assistance, to stand back up and try again! But I always say that one has to keep in mind that it is indeed a competition and that every contestant has their own reason why they would work even harder for the title. Ultimately, it's not just the title, but what you can do with it that makes it so attractive to the ones willing to fight for it. But losing isn't the word that I would use to describe not coming in first. Each and every one of the contestants is there because they were winners in their respective countries. And having the task to represent your country, as big or as small as it may be, is already a winning job. So as cliché as it may sound, I believe that, whatever the outcome, we are all winners, and together we proudly represent the universe."

Monifa's favorite quote: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Ghandi.

Reported by Ogeny Jansen / English version by F.I. Lourens for Caribseek News

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