Interview with Vânia Peti – Miss Guinea-Bissau Portugal 2018

Vânia Adelina Macedo Peti, 24 years old, is the Miss Guinea Bissau Portugal 2018. She lived in England for 5 years where she graduated in International Business and Management at University of Wolverhampton.

How did you feel when you were elected Miss Guinea-Bissau Portugal 2018?

At the Gala I was more worried about giving the performance because I knew that my family would be there , my friends and also that there would be people who did not know me but who would support me. So all I wanted was that the investment they made was worth it. The next day when I saw my crown and the messages that I received I knew it was real and only then I felt fulfilled.

What is it to be a Miss to you?

To be a Miss to me is to be true, I am Miss but I did not stop being Vânia. I still getting up in the morning to go to work, I know that now people recognise me more easily, but that does not make me feel famous or above anyone within the Guinean community, because when I entered the competition I wanted to get authentic and now I want people to see the strength of the Bissau-Guinean woman and change the perspective people have about “Misses” which just resumes in the beautiful face or the idea that “Misses” just want to be known in the community. I really want to change that mentality and achieve something personal.

What qualities do you consider a Miss should have?

A Miss should have posture, presence, and intelligence.

To have presence is not to be noticed but rather to arrive in a place and people feel comfortable and not feel intimidated. On the other hand I see more for the intellectual side because that is the difference between being just a model and participating in a beauty pageant. In a beauty pageant people are not only judging the physical aspect but also your knowledge.

What advice would you give to young people who also wants to participate in this type of event?

The first advice is to be dedicated, to be always on time on the activities, to show that you have willpower.

The other advice is that you have to pay attention to other competitors, and see it as a healthy competition. Check other competitors see how they can overcome the defects and analyse the quality that others have without criticising.

What was the most remarkable moment during the competition ?

The most remarkable moment was to see our unity. Even though we knew that only one could win, we were still united and giving feedback to each other.

As a Miss, what advice would you give to all Bissau-Guinean women?

Do not give up on your goals by giving excuses for not reach them.

Do you have any projects or are you planning to do any projects for our country?

Yes. Create a networking in Guinea-Bissau.

How do you think you can use this prize to contribute to Guinea Bissau?

Through my project which consists of working with young entrepreneurs and helping them to make their projects come true so that we can help each other in the diaspora.

Do you intend to visit Guinea-Bissau in the near future?

If I could, I’d go tomorrow. Unfortunately my mother is a single mother and could not afford to give me this privilege. Before I did not want to go alone, but now that I’m grown up and independent I can work and go alone.

If you could dedicate this prize to someone who would it be?

To my mother, my godmother and all the women in my family. For supporting me and for being my strength. When I talk about representing Bissau-Guinean women I mean the women who are in my life. Because Bissau-Guinean mothers are not only mothers of a child. My mother is my mother, my cousin’s mother and everybody’s mother and I think this is one of the qualities of the Bissau-Guinean woman.

If you could leave a message to all Bissau-Guineans around the world what would you say?

Let’s unite more, let’s not let political, social and economic problems take away the joy and hope from achieving our goals. Because we have a lot of capacities we just can’t give up.

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