Pamela Uba: The Nigerian Dream Image


*Now First Ever Black Miss Ireland


The story of Miss Pamela Uba is one of many that takes Nigeria away from being seen as a haven of the absurd. From relative obscurity, she’s risen to make a name for both herself and her Nigerian heritage as she makes history in becoming the first black woman to win the Miss Ireland beauty pageant since inception over seven decades ago.
Born in South Africa to Nigerian parents in 1996, she however, relocated to Ireland at seven principally because life had taken a turn down the slope, placing the family on the verge of living on the street. In doing the needful, her mother decided to pack her bag and, along with her three children of which Pamela is the eldest, head to Ireland.
But it was a journey no one could have foretold would put her up as a history maker. Certainly not as they had to live on Direct Provision as asylum seeker, during which her mother received £9 a week for each of her three kids.They were in that position for a decade or so before things got better. Suffice that say that 19 years after arriving Ireland, she wrote her name in history as winner of the country’s 2021 beauty pageant. .
During her early days in Ireland, Pamela found education and sports as recipe for coping with asylum challenges. Little wonder she took to football while also pursuing her academic dreams. In no time at all, she bagged an early degree in medical science from the Galway University after which she went for a Masters in Clinical Chemistry at the Trinity College, Dublin.
Described as a black Irish scientist with Nigerian parents, Pamela came into pageantry without any runway experience as modeling was never part of her childhood dreams. She was working for Miss Galway competition bar when one of the judges actually thought she was one of the contestants. It was the judge that actually encouraged her to consider giving it a shot.
“The Miss Galway competition was taking place one night in the bar I worked at and one of the judges thought I was a contestant. I was like, ‘Wow do they actually think I’m able to do this?,” she says.
Pamela did in 2020 while still working as a frontline staff at the Galway University Hospital at the heat of the Covid-19. Remarkably, she emerged Miss Galway just over a year ago.
Apparently spurred on by the successful outcome, Pamela was encouraged on to take her chance with the Miss Ireland competition still a relative greenhorn. As she did over the regional Galway event, she outclassed seasoned runway competitors including the sensuous Viktoria Baklastova-Miss Sligo Town, blond beauties Alannah Pardy-Miss Kildare North and among others, Nicole Harron-MissDonegal
For her therefore, the crown represents a “…significant” moment for minorities in Ireland. This crown is not only mine. It’s for me and for the Irish people. The people in Ireland that feel they never belonged. It’s for them as well. It’s for all the little girls and boys that relate to me and my story.
“I’m the first and it feels amazing people are looking up to me and I never thought I’d be in that position,” she enthused.
The euphoria of the Miss Ireland’s crown is obviously still swirling around Pamela’s head. Unconsciously perhaps, on her tiny shoulders lies the little brush that will prove useful in giving her home country, Nigeria, some shine. In any case, she knows too well that she’s carrying her adopted country’s dream at the 70th Miss World pageant billed to take place on December 16, inside the magnificent Jose Miguel Agreto Coliseum, Puerto Rico. Her fairy tale lucky run so far may come to play one more time.

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