NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD Kesaia Waqanivere Kacilala, pictured below, is on top of the world after being selected to represent the country to the Miss International pageant to be held in Okinawa in Japan early next month.
Hailing from Moala Island in Lau, Kesaia won the right to represent Fiji at the recently held Miss International Fiji pageant which was held in conjunction with the Miss Earth Fiji contest in Suva two weeks ago.
The University of the South Pacific anthropology student did not expect to make such an impression at the pageant.
"I just joined the You and Me Talent Company for modelling but then they asked me to be a contestant for Miss International, they had a private judging and I was crowned last Saturday, surprisingly though!"
"I am doing this without any extensive modelling prior pageant experience," she humbly admits.
Just fresh out of school and being introduced to the worlsd via an international stage like this has this woman teetering on her heels.
Miss International is one of the four big world beauty queen contests that have a huge following around the globe. The other three are the Miss World, Miss Universe and the Miss Earth pageants.
"I am a bit scared as it's the first time in my life to represent Fiji in something like this and I am happy because I am representing the country and I will be taking Fiji's name to Japan," Kesaia says.
Through some good coaching on her stage performance and of course public speaking, Kesaia feels confident enough of representing her country on the world stage.
"One thing I would like to take with me is our culture. One good thing about Fiji it's a multiracial country and I will be showing and representing the many cultures we have, Fijian, Indian and others that we have. So I will be representing a whole lot of people," Kesaia says.
This Lauan girl is pretty determined to make her country proud and to represent the nation to the best of her capabilities.
"I do thank the Lord mighty God for giving me this opportunity and for You and Me Talent and my friends who have stood by me and for my family for supporting me through this," Kesaia says.
A very proud iTaukei, Kesaia also likes to acknowledge her paternal relatives from Nukuni Village in Ono-i-Lau and her maternal relatives from Tokalau in Kabara.
But there is no mistaking Kesaia as she is very level-headed and just like every other young woman has set her priorities and aims right.
"Yes, I am someone who you might say is just like every other girl. I do live a normal life and have no prior expectations of life apart from completing my studies before taking it from there
Kesaia is expected to leave at the end of this month with the Miss International pageant expected to start in Japan on October 1 and ending on October 24 with the crowning night.
She is fortunate enough to have the support of the country and she is expected to meet some staff of the Fiji Embassy in Japan who will be escorting as well as cheering for her while she is there.