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Fiji Time: 6:20 PM on Tuesday 23 September

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Benji stays beautiful

Atasa Moceituba
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

THE quote "you're beautiful beyond measure" has been his source of inspiration and strength for the past 11 months.

For him the Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus Festival is not some kind of beauty pageant where contestants showcase and expose themselves.

Reigning Adi Senikau queen Benjamin Patel says the festival is about advocating the issues affecting the community.

He said having taken the title made him realise that he had a huge role to play not only to his community but to the nation as a whole.

"People criticised me because I'm partially disabled, I'm fat and I faced a lot of criticism from the community.

"Some said that I wasn't adequate enough to be the reigning queen because they want someone skinny and pretty and they didn't care whether I had the brains."

Mr Patel said being the reigning Adi Senikau queen was a privilege for him personally despite what he went through.

He said the contestants needed public support and deserve to be treated fairly.


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