Fiji Time: 5:52 PM on Wednesday 22 November

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Sheryl recounts pageant experience

Matilda Simmons
Sunday, September 10, 2017

IT'S not always easy taking part in public events, in this case, beauty pageants. Just ask former Miss India Fiji contestant Sheryl Kumar. The Suva beauty was only 20 years old when she competed for the Miss India Fiji crown in 2012.

"I had no idea what I was doing," she laughs, recalling the event.

"This bunch of people had walked up to me while I was a student at USP and convinced me to sign up for the audition. It was nerve-racking but I managed to overcome my shyness."

At the time, she told this newspaper, she had once lost confidence in her herself but it was the support from family and friends that came through for her.

"These events can either make or break you and I chose the latter. It was a learning process."

Sheryl went on to win the crown beating nine contestants.

It was an experience that would prove vital in building up her character. Her story was on the front page of The Fiji Times on this day in 2012.

"My mind straightaway went to those days that weren't my best. Every girl has her own down days and I am no different," the now 25-year-old said.

"Then, I didn't think I would make it through life, let alone take part and win the Miss India Fiji Pageant. I am blessed to have come this far and I couldn't have done it without my friends, my family and even those people that passed me on the road with a smile or a bula — they all deserve a mention in this win. They have played a part in building my confidence."

Sheryl represented Fiji at the Miss India Worldwide pageant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that year. She would become the last contestant since 2012 to represent Fiji at the international event. After a lapse of five years, organisers of Miss India Fiji had decided to revive the pageant and have started audition calls for local girls this year.

"My advice to girls interested in joining is to enjoy the experience," said Sheryl, who works as an auditor at the Fiji Revenue & Customs Service.

"Win or lose, make sure to enjoy the fun, the camaraderie among the girls and most of all build up your character."

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