19-year-old Miss Kappa Gaoma from Rigo in Central Province is not just another pretty face on the catwalk but rather, a young vibrant and confident leader in the making as well.
The Rigo beauty who recently took out the Miss Divine Word University crown last month says she does not take beauty pageants as just platforms for beauty, fame and fashion alone however sees these platforms as tools for creating change within communities.
The first year Communication Arts (Journalism) student said initially, she had no intention of contesting in the pageant as she admitted to having zero experience around fashion and pageants however upon the continuous advise and backing of her department leaders, she decided to enter the pageant.
The freshman student said she has always been passionate about leadership even before coming to university and it was this coupled with her outspoken personality that convinced her department leaders that she would be the best person to represent their department at the Miss DWU pageant.
“Although I am originally from Rigo, I was born and raised in Lae, Morobe Province and while growing up, leadership was always something that I was most passionate about.”
“Before coming to DWU, I was in positions where I had the opportunity to lead young people especially children as I was a part of the leadership team of junior musicians at my local church, the Lae Cassowary Road United Church.”
“I was also part of a Youth Movement that protested against deep sea tail mining waste disposal at the Waffi Golpu mine in 2020 and last year, I was the Female President of Lae Secondary School.”
“In all of these experiences, I led in front of children and mostly youths my age but taking part in the DWU pageant to me meant that I could now have a much wider audience and a larger platform to exercise my leadership experience and it also gives me the opportunity to address issues on campus,” said the recently crowned Miss DWU.
Miss Gaoma said her first few months at Divine Word University have been very eventful as she has had the opportunity to do many activities within her department such as hosting coffee nights, taking part in the Environmental Day celebrations and also helping out in all other activities organized by the department.
Young Gaoma also said that although taking part in the pageant was something that was totally out of her comfort zone, what finally convinced her to enter the pageant was knowing the fact that she could use her voice on the platform to address important issues affecting students not just within the DWU community but also, young people in the wider Madang community as well.
“Our university is located in a notorious region in Madang but having this title as Miss DWU does not restrict me to the confines of this university as I can use this platform to venture further out into the communities as well to address issues affecting our young people of Madang as a whole,” Miss Gaoma said.
Miss Gaoma said that she is looking forward to working well with the DWU SRC team and the university as a whole in ensuring that she contributes to nation building through regular interactions with surrounding communities.
“I hope that during my time here in Madang, I can do as much as I can to invest in youths and help to build the next leaders of Madang because as a visiting student, I will stay here only for a short while and will go away.”
“Young people will be the next leaders of Madang in the next decade or so and it is my desire to invest in them while I am here,” Miss Gaoma said.
The Rigo lass said she continues to draw inspiration and strength from her father who is a lecturer at the University of Technology in Lae as he is a true role model of what one can achieve when one has clear visions and a mission in life.
Miss Gaoma also said she now looks at pageants in a whole new light and is looking forward to taking on the next one which is the upcoming Mr & Miss Madang Pageant.
“It’s not just about wearing fancy dresses and showing a pretty face on the catwalk but it’s more about finding ways to add value to these events by using them as platforms for creating change,” she said.
The Mr & Miss Madang Pageant will be taking place from the 26th-27th of August at the Madang Resort where more than 6 hopefuls will be vying for the Mr & Miss Madang titles.