Shakia Marine is the first runner-up in the 2019 edition of the Miss Ebony World pageant, and she was not surprised she got that far.
Shakia Marine, Miss Ebony World 1st runner-up
The beauty technician, representing the Federal Republic of Ghana, joined the contest because she likes what Miss Ebony World Organization sets out to do—for Black women.
“I like what they stand for—building women with leadership, bridging the gap between African and African American women, and embracing the African culture,” she said.
She’s learned so much about Africa, though she has never been to the continent. She’s however willing to learn more, especially about the origin of her ancestors.
But more importantly, Shakia needed a confidence booster. She said she had lost her confidence.
According to her, she had a baby in a toxic relationship where she drowned herself, yet felt like not good enough. She then shifted her attention to her baby at the expense of her career, happiness, and all that.
‘So the pageant put me back to focusing on myself—not like I lose focus on my child. I felt like what I do is also important, and I want to leave something for my child when I go on.”
Shakia has gone through a lot really.
She was survival of child sexual abuse and seeing the predator every day made her decide to help his other victims who are suffering in silence.
A mentorship program she undertook eventually set her on the path, especially as the young girls she talked to on speaking out revealed others girls going through sexual abuse silently.
“That broke my heart, and that was the first time I decided to do something about it in black communities, schools, and churches,” she said.
She plans to start a project—Breaking the Silence Moment—which her organization, Child Abuse Awareness, is anchoring.
According to her, a lot of families keep the child abuse secret because the perpetrator is a father or an uncle. And the victims suffer in silence, hiding behind a mask, becoming sad and depressed.
“I don’t think that’s fair to the victim,” she said, adding that she believes the hard experience she went through and that God bore her through convinces her God is using her as a testimony to help build others.
“I want to help people come out with some kind plan to help break the silence. It’s when they speak out they begin to heal. It was when I spoke out that I began to heal.”
She sees herself becoming a motivational speaker, in the long run, speaking to different age groups how they can move forward with their lives, and pursue their dreams.
Christelle Tsakou Founder/CEO Miss Ebony World Organization poses with the 1st runner-up Shakia Marine
(L-R) Hawa Ceesay crowned Miss Ebony World 2019, Director of Operation for Miss Ebony World Organization, Shakia Marine 1st runner-up
Her message to the Black world is: “We can manifest different things in different ways if we believe in ourselves.”
Miss Ebony World Pageant was founded in 2015 by Christelle Tsakou, to empower Africans and African American women globally.