A Black woman has won the Miss Ireland pageant.
I know what you’re thinking: “I didn’t even think there were Black people in Ireland.” Well, you’re wrong. There is a growing population of people of African descent in the country. According to BBC, Black people make up about 1.4 percent of the Ireland population and one has just won the top beauty pageant.
Pamela Uba, a 26-year-old medical scientist, made history as she has become the first black woman to be crowned Miss Ireland in the country since the pageant began in 1947.
“It means so much to me,” a delighted Uba says. “I am so grateful I can show girls that colour is not something that holds you back and it doesn’t matter where you come from, the world is your oyster,” She told IrishTimes.
Uba is a part-time model and healthcare worker. She worked on the frontlines during the pandemic, working at the Galway University Hospital monitoring the inflammatory process in patients who contracted Covid-19.
The intelligent beauty moved to Ireland as an asylum seeker from Johannesburg, in South Africa when she was seven.
“I remember thinking it was strange that I couldn’t hear gunshots when I arrived,” she says.
The eldest of six siblings, she grew up in the direct-provision system and is now a “very proud” Irish citizen. “I cried when I got my Irish passport.”
While she says she is proud to be Irish, she remains critical about failed systems in place throughout the country and racism.
“I am PROUD! I am BLACK! and I AM IRISH! I AM MISS IRELAND,” she passionately shared on social media.
Back in March 2020 when Uba was crowned Miss Galway she was subjected to racist trolls on social media.
“I’ve experienced racism, and it’s horrible to hear people telling me to go back to my country when I’ve worked so hard to make Ireland my home,” she says. It was Uba who sent letters to politicians and filled out forms during their family’s drawn-out asylum-seeking process. “We are all human, and we all deserve the same love and respect.”
Pamela completed her medical-science degree in Galway and has just finished her master’s in clinical chemistry at