This week, a young woman by the name of Pamela Uba made history in Ireland. At just 26 years old, she became the first Black woman to win the Miss Ireland pageant.
“It means so much to me,” Uba told the Irish Times.
“I am so grateful I can show girls that color is not something that holds you back and it doesn’t matter where you come from, the world is your oyster.”
To reach this moment, Uba has overcome a number of obstacles. Nineteen years ago, she came to Ireland with her parents and five other siblings as asylum seekers from South Africa. Growing up in the "direct-provision system," Uba helped guide her younger siblings while navigating a new country herself. Not to mention, she was tasked with filling out forms and sending letters during her family's asylum-seeking process. Fortunately, it all paid off in the end.
“I cried when I got my Irish passport," Uba said, according to the Irish Times.
Leading up to this incredible achievement, Uba has been working on the frontlines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Irish Times, Miss Ireland has earned a medical science degree and is on the verge of obtaining a master's in clinical chemistry. Currently, she monitors the inflammatory process of COVID-19 patients at Galway University Hospital.
“Those results determined how serious the infection was in people,” Uba explained to the Irish Times.
Moving forward, Uba will continue to help Ireland fight off the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she will need to take some time off to attend the Miss World Festival in December.
“I can’t even describe how excited I am to represent my country on such a huge platform. I can’t wait," she said about her upcoming trip to Puerto Rico.