Earlier this year, Pamela Uba and Rehema Muthamia won Miss Ireland and Miss England respectively, but racism and online hate soon followed much as it did when Black women started to win the Miss America and Miss USA crowns..
Now though, the pair are teaming up during the United Kingdom’s Black History Month -- which is in October -- to clap back at the hate in the classiest way possible. British tabloid Metro reports the two held an Instagram Live event on Wednesday (October 27) to discuss what this month means to them and how they overcame online abuse.
“Black history month is a chance for us all to celebrate and share the rich heritage of various cultures, promoting understanding and diversity, ultimately breaking down the walls of fear and ignorance with knowledge, love and understanding,” said Uba, 26, who is a former asylum seeker and the first Black Miss Ireland in the pageant's 74-year history.
“It is a time where we not only celebrate the great work of those who came before us but also recognise what other Black people in our present time have and are achieving,” she added. “All I can say is that hurt people are the ones hurting people, and you shouldn’t let them break into your bubble and break you down.”
Both Uba and Muthamia are slated to travel to Puerto Rico next month to compete in the 70th Miss World. The winner will be crowned on December 16 and will receive $100,000 in prize money.
“I take this month to analyse my identity as a Black British African woman, and how I navigate myself through society,” Muthamia said, according to Metro. “As well as educating myself on the immense strength and great sacrifices that Black people have made through the trials and tribulations of the past, and an understanding of our present, in the hopes of bettering our future.”
Muthamia became Miss England after a history-making unanimous decision. She entered the contest after winning the title Miss Africa All Colours, a new category launched in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
RELATED: Miss Mississippi Asya Branch Crowned Miss USA 2020
She says she had to endure racial abuse but is standing up to those who criticize her.
“It’s honestly so disappointing and sad that racism continues to exist in this day and age but I choose to focus on the positives,” she told Metro.
Muthamia also says she wants to use her new title as a platform to help other women.
“I would have to say that the most difficult experience that I’ve had in life is having gone through an abusive relationship and it’s not something that people speak about, especially in young women – I am only 25,” she explained. “But having gone through a relationship that was abusive it helped me learn more about myself. I will now use this platform in Miss England, to help other women that maybe have been in my position.”