CROWN HEIGHTS: Ricketts, taking the first walk with her prestigious new title.
Poised, articulate, radiantly pretty and bursting with garrulous energy, Chereese Ricketts is the kind of girl every young man dreams of taking home to mom and dad. On Saturday night, the 25-year-old Belair High and University of Technology grad walked away with the title of Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2015, following a glitzy coronation show inside the Independence Village, during which she emerged early on as the odds-on favourite to win. By the end of the night, Ricketts (who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural Studies from UTech) copped sectional awards of Most Active in the Community and Most Culturally Aware, before going on to claim the prestigious crown. Here, TALLAWAH gives readers an up-close-and-personal glimpse of the new cultural ambassador and the girl who was born to be queen.
What are the titles of the books that have significantly made a difference in your life?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
Which of Jamaica’s National Heroes do you feel most drawn to?
Probably Marcus Garvey, because he really believed that when people are comfortable in their own skin they can do amazing things. And that’s something I also believe in. That sense of self truly empowers you.
You hail from central Jamaica. Mandeville, to be precise. What was it like growing up in your neck of the woods?
I would say I had a good life. I come from a fun and loving family, so I’ve had some good experiences growing up in Manchester to look back on. And that’s one of the reasons I’m interested in giving back to my parish.
What’s your philosophy on dating?
(Laughs) Just do it. I’m kidding. I have no comment.
Are there any health and beauty secrets you wish to share with readers?
Fluids. You can’t go wrong with fluids. Drink lots and lots of water.
How do you stay grounded and maintain a firm spiritual core?
My family is a big part of that. My father used to be the pastor at a church in Mandeville, so I can’t stray too far from that spiritual base. In my family I’ve always had the freedom to be me. I enjoy spending time where there is not too much noise. My personal space is very important to me.
During tonight’s Top Five Question-and-Answer you made an interesting point about “building Brand Jamaica by building heritage tourism”. Please elaborate.
I think that we have a good opportunity to develop environmental tourism here in Jamaica by developing our local heritage sites. I recommend that we explore ideas like introducing a cultural passport for kids to visit heritage sites around the island and introducing tourists more and more to the heritage aspect of our tourism product.
Do you have a favourite Bob Marley tune?
*She starts singing the lyrics to Redemption Song.
So, Architecture. How interesting.
Yes, architecture is all about life, because you have to consider everything – physics, the environment, technology and the list goes on and lon. I wanted to have a career in which I’d take a very holistic approach to work.
Complete this line: I’m a queen because…
…..I’m a daughter of the kind.