GOAL ORIENTED: "I call this period of my life investing in sowing seeds," says the 24-year-old St. Mary native.
FROM overcoming financial challenges prior to finishing her tertiary education to copping the 2018 Miss Jamaica Festival Queen title to launching an eco/youth project with national impact, Ackera Gowie’s life has been filled with trials and triumphs. But now she’s stronger and wiser – and looking forward to all that life will send her way. In addition to working with the group initiative One Team JA, Gowie (who holds a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Public Sector Management from UWI Mona) is the manager for Digicel Rising Stars alum Diel, a budding fashionista and a single lady keeping her eyes on her goals.
TALLAWAH: How did the past year change your life?
Ackera Gowie: It was an absolutely amazing year. Before I entered Festival Queen, I was enrolled at UWI, and I was having some serious financial challenges, and I thought I wouldn’t get out of that situation. The opportunity came to enter the competition, and so I took up the challenge. I’m so glad I did. Taking home the crown to St. Mary was a huge honour because it had been 33 years since the parish last won it. I felt a bit of pressure, but the experience reassured me that you’re valuable and you can be successful regardless of your past struggles and challenges. You don’t have to be defined by your past.
TALLAWAH: You’re such a gorgeous girl. Have you ever considered entering Miss Jamaica World or Miss Jamaica Universe?
AG: When I won, so many people came up to me with that idea! It’s something I might consider, but it would have to be Miss Jamaica World (Laughs).
TALLAWAH: Congrats on the success of your first project, EcoMoney, which is concerned with boosting that entrepreneurial spirit in young people. What expansion plans do you have in mind for it?
AG: I plan to continue it; it’s a lucrative project idea. The idea is if we can equip our young people with the necessary skills and resources then Jamaica’s future will be in safe hands. It combines my three passions: young people, the economy and the environment.
TALLAWAH: Let me get nosy here. Is there a leading man to share your success?
AG: I’m single at the moment – and not looking (Laughs). I call this period investing in sowing seeds. Anything that will propel me to the next level.
TALLAWAH: What’s your advice for the new Miss Jamaica Festival Queen?
AG: I would tell her to take some time for herself and think about what she wants to do over the course of the year. Get a team together and partner with corporate brands. And just breathe and have fun. Enjoy every moment of it.