Miss Africa USA 2007: Delegate Sadia Noah of Gambia
From the Nation's capital.
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First published: September 30, 2007
I'm a first year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. I received my Master's degree last year from Virginia Commonwealth University, and my Bachelor's degree in 2004 from American University in Washington, DC. Many people would describe me as the sweet girl next door that always has a smile on her face. I love to make people laugh and spend time with close family and friends.
Below is Sadia Noah's UGPulse interview with UGPulse Beauty Editor, Pauline Long.
The 2007-2008 Miss Africa Scholarship Pageant Awards
Hi Sadia, and a warm welcome to UGPulse. Please tell us briefly about your background.
My background is a mixture of Gambian and Sierra Leonean. Although I was born in Washington DC, I spent part of my childhood between Banjul, Gambia and Freetown, Sierra Leone. Both of my parents were born in Gambia and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Being that my maternal grandmother was a trader, she often traveled between the two countries. The area that I grew up in D.C. was not the best and it was a struggle being that my mother raised me and my sister as a single parent, but we managed. That is one advantage of being from Africa; you learn how to get by on very little. My mother worked very hard at two jobs and she finally moved us to a better area in Maryland, where I currently live.
Miss Africa United States is a very prestigious title in deed. What was your main reason for
entering this contest?
I never even considered being in a beauty pageant before this, but I was encouraged by friends and family. Once I read more about it and did the preliminary round, I learned that pageants are about much more than just pretty girls that can walk across a stage. This pageant is about promoting the culture, education, beauty and intellect of African women. It is also a way to expose other nationalities to our culture, and for us to learn about each other's culture.
I believe you are patriotic judging by the fact that you have entered Miss Africa USA to represent
Gambia, what is it you love most about your country?
What I love most about Gambia is the beauty of it all. The country is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and the many languages are beautiful. Everyone is always smiling no matter what position they are in. I have always been a very positive person, and I like to be surrounded by positive people. The pleasant atmosphere in Gambia is like no other.
What book are you currently reading?
Being a law student, I am constantly reading. Although I do not get much time to read books for leisure purposes anymore, I have taken an interest in books on case law and contracts. You really learn a lot about how things in this country come into play by reading hundreds of cases regularly.
Some people can't do without their make-up; some can't do without their pets, what's the one
thing you would never do without?
My faith, I am a strong believer that I am in the position that I am in today because of my faith. God has blessed me in so many ways. I look at some of my peers and see where I could have ended up in life, and I thank God each day that he kept me on track and in the right path.
Africa as a continent has incredibly amazing attractions and I'm sure you have a favourite, do you
mind sharing with us?
I have not traveled to Africa as much as I would like to, but from the memories that I do have my favorite spot is simply on my grandmother's compound in Sierra Leone. It is not a tourist attraction or even a famous place, but it is just fun and relaxing. It is on a busy street in Fourah Bay, and just sitting on the front porch I can see everyone passing by, parades in front of her house during Christmas, cultural dancers on her street beating the bataas (drums), and the sweet smell of plantains and fresh baked bread in the morning. I am a very simple person, and simple things like that make me happy.
Describe to me in your very own words 'beauty in the eyes of an African woman'.
Every African woman sees beauty differently so I can't speak for everyone. As for myself, I see beauty as exuberating confidence. My eighty-five year old grandmother will wake up in the morning, wear her best lace, put on her Lady Marlene push up brazier, tie her head fine, and walk out of the door knowing that she looks good even at her age. That is confidence, and to me she is the most beautiful woman in the world.
How would you sell Africa as an ambassador to USA and the rest of the world?
I would just educate people about African culture and traditions. We are all guilty of believing some stereotypes that we hear about other cultures. If people don't know anything else about Africa except for what they hear and see on television, then that is what they are going to believe Africa is all about. And if we as Africans don't take the time to inform people about the beauty of Africa, then we are just as guilty as the people who only shown the negative stereotypes of Africa.
As a young intelligent, ambitious and hardworking woman what are your inspirations and what do
you aspire to be?
I am actually inspired by everyone. My family, friends, teachers, and even those who want to see me fail. I often compete with myself, which sounds kind of weird, but is true. If I think that something is impossible to attain, then I go for it! Right now for example, everyone is telling me that it is impossible to be in law school and become Miss Africa USA at the same time. I say, I am up for the challenge and I will conquer it! As for my aspirations, I am aspiring to be the first lawyer/ runway model/ legal university professor/ business owner/ charity organizer/ Miss Africa USA. It sounds like a lot, but I'm sure I can make it happen.
You obviously stand out but so are the rest of the delegates in the competition, so why do you
think you should be crowned Miss Africa United States?
I want to be crowned Miss Africa USA because I want to strongly promote education and healthcare awareness for African women. A lack of education among some African women is a factor that is holding us back from attaining our goals in life. I would like to use my title as a way to help women that are being deprived of furthering their education. I would also like the opportunity to make African women aware of prevention methods and healthcare options to stop the spread of disease in Africa. Being crowned Miss Africa USA would be an open door to address these issues and for me to get support from others that would like to join me in the movement.
Have you got any beauty tips you would like to share with UGPulse readers?
I would just suggest getting plenty to beauty sleep. It keeps your skin looking fresh and young. Even with me being in school and having to study long hours, I always make sure I get at least 8-9 hours of rest each night.
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First published: September 30, 2007
Pauline Long, UGPulse Beauty Editor, is a Kenyan based in the UK. She is the founder and CEO of Miss East Africa UK and Pol Management (a celebrity and events management company). She is also the co-founder of Miss West Africa. Her beauty pageant Miss East Africa UK helps raise funds and create awareness for the plight of the underprivileged East African children. Pauline is also the co-founder of Big 5 charity: a charity for the African girl child.
Pauline was born into a family of fashion designers with her mum being the pioneer and her role model. She acquired the desire and eyes for style from her mother who has been in the industry for just over forty years. During her late teens whilst living in Kenya, she worked in her mother's hairdressing salon and boutique. However her writing skills started off as a hobby in 2002 when she took time off work to become a fulltime mother and look after her two children. She soon took up the challenge of writing scripts which she hopes one day may turn into blockbuster movies or television dramas.
Currently, Pauline writes for various publications including Europe's leading African newspaper -Africa News and The African Channel. She's also part of the team publishing the new Karama Umuntu magazine. As a researcher and presenter for 601TV, Pauline presented for 601tv at the Alternative London Fashion Week in March, Europe's largest bridal show in April and in the same month she had one to one interviews on behalf of 601tv with various Ugandan top musicians including Bobi Wine, Blue 3*, Chagga, Nubian, Iryn, Buchaman, comedian Amarula family. This was when they toured the UK to perform at the Fire in the city gig.
You can find out more about Pauline and her work at: