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May 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Miss World Fiji first runner-up Koini Vakaloloma is to represent Fiji in the Miss World Pageant in China.
Miss World Fiji first runner-up Koini Vakaloloma is to represent Fiji in the Miss World Pageant in China.

Miss World Fiji first runner-up Koini Vakaloloma will be replacing Torika Watters to the Miss World Pageant in China in August.

The 24-year-old confirmed she had received a contract and has agreed and is ready to represent the country.

“The change is done because of the age criteria whereby Torika will be eligible next year,” she said.

The Miss World age criterion is that contestants should be between 17 to 24 years of age and Torika turns 17 next year.

Vakaloloma said she was not sure if she would also get the Miss World Fiji title.

Fiji born and of Gujurati/French mix, she speaks several Fijian dialects and was adopted by an i-Taukei family after her birth.

Apart from advocating mental health issues, the professional photographer said there are other issues like child abuse, child rights, human rights and problems facing youths that needs to be addressed.

The youth and mental health activist said she is honoured and humbled to represent Fiji.

To her, the pageant is not about the beauty or the crown but how she carries Fiji and her message.

“Being an ambassador for your country is not an easy task but it comes with responsibilities and more sacrifice.”

Vakaloloma urged young girls to take part in little events like modelling and festivals to boost their confidence and reveal their talents.

“Young people in Fiji have a lot of talent that needs to be tapped but it is the individual that is afraid to take up the challenge.”

Vakaloloma is passionate about her work and hopes to meet new friends at the pageant and also promote Fiji to the world.

Vakaloloma will be accompanied by the 12 finalists from the Miss World Fiji and will leave the country in July for the pageant in August.

By Ropate Valemei

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