Ache Abrahams: From insecure teen to Miss World Trinidad and Tobago

Miss World TT Ache Abrahams, at the waterfront of the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, says her Yoruban name is an affirmation of her strength.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - JEFF K MAYERS
Miss World TT Ache Abrahams, at the waterfront of the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, says her Yoruban name is an affirmation of her strength. - JEFF K MAYERS

Miss World TT Ache (pronounced Ashay) Abrahams expects that a number of people may be having a problem with the pronunciation and spelling of her name, but she has come to terms with it.

"I used to be really embarrassed because of that. My first name has a Yoruban origin and it means 'so shall it be' similar to 'amen.' It's a word of affirmation. It also has a lot of metaphysical meaning and it is used in many cultures around the world. But to summarise it, it means 'authority and power.' So I found the might to enjoy it, to really embrace it, and it's almost like every time you say my name there's a prayer that you're saying," she told WMN.

Abrahams, 23, said her interest in the Miss World pageant was sparked when she realised, as the country's ambassador, she'd be able to make an impact and encourage positive change in society, especially when it comes to mental health.

"That is what stood out to me, because it's more than just appearance. Now, going forward, I am Miss TT. That is a privilege. It really is."

She recalled entering her first pageant, Miss Beauty Plus, at age 14. But, she said, she dropped out when her insecurities got the better of her.

"I didn't believe in myself and the pageant director came up to me and she said, 'You could have won.'"

Abrahams said she just couldn't picture herself winning, but now that she's been crowned Miss World TT she is embracing her 14-year-old self and letting her know that she's "the bomb."

Abrahams said one of her objectives when entering the Miss World pageant was to use it as a launching pad for her Safe Space project – a cause created with her 14-year-old self in mind, and as a way to support young people who feel the way she felt at that age.

"It was through my own journey to mental health recovery that I realised the importance of it, because it's easy to judge how I look, what my parents do or my confidence now, and not be aware of how I was feeling when I was a teenage girl. And as many of us have experienced, I'm sure, it's not easy for us in a world that we live in to feel that we aren't the prettiest, that we aren't the most popular and so many negative thoughts. For me, I've realised that I had to change that narrative within myself to be in the position that I am now, and I've successfully done that and I'm happy I've done that."

She said it's now her time to teach others to do the same and explained that the idea behind Safe Space is to help people to tap into their cognitive abilities, and help them focus on the functions of the mind, including how people feel and how they function in society.

"We use the aerobathon (a marathon effort of non-stop fitness fun) because tapping into your physical health has a direct impact on your mental health, so it was nice to get the community involved."

Ache Abrahams parades as Miss Maracas Valley at the Miss World TT 2022 pageant, National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port-of-Spain last Sunday. - ANGELO MARCELLE

Abrahams said one little girl who participated and won many of the activities on her own, was also one of her biggest supporters.

"Funny enough, there's a little girl who came with her mother to the aerobathon that I had in the La Seiva community. I promised her 'if I win the crown, I will come back and show you it.' Her mother told me the night of the pageant she kept asking, 'Mum, did she win? Did she win?'...this week I'll go up and she'll see the crown and maybe put it know that it's possible because we came from the same small community and she can do exactly what I did."

She said the thing about winning pageants is that young people, especially girls, tend to look up to you.

"I'm from Maracas Valley, and I can see their (young girls) eyes filled with hope that they can do it (be winners) too, and I'm encouraging them to try because it's an amazing opportunity."

She said she has had the privilege of visiting the Maracas Valley Police Youth Group and speaking to the young members about creating safe spaces for themselves, internally and externally.

"I spoke to them about mental health and building awareness. When I asked them, 'How do you tap into your mental health?' They were so aware and spoke about self love and caring for themselves. It was beautiful to hear them."

She said another thing that really stood out to her was the enthusiasm with which some of them asked her about her academic and professional life.

And although her achievement can sometimes get overwhelming, she is looking forward to all the upcoming events and the inevitable appearances she will be required to make on the international stage.

"We had a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) and they were telling me about the events that are coming up and the people I'm going to meet...It's honestly is an accomplishment for me and I'm excited about everything. I'm especially excited about going on the international stage because to represent TT as an ambassador. I want them to see what TT is about, more than just what's on the surface level."

She said she takes her responsibility of getting people to truly experience TT through her very seriously and she will be training her hardest to accomplish this.

"Hopefully I can go out there and do my best and show them what we have."


"Ache Abrahams: From insecure teen to Miss World Trinidad and Tobago"

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