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Never Limit Yourself

Joanna Ferguson
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  • 'Tear-gassed'
  • Islam
  • (taken from the Jamaica Observer website)

    Her Childhood dream

    Winning the Miss Clarendon title in the Festival Queen Competition in May 2005, was something 21-year-old Tameka Hill always dreamed since she was a little girl. "It was a very wonderful experience. It something I always wanted to do from a very young age," she said.

    Born and raised in the parish of Clarendon to Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Hill, she learnt to cherish the gift of life. She believed the world has a lot to offer, and that she should not limit herself. It was this philosophy that governed everything she sought to do throughout her life.

    Minor setback

    A very self-assured young woman, she said, "I was only mildly surprised when I won the competition. It's not that I doubted my abilities...I'm sure there were quite a number of persons who could have won. Contestants were surprised that I won."

    In fact, the Clarendon Queen, who is a second year print journalism student at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, said she had to learn the dance routines on the day of the competition, because she was never at the rehearsals. This apparent minor setback failed to discourage her. "I've never doubted my capabilities. I have every confidence in myself that I CAN succeed," she said.

    She said Tony Laing and Television Jamaica (TVJ) sports journalist, Dahlia Harris, had encouraged her to enter the competition. Yet, while this was so, nothing meant more to Hill than her family's support. Just hearing them chant, "Hail the queen," as she glided down the runway. "Just hearing them [her three brothers] behave 'boo too' [in a boisterous manner], made me feel so proud," she recalls chuckling.

    "I've always received the full support of my family. My father has always been proud of me in whatever capacity I am. [Conversely], my mother is pastor of the Four Paths City Mission Church [for about seven years]," so she was not very supportive of Tameka's desire to enter beauty pageants, and consequently, the Festival Queen Competition. "She never thought it proper for me to wear swim suits on stage." The young woman was undaunted, and went on to fulfill her childhood dream.

    This was a hindrance to Tameka's older sister, Deneisha Hill, who she said, "Got the wrong end of the stick as mother did not give her the opportunity to enter. My eldest sister, Bre'gette, had participate in several competitions of such nature, including wearing swim suits, [still] she always [only] came in the top 5 and top 3, so that when I did [win], they [both sisters] told me I fulfilled their childhood dream. Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns...and, through diligence and determination, you will surely succeed."

    The last of six children for both parents, the beauty queen was acknowledged for diligence throughout her seven years at the Clarendon College. Her performance in all her subject areas was commendable. At Clarendon College she was recognized as Student of the Year in 1998, receiving a number of trophies for her excellent work. In addition, the Sangsters Bookstore acknowledged her for outstanding performance throughout high school in English and English Literature.

    Motivational Speaker


    This young lady believes she has the power to influence and motivate people, to let them see the worth in themselves, and to strive for excellence. "I've given talks on building the [individual's] image [character], encouraging people to love themselves. I've always been a leader. I was president of the information technology society, and was involved in clubs and societies. I was also secretary of the United Nations Education, Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO)."

    Although a second year CARIMAC student, Hill remains uncertain of her career path. "I don't know what I want to be as yet. I want to create my own career. I want to be a woman of power, and as such, I plan to marry a man of power."

    Life's gifts
    An exuberant individual, Hill says she enjoys travelling and trying new foods. From a very early age she "believed it was very important for [her] to know and visit every parish in Jamaica, before travelling the world; this, she intended to finish "by the age of 25."

    She also said, "I plan to enter the Miss Jamaica Competition. She said she is certain her parents, siblings: Jermaine, Terrence, Bre'gette, Deneisha and Gary, and her boyfriend Devon, would be proud of her. "I want to milk every aspect of single life." She therefore plans to get married by age 26 or 27.

    "I believe that laughter does not only make the journey endurable or enjoyable, it makes it healthy. I think that, irrespective of what we are going through, God does not want us to be depressed and saddened; he wants us to go through it with a smile." Therefore the motivator encourages people to smile through the hard times, and "hope for the best."

    She said, "Life is unpredictable. I believe persons should take advantage of all life has to offer...take advantage of every opportunity the wind blows your way...ti make each day, each moment count."