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Meet Miss Universe Barbados 2019 Delegate: Jillisa Gibson

by Karen Rollins Sep 5, 2019

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Over 80 contestants from around the world will compete in the upcoming 68th edition of the Miss Universe pageant, and attempt to win one of the most coveted international pageant titles.

Barbados’ search for its 2019 Miss Universe representative will come to an end on 7 September with a glamourous coronation ceremony at Hilton Barbados.

The delegates vying for the crown are; Alexandra, Hillary, Jillisa, Saffiyah, Beviny, Shanel, Kristen, Jeunessa, and Shaunice.

Yello has interviewed each contestant to discover more about them and to see why they feel they deserve to represent Barbados on a worldwide stage.


Name: Jillisa Gibson

Age: 22

Parish: St James

Describe yourself in three words:

Adventurous, wise and confident.

Do you have previous pageant experience?

No, this is my first pageant. I was browsing online, and I just decided to go and register.

I’d followed some of Miss Universe Barbados in the past. I saw that the ladies taking part were very confident and I wanted to help myself evolve as a person. I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

What have you been doing to prepare for the competition?

I’ve been practicing interview questions and philosophical questions to make me think deeper about myself.

I’ve also been doing lots of walking and people have been asking me if I’m a model!

What are you enjoying the most about the experience so far?

I’ve enjoyed the Q&A sessions with our trainer Sharon, who asks us life-based questions about who we are, and what we want to do with our lives, and it really makes you think and delve deep within yourself.

She’s helping us discover who we are, and when you discover that, you can help people in return.

Who has been your biggest supporter?

My mother.

When I have bad days, especially in the beginning when I would complain to her that I wasn’t able to walk properly, she would tell me not to give up, to keep trying, and eventually I would get it.

She told me not to overthink it, and just have fun, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from this MUB experience?

I’ve learned that vulnerability is important. Share your experiences with others because that can be inspiring.

For instance, when I tell people that I went to Italy in 2017 by myself for three weeks to teach English to refugees, they are so surprised, but then they ask me questions about it and they’re encouraged to do it as well.

Going to Italy must have been an amazing experience?

It was amazing because I got to travel.

I went to Rome and saw the Colosseum and I went to the beach at Positano (on the Amalfi Coast) and I got some beautiful lemon artefacts.

If you won the MUB title, how would you use the platform to help others?

I’d raise awareness in Barbados and around the world about the issue of refugees.

I’d also start a charity called Youth Empowerment where young women would be trained and given life skills, such as budgeting and how to look after their money, because you need those skills as well as an education.

How would you describe Barbados to someone that hasn’t been here?

Barbados is a beautiful island with sunny weather and beautiful beaches.

Our national dish is Cou Cou and flying fish and Bajan people also love to eat macaroni pie and chicken.

What do you personally love about Barbados?

I love the Bajan dialect. When you go overseas there’s no one else that speaks like us so when you come back here it’s comforting and reassuring to hear that.

What’s your motto / philosophy in life?

Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, to give you a hope and a future”. Those words help me to stay centered and focused.

If my thoughts go off track, I always remember this verse, and it gives me a sense of calm.

Visit the Miss Universe Barbados website or Facebook page for more information.