PROFILE OF THE WEEK
By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine
She is demure, charming and simple. She brought warmth and sunshine to New York and she will definitely go a far way in making our world a better place. Ambika Ramraj, Miss Guyana 2018, has her priorities right. She carries herself well and is aware of the circumstances of her family, community and country. She is currently in Sanya, China, where she is competing for the Miss World crown.
Ambika was in New York recently. She took the opportunity to meet with the local community and was a judge in the Diwali Motorcade that was sponsored by the Divya Jyoti Association. Ambika walked in the Motorcade and remarked that it was a unique event that brought different cultures together.
Ambika was born in Georgetown in Guyana and the family moved to Eccles on the East Coast of Demerara. Her mom is Surujdai and her dad is Neendkumar Ramraj. He is the Director of Sports in Guyana. Ambika is the last in a family of six and she has a twin sister as well. The family was always into learning and took every opportunity to educate the children.
Ambika went to Starters Academy in Georgetown and then to St. Margaret’s and later to the Rama Krishna School in Kitty. Ambika did well in school and won a place at Queen’s College in 2010. She did her ‘A’ Levels at School of the Nations. Ambika liked French and Math and she thanks teachers Ms. Beckles and Mr. Hodayah Stewart for their mentorship. Ambika says that, “teachers are amazing. They have a passion to guide and help students and I am grateful to all of them.”
Ambika had her sights on higher education and she enrolled at the University of Guyana to pursue a degree in Environmental Science. She has just completed her first year there. Ideally, she would like to work in the field of psychology. How and why was she attracted to the beauty competition? Ambika explains that as a child she would watch the competition and she saw it as a chance for her to grow.
But she wasn’t sure as to how she should proceed. She approached Ms. Natasha Martindale for advice. Ms. Martindale holds the franchise for the Miss Guyana World. She told Ambika that the competition would open many doors for her. Ms. Martindale has seen young ladies move on to greater heights. She became a mentor, along with Mr. Hodayah Stewart, and Ambika has not looked back.
Ms. Martindale says that she is responsible for sending a Guyanese girl that is Miss World material. “I call it the heroes journey. There are many challenges and Miss Guyana has to rise up to them. I help to prepare them for the international arena so that they can do well,” she says.
The competition is not an easy one as the contestants must be skilled in talent and multi-media. They should also have inner presence and personality and be able to communicate effectively and be mentally strong. The 2018 competition will have participants from over 121 countries. Ms. Martindale and Ambika view the competition as much bigger than the individual. It is a journey that should not be seen in terms of material acquisition, says Ambika.
It is an opportunity to build relationships and to network. But it is to project Guyana as a beautiful country with vast opportunities and with warm and friendly peoples. Miss Guyana then is a life-changing opportunity. Ms. Martindale sums it up nicely when she says that the journey of a Miss Guyana is exciting. The secret is to present oneself with humility and simplicity; this is the basis of an iconic path.
Ambika is filled with optimism about her future prospects. Her sights are set on the Miss World crown. She would like to take her counseling project to the wider Caribbean and of course to complete her academic studies, including her Master’s Degree. Ms. Martindale has reinforced Ambika’s ambitions and goals. She said that Ambika has the talents to go far in life, to be a great humanitarian, and to win many accolades.
There is no doubt that Ambika Ramraj has the qualities to make a positive difference in society. She is a winner that will go on to change lives for the better. We are proud of her and we wish Ambika and her family all the best in the future.