Shekinah Taderera - Miss Universe Australia 2022 Finalist Interview

Today we are catching up with Shekinah Taderera of Queensland, one of the 27 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2022.
Shekinah Taderera - Miss Universe Australia 2022 Finalist Interview
Photo by Jarrad Seng

Today we are catching up with Shekinah Taderera of Queensland, one of the 27 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2022.

So Shekinah, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi There my name is Shekinah; I am African Australian and currently live on the Gold Coast, where I focus on content creation and modeling. I was born in South Australia, yet, started travelling around Queensland with my parents as well as my 5 brothers and 3 sisters when I was very young.

I spent most of my schooling years being homeschooled which I absolutely love and am so grateful to my parents for encouraging us to pursue the interests and subjects which we were passionate about; mine were art and writing. I ended up graduating highschool in Far North Queensland which I now call my home now.

We all have motivations, mine usually around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?

I actually had a couple of friends participate in last year’s competition, and I remember at that time thinking, “I could never do this.” Though between then and now, I started a self-love journey where for the first time, I became committed to loving and accepting myself. February was my month for taking my skills and dreams seriously, and around that time, applications for MUA were happening too. I also felt especially driven to enter being Queer and African Australian. I grew up with hardly any representation, which created a lot of beliefs surrounding my ability, beauty, acceptance of my sexuality, and self-worth. I have 2 younger sisters, and I don’t want them or any other girls questioning if they fit in, so this was one of my biggest motivations.

As part of the program, you recently spent time in our hometown of the Gold Coast with the Village Roadshow team; what was the experience like?

I actually hadn’t spent time at the shows and theme parks we have here despite living here for the last 2.5 years. I really was feeling like a tourist during our trip, and I had an amazing time exploring with the girls and braving a few roller coasters.  The Village Roadshow team were especially accommodating and joyful wherever we went.

What would you say was the highlight of your trip?

I would have to say our Official Swimsuit Shoots; I light up when I get to see and encourage other girls to celebrate and love themselves. Everyone feeling their best selves all dressed up was so beautiful. Women supporting women is amazing to see in action, especially when we are often pitted against each other. I also had a blast during my own shooting, hanging upside down.

With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the program, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?

I would say that I’m a person who is very firm in her identity; being someone who battles with depression and anxiety and who is also ambitious, I’ve had to learn how to stand firm in myself and, even more than that, allow myself to feel. I’m very aware of other people around me, especially those who experience mental health challenges themselves. I believe this part of my story enables me to reach and speak to others.

Your next question comes from our current Miss Universe Australia, Daria Varlamova; in your opinion, what are the most essential qualities that a Miss Universe Australia embodies?

I would say self-awareness – we have the opportunity to be more kind, thoughtful and proactive when we are aware of our emotions, actions and character. When we can accept and acknowledge the good, bad and ugly, we are more open and accepting of others. A person who values awareness has the opportunity to have great influence.

Now travel is back on the cards; where is your favourite place to travel to?

Well, I am itching to visit my family in London and Zimbabwe. I briefly visited once in 2029 (just before COVID) and fell in love with connecting to my roots as well as the diversity and fashion. I also love and miss my family very much.

What is something people may find interesting about you?

I would love to do a stand-up comedy set at one point in my life, and some may doubt this vision as I am a person who laughs at her own jokes (unapologetically). Although I find humour is something which connects us all, it also brings forth laughter – the best cure to a sad or heavy heart.

Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?

I’m incredibly passionate about writing; it was my voice and way to mental freedom at my darkest times. And recently, it’s been my life saviour healing a broken heart. I am in the middle of writing two books – one on self-love and the other on depression. I believe these topics are so important and relevant, especially now.

Owen George
Owen George

Editor & Chief of Gold Coast Magazine is a lover of great coffee and sharing the stories of the people, places, and events that make the Gold Coast such a great city

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