Kirtis Kassandra Malone The “World” is my stage!

By :- Janette Brin

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By proclaiming that the ‘world is my stage’, to some, may appear presumptuous or over confident.  But before you jump to that conclusion please allow me to explain:

It is said that nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity and one secret to a man’s success in life is to be ready for his opportunity when it comes; Proving then, that the journey of a thousand miles really begins with that first step.  It was my pleasure to step out on faith, on the journey - the journey of becoming Miss World British Virgin Islands!  This journey is responsible for boosting my confidence and has given me the assurance that a little girl from a small island also has the ability to make the world her stage. (Hallelujah!)

You may ask who is Kirtis Kassandra Malone?

She is a shy and reserved young lady who willingly allows her deep love for singing to push her in the limelight from time-to-time.  Having competed in a few pageants during her younger years Ms. Malone was all ‘pageant out’ and until 2013, resisted the urge and recommendation from others to enter any other pageants.  However, when the opportunity to represent her home as the first Miss World BVI after a 12 year hiatus knocked, she knew this was a once in a life time break that she was prepared for and would be too costly to have missed. “I knew this was going to be a great challenge, but I trusted the team and I also mustered up the confidence to trust that I had what it takes,” explained Ms. Malone.

She continued:  “After the Miss World BVI Committee disseminated the press release to the media, confirming the BVI’s participation at Miss World 2013 and that I was the selected representative, there was a backlash of some sort – simply because most people did not have an idea of who I was and why I was selected.  During that period I started to doubt myself and questioned my decision.  However, the support of the committee, my family, church family and friends kept me focused.  This was also a reminder that I should not allow the unforeseen to succeed as a barrier to my dream.”

On July 24th 2013, Kirtis Kassandra Malone was officially crowned, confirming her selection as Miss World British Virgin Islands 2013-2014.  By accepting the crown she was given the privilege to become an ambassador for her country, a champion for Autism Awareness – a cause she is passionate about, and the opportunity to represent the British Virgin Islands at the Miss World Pageant in Indonesia. She agrees that her life has never been the same since.

Under the “Beauty with a Purpose” banner, Miss World BVI was eager to begin her philanthropic endeavors, with a special focus on Autism Awareness.  She officially confirmed her partnership with the BVI Autism Centre at her coronation ceremony, where she immediately donated a check for $1,000 to the Centre, in partnership with LIME BVI.  As the official spokesperson for the BVI Autism Centre, she continues to raise awareness and garner support from the public and private sector, namely the Ministry of Education, Delta Petroleum, and First Bank Virgin Islands, who have all been supportive of this cause.  Kirtis is grateful for the opportunity to serve her community, especially children with special needs, which is why she has chosen to pursue a degree in Special Education.  She will tell you that this experience is humbling and is one of the most rewarding of her life so far. Kirtis plans to continue working as a volunteer with the Centre even after her reign.

Dreams do come true:

As the BVI’s official ambassador to Miss World, Kirtis had to travel to Bali, Indonesia for the 63rd Miss World Finals.  As a requirement, contestants arrived a month prior to the final show in order to participate in various preliminaries.  On September 1st Kirtis departed the territory for Indonesia, a journey she recalls as long and frightening, especially considering that was her first time travelling such distance on her own.  Upon landing in Bali, it was game on; the world media was present at the Airport ready to put each girl on the spot. 

There was no time to breathe as events were scheduled for that same evening and followed that pattern throughout the days leading up to the final show.  She remembers the preliminary process as grueling.  However, she said the fellowship of other contestants and the overwhelming hospitality of the Miss World Organization, along with the Indonesian people made it bearable.  “I missed home so badly, and would cry every time I thought about my family.  But I knew I was there for a reason and I had a job to do – the job of promoting Nature’s Little Secret to the rest of the world while competing to make my mark on the world stage.”

“On September 17, 2013 we gathered in a conference room of the Nusa Dua Convention Centre to hear the announcement of those who had advanced to the Live Talent Finals.”  Kirtis smiles as she remembered the moment; “I knew there was stiff competition as all the girls were outstanding in their talent presentations.  There was that voice of doubt again… ‘only 12 finalists will be chosen…’ followed by all the negative reasons why I will not be among the twelve.”  Convinced by doubt that she would not make the finals, Miss World explained that she became discouraged and was worried sick.  She really wanted to make the BVI proud and felt that talent, being one of the highlights of Miss World, would be a unique opportunity to do just that.  “I was overcome with joy when the announcer called my name!  I made it!” 

Kirtis also felt validated when she heard the applause from the other contestants, confirming their approval of her being a finalist.  She considers this achievement the highlight of her Miss World experience.  “My voice was finally going to be heard and my dream of singing on a world stage in front of a huge audience will finally come true.”  She paused, took a deep breath and with an expression that beamed confidence she said; “this is why we should always believe that dreams can never be bigger than God’s ability to make them come true.” Kirtis was placed 4th overall at the talent finals but had clearly made an impact far bigger that she could have imagined.  Her rendition of Alexandra Burke’s version of the classic Hallelujah had moved the audience, some to tears.  With such a powerful performance the crowd started cheering “Hallelujah, Hallelujah”… “After my performance my name had unofficially changed to Hallelujah.,” said Miss Malone.

Miss Malone (Hallelujah) was not crowned Miss World 2013, but she had done enough to leave a mark on the Miss World Organization and the millions of people around the world who viewed the coverage of the Miss World Finals.  At home she had accomplished her mission of showcasing BVI pride, and supporters and well-wishers showed their appreciation by voting for her as People’s Choice at which she was placed 7th out of 130+ countries.

When asked what message she would give to young people especially young girls, Hallelujah had this to say: “I want young girls to know that your present situation is not a reflection of who you are or where you must stay.  You can never have too big of a dream - because if you believe enough; God will make a way for you to achieve them.” She continued “In life there will always be distractions, but I challenge you to remain focused on your dreams and goals and I guarantee you that you will meet your destiny.”

Miss World British Virgin Islands 2013/2014 Kirtis Kassandra Malone has a bright future to look forward to.  She is currently working on completing her studies along with fulfilling her duties as Miss World BVI.  In addition, her music career is also getting off the ground; she is expected to release her first single in short order and is also a finalist in the 2014 Top 7@7 Talent Competition. 

Kirtis summed up her Miss World Experience as “the opportunity of a lifetime”. She jokingly explained, “although the journey to Indonesia was more than a thousand miles, because I stepped out on faith, I had a life changing experience, was able to promote my precious BVI and forged lasting friendships.”

Miss World BVI also believes that pageants, especially Miss World, provides young women with limitless opportunities to career paths, and impacts the lives of the less fortunate around the world through the acclaimed Beauty with a Purpose Foundation while boosting self-esteem and confidence.  Even with her powerful presence her humility still shines through as she remembered that her Miss World journey would not have been possible without the dedication and support of the Miss World BVI committee and her sponsors. 

CREDITS:

Miss World BVI was photographed by Kevon Richardson

Location: Scrub Island Resort, British Virgin Islands

Hair and Makeup: Phillip Krane Bernier

Stylist: Damion Christopher Grange

 

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