We caught up with the newly crowned Miss Universe Jamaica 2014, Kaci Fennell! She has already been the cover girl of a number Caribbean fashion and lifestyle magazines and has been a campaigning face for the runner-up of Project Runway Season 5 Korto Momolu‘s clothing line.
A glitter of wings could easily have her mistaken for a fairy–hopefully she flitters into the eyes and hearts of the rest of the world, as she has here at home.
In our interview with Kaci, we learn about her volunteerism, her bangin’ body secrets and a cool-headed winning strategy. Here’s our access with the easy and accomodating Kaci Fennell.
OAJ: Besides the pixie cut, what separates your from Jamaica’s past Miss Universe contenders?
KF: I wouldn’t necessarily say that we differ because we are all ambassadors for our home, brought up under the same culture. I love Jamaica as much as my predecessors and my pride and joy will always reside here. We are all uniquely beautiful and rightly so, that’s the only difference.
OAJ: How will you utilize your new ambassador status at home?
KF: I will definitely use my new title to bring awareness to children with special needs; I am hoping to raise the necessary finances for a scholarship fund to aid hopeful special education teachers, so we can have highly qualified individuals teaching our children. As well as raise funds for my #100mouthsamonth initiative where I feed the needy each month. Hoping to get to the level of success where I’d be able to have more than one feeding per month.
OAJ: At the mention of food, we hear you love to cook. What’s your go-to meal after a really long day? What’s your comfort food?
KF: My ultimate comfort food is a slice of warm apple pie and ice cream (apple pie a la mode). But I love salmon too. It’s so easy to make and doesn’t require much seasoning to really bring out the flavour because it is already so tasty in its natural state. Maple glazed Salmon with roasted sweet potato and a side of mixed greens…
OAJ: All this food…how do you keep so fit?!
KF: I am in the gym 5 days a week, try to drink at least 2 gallons of water a day and I eat well–no alcohol. I have been a vegetarian for over 9 months now. Don’t get me wrong, I have the ultimate sweet tooth, which I am sure helps me maintain my physique lol.
OAJ: How did you get into modeling? Were you discovered or did you always know you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
KF: I always wanted to work in the fashion industry no matter if I was behind the scenes or centre stage. I wanted to be in that world! I never thought I’d be tall enough to be a model but one summer I just stretched up and my parents were well and aware of me wanting to be a model so my dad contacted his rally friend/photographer and spoke about my hopes and dreams. He gave me a shot, organized a test shoot with Arlene Martin and Angelie Martin Spencer (Drenna Luna) and it has been history since.
OAJ: What were your fellow competitors like? Have you gained or lost any friends along the way?
KF: They were awesome!!! I never thought I would gain friends in a competition especially a beauty pageant but that is just because of “hear seh” but I definitely gained a few good friends 🙂 We all helped one another throughout the competition. Helpless, loving, caring and kind women.
OAJ: We know the details of the international competition have not yet been revealed, but have the jitters started?
KF: The only jitters I am feeling is anxiousness for the Miss Universe organization to reveal the host country. Other than that I am feeling quite fine, putting in the necessary work–so with preparation comes stability of nerves.
OAJ: What has changed in your life since you entered the competition and since you won?
KF: Everywhere I go people recognize me.. From the gym to the supermarket to the pharmacy…and before I didn’t have a car! Now I do thanks to Key Motors 🙂 But everything else is the same.
OAJ: What are your plans beyond pageantry and modelling?
KF: I am just taking it all in one day at a time, but beyond pageantry and modelling I am most looking forward to becoming a teacher.