Bermudian Enters Miss West Indies UK Pageant

May 10, 2016

Sherika Burgess — a 25-year-old Bermudian currently living in the United Kingdom — is representing the island by competing in the Mr and Miss West Indies Pageant UK.

Ms. Burgess attended the Berkeley Institute and is currently a student at Coventry University, studying a BA in English and teaching English as a Foreign Language.

“This degree allows me to do three things that I am passionate about, in this specific order: educating, travelling and modelling. Being in the UK has opened my mind to so many possibilities and has assisted in making me a more accepting and better person all around,” she said.

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“I am also a single parent; I have a one year old daughter named Aribella,” added Ms Burgess.

“I think it’s important to show my daughter that the world is hers and she can always follow her dreams, so even when I feel like giving up, I simply remember that I’m someone’s role model. She is my main motivation.

The Miss West Indies Pageant website describes the event by saying, “The pageant is about beauty with a purpose which is what we aim to show through every contestant in the Mr & Miss West Indies.

“It is organised and founded by a mother and daughter team, Fiona Hewitt and Trishana Fearon who is of Jamaican heritage and wants to use their pageant as a foundation which unites the different Caribbean heritages in the UK and the wider diaspora.”

Ms. Burgess’ profile on the website says, “Sherika is 25-years-old, representing the island of Bermuda. She currently studies at Coventry University and was placed top five in Rule the Runway UK 2016 and now wishes to be Miss West Indies.”

Other islands represented in the Mr and Miss West Indies Pageant UK include Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, St Lucia and Antigua.

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Comments (22)

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  1. aceboy says:

    We are not in the West Indies.

    We are not in the Caribbean.

    • Jalepeno Popper says:

      I think we (and they know that) but like many other competitions, sporting events, Caricom and even in business we included in the region because it makes the most sense. Would you rather the organizers leave us out of everything just to be 100% geographically correct? Get a life people!

      • sebring says:

        she might have a grand parent from the west indies ? many of us do ! Good luck Ms Burgess all the best.

    • smh says:

      Yawn…there’s a segment of Bermuda that REALLY wishes they could ignore the fact that MOST BLACK BERMUDIANS are culturally tied to the Caribbean by way of heritage. Physically, no we are not in the Caribbean. But culturally? We are one people. Get over it.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        We’re all ONE people to begin with…Africa!!

      • wahoo says:

        What would the Jamaican say if the Bermudian beat them? This could become very politically charged and possibly escalate… boycotts, protests maybe a press conference! Where would we be then?

    • PBanks says:

      Oh brother. Can’t wait for someone to request Ms Burgess gets disqualified because of geography (while ignoring the realities of cultural/sporting ties between Bermuda and its cousin islands to the south).

    • Renee Webb says:

      The Bahamas isn’t in the Caribbean, nor is Guyana but they are countries that are proud of their West Indian heritage and align themselves accordingly. Bermudians were taught that we are superior to West Indians and many, unfortunately, believe that lie.

      I wish you the best Ms. Burgess in your endeavour.

    • Expat says:

      Correct, you are not. You are so proud of your little island, but do not realize your hypocrisy in criticizing the way foreign dollars ARE Bermuda’s economy. How many cruise ships this week?

  2. Just the Tip says:

    I wish her all the best in every thing she is doing

  3. jim bob says:

    Wow! Thankfully we are not in the west indies so not directly representing Bermuda……. As the saying goes, Once you reach the bottom……..

  4. wahoo says:

    Okay but do the organizers know where Bermuda is? Good luck to you in this and your studies.

  5. Chris Famous says:

    So when Bermudians go off to compete in swimming events for Carita ( Caribbean/ West Indies)why is there no out cry?

    • Reality says:

      That along with the “carnival” next month. Smfh

      • PBanks says:

        Sadly there are a few people who decry the Carnival concept, saying it’s not ‘Bermudian’ or whatever.

  6. Good for you, Sherika. Represent yourself first, then your family. The rest FOLLOWS.Whoever does not appreciate that……. later for ‘em.
    Congratulations on you entering the beauty competition.

  7. Wait a minute says:

    So you’re telling me.

    She’s Bermudian, living in the UK, attempting to become Miss West Indies.

    Whether or not she wins, I always believe that a winner of such competition should be a native.

    How would some of you feel if a “foreigner” came to Bermuda and claimed Miss Bermuda? I’m sure a lot more of you would have something to say.

    Either or I wish her all the best in the competition!

    • I heart 441 says:

      I see your point, but its not a Miss UK, its a Miss UK of West Indian descent. I wouldn’t oppose a Miss Bermuda of Filipino descent.

    • Truth Teller says:

      One: It was the British themselves who placed us in the so called West Indies as we were part of that regional geographic grouping during the age of empire right up until the 1970′s or so.

      Two: the writer SMH is correct a very large number of black Bermudians trace their ancestry southward to that region.

      Three: Lest we forget we are associate members of CARICOM

      Four: a small number of white Bermudians also have family and other ties such as commercial ties to the region that go back in some cases centuries.

      I know some Anglos hate those facts outlined above but it is a reality.

  8. Hey, Sherika…. many of the negative comments you are receiving are from your true PAPER BERMUDIANS.They do not count.
    Later for them.
    They act like they do not appreciate our existence in our own country….so this is your stand…TERRIFIC!!!!!!
    WELL DONE!!!!

  9. aceboy says:

    Bermudaians should compete as BERMUDIANS not something we are not.

    I am involved and invested in the tourism industry. We have guests now that come here from New York and saying “We never knew Bermuda was so close, we always thought it was in the Caribbean.”

    I don’t care if your ansectors are from the Caribbean or Timbuk Two. I care about Bermuda and our tourism industry. Claiming these close ties to our *cousins* down south is HURTING our tourism business.

    If a Bermudian is competing they should compete as Bermudians, not from some other country.

    • PBanks says:

      “Sherika is 25-years-old, representing the island of Bermuda…”

      That should address that part of your worries.

      As far as the tourism angle, what does this pageant have to do with tourism? Is somebody going to look at a Bermudian contestant for Miss West Indies UK and be put off of considering Bermuda as a place to visit?

      There are several people posting here and on other forums who are quick and eager to trumpet Bermuda’s British heritage and connections, yet once the links to the Caribbean, particularly British West Indies, are raised when it comes to sports, education, hurricane relief, and yes, tourism-related aspects, the same people jump up to try and create a disconnect.

      Marketing the island as distinct from other countries to the south is one thing. Crying down something like this is another.