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April Jackson is Miss Jamaica Universe 2008, But patrons angry with judges' decision

By Crazy Katty Writer


Mixed emotions ripped through the National Indoors Centre last Saturday night at the prestigious Miss Jamaica Universe 2008 when the judges announced Doneika Plowright as the first runner-up. When Ms. Plowright, who was the crowd’s favourite, was no longer in the position of going home with the crown tension brewed in the audience, especially after April Jackson was handed the crown by last years’ winner Zara Redwood.

The ever present Eurocentric and Afro-centric look again played on the emotions of the crowd, many of whom was biased towards the contestants they believed look more like a typical Jamaican woman.

With hostility lingering in the air, the team decided to get the opinion of some of the patrons.

According to Yvette, an avid fan of the competition: “mi did want the girl with the afro (Doneika Plowright) to win because it would be fitting for Zara Redwood to hand over the crown to her because she looks more like a Jamaican.” The angry patron went on to say, “Everytime a some long hair girl them give the crown,” she told

Another patron who gave her name as Lolita shared similar sentiments as Yvette. “The long hair girls them always winning, sometimes mi feel that the public votes don’t count. April is a nice black girl yes, but mi did want the afro hair girl fi represent Jamaica, she argued. eventually found someone who agreed with the judges’ decision. According to Germaine and his wife Ruby: “Most of the patrons here were just caught up with the girl afro hair instead of looking for quality and awareness. Come on, this is not how you judge contestants who are going to represent your country on an international platform. I personally believed that April Jackson is the right contestant to wear the crown.”

After such immense battle for the crown April Jackson will now enjoy the luxury that associates with being crowned Miss Jamaica Universe 2008. She won herself $1 million dollars courtesy of WorldWise Partners (title sponsors) - a $150,000 modeling contract with Pulse - a fully loaded BMW 120i hatch back courtesy of Stewart Motors - a fabulous Miss Universe wardrobe courtesy of Keandra Francis and Uzuri Fashion with accessories valued over at $100,000 courtesy of Bling Bling and a lifetime gym membership at Gymkhana with sports wear from Puma Jamaica collection.

Keep in tune as will bring you an exclusive interview with Miss Jamaica Universe 2008 April Jackson.


Comments (42)


Posted by Elice | April 13, 2008 9:18 PM

congratulation to you April, i think this is the best set of girls we have seen in along time. well with the patrons being angry that's a usual jamaican way of thinking by the next day them forget about it

sher sher:
Posted by sher sher | April 13, 2008 9:35 PM

i was at the event and i think she deserve to win it was either going to be between april or doneika there is no way that brown girl could have won she shouldn't even be in the top three

Posted by jasmine | April 13, 2008 9:52 PM

human being will change the will always be racism, i don't care who doesn't believe this it's remarks to say the girl should not have won because her hair is long, and what is surprising i can bet most those other girls in the audience who are saying this and that bet you any money that them hair original short but yet they put in fake hair to have their long, we are all women lets work together and stop the fighting

Posted by mad man | April 13, 2008 10:04 PM

Jamaica is slowly becoming a country full of bigots and racists

Posted by Prezzy | April 13, 2008 10:32 PM

According to Yvette, an avid fan of the competition: “mi did want the girl with the afro (Doneika Plowright) to win because it would be fitting for Sara Redwood to hand over the crown to her because she looks more like a Jamaican.” The angry patron went on to say, “Everytime a some long hair girl them give the crown,” she told

Haha so what youre saying is....Jamaicans dont have long hair?? Trying to fight "supposed" prejudice with bigger prejudice ...Ignorance to the 10th degree...

May the best man win....

Posted by Kirky | April 13, 2008 10:53 PM

you know what i can't understand if April Jackson is of dark complexion what would have happened if the brown girl had won, there would have been mayhem in the venue. it's time for us to put behind our old fashion of how a jamaican woman should look like

Posted by junglist | April 13, 2008 11:05 PM

I am not even going to get my self mix up in this crap of who should won. congrats girl i don't matter what colour you are or race i just wnat to know that you are an jamaican

Posted by tiga | April 13, 2008 11:42 PM

hey when yuh cna please jamaicans it's more than pleasing the world

mi angry:
Posted by mi angry | April 14, 2008 12:21 AM

i am not even going to talk about the show what I am more concerned about is the fact i spent my 4,000 for vip to watch keyshia cole and did not vene got to enjoyed the show because these unruly patrons who decided to bomb rush the stage that was not fare at all mi want back mi blastid money

Merfor Neque:
Posted by Merfor Neque | April 14, 2008 1:22 AM

We are completely loosing the plot regarding pageants these days.
Now it is total reverse racism.
In the 70's, 80's and early 90's, one almost had to have long hair and fair skin to win, now being light-skinned is a strike against you.
Even by the same people who were doing the selecting then.
Shouldn't we just be trying to win the international crown.
Think "international appeal"

Posted by shanita | April 14, 2008 2:43 AM




Posted by ricki-frass | April 14, 2008 9:01 AM

hail to the queen and stop the fussing and the fighting, if the people of jamaica decided who to win the competition then I would advise pulse to let them because them would of certainly select some really idiots fi represent Jamaica.

Congrats to April Jackson and please don't let voice of the negatives get you down

Posted by Den Den | April 14, 2008 11:25 AM

This is a competition not a place where we as black people find ourselves. This is not about culture it is beauty. If the international standards are brownings with long hair......tell mi waan black dry foot smaddy ago win. Stop trying to find yourselves in these competitions. This is only a competition dont take it

Posted by izzi | April 14, 2008 11:33 AM

the girl who win look good oh god!!
ok the brown girl look nice too.....but ....watz the fuss??

unnu ppl love fi argue fi every ting.......and a*soles like nikki -z and wh*rin dangel dem
a spread propaganda in the streets pon the nice girl.......true dem could a neva walk inna her shoes.......april 'big up"

brownin wid tall hair:
Posted by brownin wid tall hair | April 14, 2008 12:11 PM

They are all winners.Im a brownin with long permed hair and if we are focusing on beauty then I feel Doneika Plowright should win I mean look at that face.That is beuatiful young girl.And her hair look damn good if you ask me.

key key:
Posted by key key | April 18, 2008 2:44 PM

yow the girl educated bad for a 19 years old and evidently she can handle interviews very well.
congrats young one.

Kimber Watt:
Posted by Kimber Watt | April 19, 2008 7:48 PM

Okay, I always scratch my head after these politically correct beauty contests in Jamaica.

Is the purpose to select the contestant most likely to win on the International Stage who also happens to represent what a Jamaican looks like?

If this is indeed the case as I think it is, why of late are the judges selecting women with no chance in hell of ever winning the Miss Universe or Miss World?

I'm sorry to break it to all the bitter dark skin women who are forever complaining about light skinned women with good hair.

The fact is, they represent the international standard of beauty. And as a mixed person of Jamaican parentage I'm personally offended by dark-skinned individuals who feel they alone represent a true Jamaican.

Get over your insecurities!

uptown girl:
Posted by uptown girl | April 20, 2008 1:47 PM

^ Do you see this comment above the "Okay, I always scratch my head after these politically correct beauty contests in Jamaica...." Talk about narrow minded and completely lost.And no Im not dark skin.Im a brownin with so called good hair. First of all if you knew anything. You would know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And second of all regardless of what the world considers international beauty. We as Jamaican don't follow fashion. We are leaders. And no not all dark skinned women are insecure, just like not all brownins are secure.Lastly in case you miss the motto "out of many one people."Lastly as far as browning and dark skin go. Dark skin is a rare complexion to come by especially these days. And the most rarest are usually seen as exotic, and timeless. My girl haven't you notice it, most brown people do commercial modeling and dark skins do runway modeling.They want the rare commodity so sit down. Girl I feel sorry for you cause international beauty means as close to looking white as possible and for filling their standards. Lastly, you should pat yourself on the back you really do exemplify the stereotype of being brown and stuck up. Good thing there are brownings like me to show that it is just a stereotype

Sheldon montaque:
Posted by Sheldon montaque | April 22, 2008 2:26 PM

You did a wonderful job and the others too

Darryl Antonio Johnson:
Posted by Darryl Antonio Johnson | April 25, 2008 5:06 PM

I have had the distinct pleasure of attending Hillel Academy High School with April and I can say without a doubt that she reflects the poise, vigor and natural beauty of a true Jamaican woman. Though I am now studying in The United Kingdom, Jamaica is indeed my home and I am proud to say that April is our Queen. I have no reservations about April's ability to represent Jamaica to her truest and fullest potential at The Miss Universe 2008 Competition. I encourage us all to support her in her endeavors. Unity has always been Jamaica's problem. Let us for once embrace what we have and in true Jamaican spirit rise up.

Kelly Williams:
Posted by Kelly Williams | April 26, 2008 9:25 PM

What does a real Jamaican look like? Arawak Indians, Africans, Indians, Chinese, Bi-racial, or Caucasian? Let's not forget our Motto ppl. "Out of many one People"

Tori Smart:
Posted by Tori Smart | April 29, 2008 6:26 PM

Sorry if people see it as "reverse racism." It can't be reverse racism if we have not yet begun to love and appreciate the almost 90% of us who don't have the stereotyped long hair and light skin women are SUPPOSED to have. It is an indictment against us that our women still feel they have to bleach and put in fake hair to be appreciated as beautiful women...And it's not just what they "feel" it's what our society still expects and respects

Posted by Cher | May 5, 2008 1:52 AM

Hmmmm...Well, I am a very open-minded person. I understand everyone's point-of-views. Even the ignorant ones. As I watched the competition...especially the interviews, my heart was wrenched and my critical point was on overload. I was disappointed on how little or no intelligence was portrayed. The focus, obviously was on the looks alone. The speech and representation of themselves was so maddening...I wanted to cry. As for April Jackson...Being that she had the experience, and more importantly she showed intelligence...I felt somewhat relieved. All was not lost. Young and intelligent(reminds me of myself at 13) This whole 'Afro-centric' and 'Browning wid long hair' ting nah sit well wid mi at all. Mi did dun kno seh Jamaicans ignorant....but nevah know seh dem a racists and bigots dis badly. Mi shoulda know still...from the whole 'Michael Jackson syndrome' AKA 'Bleaching' tek ova dem nogging....Mi sorry fi oonu... I mean, it is a beauty pageant...And I'm sure it's not just the outter beauty that the competiton requires but also, the inner beauty that is the true Jamaican.

"Out of many...One People"
"One love"

Posted by Sammia | May 10, 2008 2:38 PM

I dont April should win. There we go again taking someone who does not live in the country. We are always doing this A TIME WE STOP THIS. Yes she is well educated but she was educated in London and live in London. I am feeling a bit sorry for our own girls. I dont care if you all want to slate me we will forever try to do this to a REAL JAMAICAN WOMAN.

Posted by bru | May 20, 2008 6:58 PM

Mi nuh support the ("If the international standards are brownings with long hair......tell mi waan black dry foot smaddy ago win")
argument above

None a the girl dem foot nuh dry.
And I don't know if the person mean black as in color are race
But, to hell wid international standard, cause the standard weh some people
here refer to is a anti-black people racist standard anyway.
Time fi black people set our own standard
There are many beautiful dark skin females in Jamaica
as beautiful as any other ..period.

Posted by Lacy | May 21, 2008 2:41 AM

“mi did want the girl with the afro (Doneika Plowright) to win because it would be fitting for Zara Redwood to hand over the crown to her because she looks more like a Jamaican.”

Can somebody please explain to me what somebody who is "more like a Jamaican" looks like, because it seems that some of us are vehemently upholding todays racist stereotypes. Last time I checked our national motto was...

Out of MANY One People (as a number of people also pointed out)

translation...Jamaicans come in all shades and colors...hence the rich HERITAGE. Come on now people don't start forgetting that. And if you must, go do a little recap of our history. Take a look at the national heroes & heroine, They are not all afro-centric dark skinned individuals with solely African heritage. I think there is a reason for that. Don't you???

...tsk, tsk

I'm just happy that somebody who is well deserving of the crown won. And after all of that cass cass and negative criticism, the fact that she is still able to hold her head up proudly and gracefully is commendable. Some of the aspects of a true Jamaican...or so I'd like to think.

Posted by Sara | May 25, 2008 7:18 PM

"Out of Many One People for life"

Posted by bru | May 27, 2008 5:01 AM

"Can somebody please explain to me what somebody who is "more like a Jamaican" looks like"

It mean that the dominant cultural aspect of Jamaican culture that it is
known and reverence for is a African derived one.
And that the majority of the Jamaican population derived and look like
the majority of people on the African continent.

Therefore the "more like a Jamaican looks" are expected to be an
Afrocentric one as opposed to a Eurocentric one

kyle lowe:
Posted by kyle lowe | June 5, 2008 5:05 AM

People it is high time we stop this foolishness about who should or shouldn't win because of skin color or hair texture. The last time I checked, most Jamaican women have permed hair or extensions to mimic same. The girl won because she was the most deserving contestant. I had to ask someone if most of the contestants went to high school or can read. My five year old son has delivers himself better in a conversation. What a shame! Dem caan talk, dem nuh have nuh grace, dem jus nuh refine at all. With all due respect to Zara, girl mi nuh nwo which miss universe you did expect fi win.

Posted by Rabina | June 28, 2008 9:57 PM

LOL! I love the last comment: With all due respect to Zara, girl mi nuh nwo which miss universe you did expect fi win. I cannot stop laughing. Poor Zara fit the typical Jamaican stereo-type. All she needed to do was walk on stage with a stick of ganja. Wake up all of you who think that a Jamaican is only of African decent. Taino Indians are the original Jamaicans. Black people came to Jamaica just like every other ethnicity in the country. I think it is time for the government to change the coat of Arms to, Out many African nations, one people. Maybe that would make some of you happy.

tony MARK:
Posted by tony MARK | July 8, 2008 1:16 AM



Posted by Narda | July 12, 2008 8:26 AM

How did Zara fit the "typical Jamaican stereotype"? By being beautiful, poised, and intelligent? Have you ever read one of that girl's interviews? More depth than I have seen in most beauty queen interviews. I was impressed, and God knows that I wasn't in a hurry to embrace her just because she was a Rasta. But at the same time, why should being a Rasta preclude her from being someone with a chance of winning Miss Universe at the world stage? Why is her look, which is beautiful, be seen as *less than* the look of a Miss Venezuela or Miss Austria with straight hair? You and kyle Lowe should check yourselves for brainwashing.

As for the "international standard of beauty" rubbish. Pul-lease. Don't you see how a long-legged dark skinned goddess with sculpted African featurs from Nigeria won miss world a few years ago when Jamaicans were still stuck on the light skin, long hair fixation? It's a sad thing when international standards have progressed beyond our own in the appreciation of our own beauty.

But to address the real question: It's silly to want Doneisha to win simply because she has Afro hair. I also think April is a dark-skinned girl. The only issue I have with her is that she's really English. I saw her in an interview where she was asked where she's from and she said "England, but I now live in Jamaica". From her interviews, etc, I also don't think she has that *spark* that will take the crown on the world stage.

But beauty is beauty people. The JAMAICAN girl with the best all round package should always win, no matter what her colour or hair length or texture.

Posted by ANais | July 12, 2008 8:43 AM

What "politically correct beauty contests" is Kimber Watt speaking of???? When have Jamaican beauty contests ever been politically correct? Weren't white girls and brownings almost exclusively winning those things since they started in the 1970s?

And in this case, it's the *patrons* that are up in arms about the judges choice. Obviously, the judges didn't go with the "afrocentric" girl.

Girl, if you think your look is the "international standard of beauty", then you no doubt know that many other people (erroneously) feel the same way you do, and so you understand that there is some cause for complaint by those who think the eurocentric aesthetic usually prevails.

Posted by drew | July 14, 2008 12:44 PM

what stupidity is this going on in JAMAICA? " they want a girl that look Jamaican? have they forgotten our motto? black ignorance rears its ugly head once again

Posted by Sabiha | July 19, 2008 1:41 AM

Amen Drew! It is no longer out of many, one people (only black Jamaicans count now). Every other ethnicities are either tourist or just visiting. I think someone should approach the government about changing the motto. I am a proud Jamaican of Indian decent and this thing about Jamaicans being black only really pisses me off.

Posted by Bianca | July 20, 2008 2:51 PM

Talk about a load!! How can anyone say that they wanted a certain woman to win Miss Jamaica because she looks like a typical Jamaican!! Honestly people, what ever happened to out motto...."OUT OF MANY ONE PEOPLE" that was very disappointing to hear!! Personally, Miss Silvera was my favourite... you go girl!!
I can't believe the level of ignorance that is going on down there!! I am an outraged Jamaican people, get over your insecurities, because it seriously makes us look STUPID and IGNORANT!!! I am ashamed!!

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 11:49 AM

To mad man...
Jamaica has always been a country of bigots and racists. Just as the world has been like that. Its just that now we are becoming more aware of it. The veil has been lifted from our eyes and we now see the dirtiness of the legacy of colonialism and slavery.

Posted by Marcia | September 2, 2008 8:50 PM

LOL! People in Ja are so damn confused. A dark skin woman wins the contest and the complain that she does not have Afro hair and her hair is too long. Man, I cannot stop laughing. I cannot wait for a blond-hair, blue-eyes Jamaican to win. Man, that would be too funny. I went to school with quite a few. I should encourage them to enter.

Posted by abi | December 30, 2008 8:13 PM

I am really proud of april, no matter all the negative responses. she's been an inspiration to me and am sure to other black girl out there.
Now people let start to behave like an educated ones because all this damn argument about being light skin or dark skin is unbelievably dumb... she is still black and we shud be proud of her. you go girl i think some people are just jealous of your beauty,keep being polite enjoy... god bless and peace.

oh one more thing i still can't believe you are 19yrs. yuo've done so well.

Posted by amor | January 17, 2009 12:41 AM

damn u ppl cracking me up. hello, is ida yuh black r u white! wen black ppl were enslaved, "brownings" werent being exempt.
we need fi stap fight gainst each other man.
everything is a problem, is ida u too short yuh too tall, yuh too fat, yuh too skinny, yuh head too big r some other physical problem.
we r all humans. brown ppl feel bad wen ppl of a darker complexion cuss and rave bout how dem dont look Jamaican, darker skin ppl feel bad wen brown skin ppl get the upper hand. it cuts both ways my people. so unu plz stop hating on each other like this. stop bringing urselves down, cuz in the end it only divides us as a ppl. Jamaicans

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2009 12:42 AM

Miss April u are the best .I love u

Paris Taylor:
Posted by Paris Taylor | February 18, 2010 3:41 PM

April you deserved to have won that contest, and I can reassure you your current engagements, is a living testimony to the calibre person you are, and the quality input you have done for the upliftment of our country. I don't know the younster of whom the controversy comes out of but I can attest to what she has been doing to ensure that people from all walks of life see a meaning for living.
The Glenhope Place of Safety has seen shining light as a consequence of your given gift of generosity. Life could not be more kind to have such an individual sharing so much pleasantry with us. She might be from England but she is every inch a Jamaican and the loyalty is here to stay.
I wish her all the best in her endeavour. I recalled when she won the contest, but after reading so many comment I can really see that she was destined to win the contest. These contest are not for the fainthearted it is for confident and strong wonmen of class.
Don't be perturbed by what has transpired in the environment sorrounding these beautiy contestants most of them are gearing for these happening but despite that they maybe prepare for any eventuality it is still sometimes nerve wracking.

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