Interviews

“Likkle But She Tallawah” An Interview With a Reigning Queen: Miss Canada Petite 2012, Roushelle Green

Written by Kerri-Ann M. Smith

On August 25, 2012, just a few weeks shy of the anniversary marking Jamaica’s 50th  year of independence, a confident and talented young woman, Roushelle Green, was crowned Miss Canada Petite 2012. At only 19 years old, this second-year Graphic Design-Media student at Centennial College, emigrated to Canada only three years ago and has brought with her the tenacity, dedication and focus that is synonymous with her Jamaican roots. This week, we are honored to give you insight into the life of another shining Jamaican star, Miss Canada Petite, Roushelle Green.

1) Tell us about your Jamaican roots. Where are you from and what schools did you attend?
I was born at Nuttall Memorial Hospital in St. Andrew an I  attended Vaz Preparatory School (Class of 2003) and St. Andrew High School for Girls (Class of 2008). I am of Maroon descent.

2) What is your favorite Jamaican childhood memory?
I have a passion for dancing. As a child, I used to be dancing everywhere. I was known as that “likkle danca.”  I danced for festival and those dinki mini and kumina performances on the JCDC festival stage throughout the years are my greatest treasures.

3) How does your family celebrate the holidays? And how will Miss Canada Petite celebrate Christmas this year?
Well of course the only thing I truly focus on is the food, but the Lord comes first. We celebrate at church on Christmas Eve, then overnight cooking and loads of tasting for me. I miss grand market back home. Those memories can never be erased.
In addition to the normal festivities with family, I have a few events to attend—a Queen never stops working. I will be doing some appearances and also feeding the homeless at a shelter downtown Toronto.

4) Tell us more about the Miss Canada Petite Competition. How did you get involved?

I was actually searching for a job online and saw a post from Miss Teen Canada Petite 2011 and my friend said, “you need to apply” and she paid my application fee and that is where it began. It was a struggle. I had to raise the entry fee (couple thousand dollars) in only 4 months with 0 dollars and 0 cents to my name. But through determination and persistence (and my parents and friends supporting me), I persevered; it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

5) What’s the greatest thing about being a Queen?
Well for me it’s the HUGE crown I have to wear, being “Princess Tiana” for little girls who I meet on a weekly basis, and also knowing that I am an inspiration to many.

6) What are some causes that are important to you? How will you champion those causes as Miss Canada Petite 2012?
The young ladies of today are of great importance to me. I’d like to help them find their inner beauty and not focus on what is portrayed or defined by the world. Women are the strength of the society and we are the carriers of our cultures. I am currently planning my outreach programme for summer 2013,  and with God’s blessings it will be a success. Helping isn’t an act for me, its a trait. I just can’t help helping!

7) Have you always enjoyed pageants? What was your first experience with pageants?
YES! I always wanted to be in the Miss Jamaica World or Universe pageants but my height always had me one checkpoint away from full requirements. People never believe when I tell them that this was my first pageant.

8) If you could support a cause in Jamaica, what would it be?
That’s a hard question, as there is so much I want to do. I have always been apart of the Kiwanis Club of Eastern St. Andrew, as my mom is a former president. I love helping out at children’s home and trying to make them feel important while showing them what they see others getting because they deserve it too.

9) Do you aspire to one day be a reigning Queen on a larger platform?

My title is in the top 10 world pageant titles, which is great. But yes, I would, to make a greater impact on the lives of others. Most of the larger platforms are for 5’7 and up, which limits my choices. But I appreciate this great achievement God has made possible, and I can’t wait for Miss Petite Universal 2015 where I’ll compete internationally.

10) What are some of your favorite Jamaican things?
Duplex, Bag Juice, Banana Chips with Cheese ( as you can see, it’s mainly food). I love the culture, and day-to-day Jamaican life itself. Nutten like mi yaad.

11)  What advice would you give to young Jamaican girls who aspire to achieve unconventional goals?

Just try! If you think it’s for you, and you really want it, then don’t stop pushing till the end. Win or not, the experience and lesson learnt will carry you a far way. I never expected to win. If my first runner up didn’t hug me, I would have fainted. If you watch the video you will see for yourself.

12) Who are your role models and why?
Yendi Phillips is a wonderful woman, We have encountered similar things in pageantry and have trodden similar paths (school, dance etc). Cath Levy, a former Miss Jamaica World, she was also my dance teacher, and my mom, Paullia. All of these women possess the poise and intelligence a woman is required to have. They do it so effortlessly, persevering and overcoming obstacles. Their strength makes them beautiful inside and out. By the way, let’s not forget Michelle Obama. Who do you think is really running the white house?

13) If you could have the chance to interview one Jamaican icon, living or deceased, who would that be and why?
Wow, that’s a hard question. Nanny of the Maroons! I want to know more of where I came from. She is the reason I have such distinct features. Her bravery and leadership are commendable. Someday I wish to be –maybe not a National Hero– but a Jamaican icon or pioneer. *She already is!

14) What are some of your current projects?
Helping wherever, whoever, whenever I can.  I’m currently planning two events:  An outreach programme and trying to start my own charity to reach out in Jamaica also.

15) Any final words for the www.jamaicans.com audience?
Stand Out! Never be a replica or follow the crowd. You are here for a purpose, so live up to it. Maintain a clean heart, help others without expecting anything in return, and respect them. Finally, never forget to respect yourself.

Follow Miss Canada Petite 2012 at:

https://www.facebook.com/RoushelleGreen

 

About the author

Kerri-Ann M. Smith

Dr. Kerri-Ann M. Smith is an author and educator. She is an Assistant Professor of Academic Literacy at Queensborough Community College, CUNY. She is a patois translator, a wife, and the mother of a gregarious little girl. She is a senior writer for jamaicans.com.