Not many can withstand being thrown unexpected negative words, but this young queen did! 19-year-old Papua New Guinean Miss Pacific Islands beauty queen Leoshina Kariha was subjected to a colorism insult while taking part in a beauty pageant in Tonga over the weekend.
According to Yahoo News Australia, Miss Kariha, who was competing in the Miss Heilala beauty pageant was just about wrapping up her speech when someone allegedly from the VIP section of the crowd yelled: “You’re black and ugly – disgusting.” In the aftermath of the incident, a very well-known Tongan politician was pinpointed by local media outlets as the alleged perpetrator.
Miss Kariha, though pained by the ordeal was, however, unperturbed and took to Facebook to express gratitude to the people of Tonga for their warm reception and also called for unity in the Pacific.
“Thank you for all of your support. It was painful to receive the comment. But my chaperone and I have been welcomed here by the Ministry of Tourism and by the people and we’ve been embraced by them.”
She also affirmed she won’t allow the incident to stain the relationship her country has with Tonga.
“I will not let one comment from a single person destroy the very good relationship that the Kingdom of Tonga and my people of Papua New Guinea have,” she said. “And there really should be no division amongst Melanesians, Polynesians and Micronesians; we should be one united Pacific.”