Student with a vision crowned the new Miss Black CU
At 7 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Cameron University Theatre, six contestants lined the stage as they competed in the annual Miss Black CU pageant. Cameron University Psychology major and junior Oluwakemi “Kemmy” Olurotimi left the theatre crowned as the new 2014 Miss Black CU.
If there is one thing Olurotimi learned from the Miss Black CU Pageant, it was to expect the unexpected. Originally from Nigeria, Olurotimi left her familiarity behind as she began her education at Lee University located in Cleveland, TN. After she completed her freshman year at Lee, she transferred to Cameron University.
“Cameron was my parents’ request,” Olurotimi said. “But my best friend that I grew up with was also here. It’s impossible to be in a strange land and not have something you’re familiar with, so when my parents requested that I come here, I agreed and went along with it.”
Olurotimi does not describe herself as a “pageant girl.” However, when she attended Lee, she realized she might want to try it.
“At Lee, they have an event called ‘The Parade of the Favorites’ where girls come out and compete — representing different clubs and societies on campus,” Olurotimi said. “It was the first time a black lady won and that inspired me to do it. I didn’t get to compete because my stay there was short lived.”
When she came to Cameron, she noticed all of the posters around campus for Miss Black CU. After asking a friend about the show, Olurotimi sought out opportunities to be involved in the 2013 pageant.
“I competed in the pageant last year, and it was very stressful. I promoted a platform titled ‘Internal Wellness’— better health through food. It really did not go as I wanted it to go,” she said. “I did not place at all last year — but that night at the pageant, I promised myself that I would do it again.”
Olurotimi began preparing for the 2014 pageant with a determined outlook. She decided her platform was going to be something important to her — something that she could identify with.
“My platform this year is called ‘Keep Calm and Don’t Stress,’” Olurotimi said. “The basic idea of this platform is educating people on the issue of stress and exposing them to different stress management techniques.
“It isn’t just something that I’m doing for the sake of the pageant — it’s my personal platform. It relates to me as an individual.
Stress management is something Olurotimi can identify with, especially in light of the pageant. Although she has not started promoting her platform around the CU campus, she continues to practice methods of stress management on her own.
“When people that I know come to me for advice, what I tell them is you have to put up little stop signs at some point in your life where you pause and think about how far you’ve come,” Olurotimi said. “When I get stressed I stop and look around me, breathe, and then I become very grateful for the moment that I’m in.
“The basic key to stress management is understanding that every moment you have is a gift, and you should make the best of it.”
Olurotimi said she plans to promote her platform on campus throughout her year as Miss Black CU. She plans to hold a seminar on March 27.
“My seminar is going to feature some of my psychology and biology professors as well as the Cameron Student Wellness Center,” Olurotimi said. “Some of the contestants also have very powerful platforms promoting health and fitness, and I really want to use that to benefit the CU community. I want to use what we have here on campus to promote my platform all year around.”
While preparing for the pageant, Olurotimi said there was much stress involved; however, there were also several aspects she enjoyed.
“There was a lot of hard work, commitment, stress and constructive criticisms throughout the pageant processes,” Olurotimi said. “The pageant got me out of my comfort zone — but the whole experience has been a surprise to me. I never realized how comfortable and confident I could be with myself. It was really a labor of the mind, but overall my favorite part of the pageant was being able to have that sisterhood with all of the contestants, you really don’t realize that you’re competing against them until the night of the pageant.
“My favorite segment of the pageant was my talent. I recited a poem titled ‘What if I’m a Black Woman.’ The author decided to remain anonymous — I don’t understand why someone who could write something so beautiful would not want to be recognized — but it’s a very powerful poem.”
Olurotimi’s pageant experience does not end at Cameron University. She will compete in the Miss Oklahoma US Ambassador competition next year, and if she wins, she will compete at the national level. Until then, Olurotimi said she looks forward to representing Cameron throughout her year as Miss Black CU.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/86340848[/vimeo]