MISS Teen Namibia 2023, Oriana Ribeiro, recently chatted to The Weekender about her life, growing up, her vision, and being Miss Teen Namibia.
Tell us more about yourself.
I’m an 18-year-old, homeschooled A-Level student. I was born in Windhoek, but I lived at Ongwediva until 2016 when my family and I moved to Windhoek. Then we relocated to the coast in 2021, where we stayed at Long Beach. A year and a half later my family and I moved back to Windhoek, and now it’s safe to say we’re settling here.
What are your hobbies?
In my free time, I like to learn different languages. These are not only things I enjoy doing, but they also help me relax.
Tell us about your love for pageants.
What I love most about pageants is what they stand for – uplifting communities through empowering women and providing them with leadership platforms so they do not only improve their own lives, but the lives of others too.
I really appreciate this, because it helps bring unity to our world and inspires more empathy in people.
Why did you enter Miss Teen Namibia 2023?
I actually haven’t entered any pageants prior to Miss Teen Namibia. I entered this pageant, because I wanted to create deeper purpose in my life and overcome some anxiety I struggled with.
Through the pageant I realised the importance of helping others and working to make a positive and notable impact in my community.
What was the pageant like?
My experience as a semi-finalist and then finalist can be described in two words: fun and intense.
It was a lot of fun because of all the exciting activities we participated in, as well as all the time I spent with the other girls participating.
But it was quite intense as well, because I worked really hard to ensure I was putting my best foot forward at all times.
What have you learnt?
Being part of this competition has made me more knowledgeable about world matters, so I started paying more attention to current events and started thinking critically about them.
Being Miss Teen Namibia, how has your life changed?
I have gained a deeper sense of purpose, as well as empathy for our country. I plan to use my reign as a driving force for all my social projects. I’ve also been afforded amazing opportunities, which would not have been possible had I not won.
During your year as Miss Teen Namibia, what will you focus on and why?
I plan to focus on encouraging our people to actively work towards becoming the best versions of themselves and living their best lives – despite their circumstances.
I plan to do this through the books I write. I have already released my first short book as a free PDF (linked in my Instagram bio), titled ‘Overcoming your Mind’.
The book serves as a basic guide to changing your mindset. I also plan releasing two more short books as free PDFs linked in my Instagram bio – one about emotional intelligence and the other about intentionality.
In addition, I will also formally publish a guided journal that will include prompts, exercises and illustrations that will help the reader unlock deeper levels of self-awareness.
What can Namibians expect of you as the winner of this pageant?
I want you all to know that I do not take my title lightly I understand that this is an ambassadorial position that comes with a great deal of responsibility and privilege, which is to be taken seriously and carried out with the utmost respect, integrity and intentionality.
Therefore, I will work diligently to accurately represent you all and leave a notable impact on our country through my social work.
What is your motto in life?
Mind over matter.
This helps me remember that it is not your circumstances that dictate the quality of your life, but rather how you think about and respond to them. This kind of thinking allows me to live my life with intent.
What is the best advice you have received thus far?
The best advice I’ve ever received is to not allow my circumstances to dictate how I feel or behave. This has completely changed my life, because it has caused me to adopt positivity and gratitude, which has improved the quality of my life.