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An Ex-Asylum Seeker, Pamela Uba makes history as the First Black Woman to Be Crowned Miss Ireland

Pamela Uba, a 26-year-old medical scientist is the new Miss Ireland. She banged the title in a ceremony held at Lakeside Manor, Co Cavan on Sunday. Since the ‘Miss Ireland’ beauty pageant began in 1947 Pamela is the first black woman to win the noble title.

“It means so much to me. I am so grateful I can show girls that color is not something that holds you back and it doesn’t matter where you come from, the world is your oyster.” Pamela said in an interview. 

Pamela is the eldest child in a family of six. She moved to Ireland together with her family as asylum seekers from Johannesburg, South Africa when she was seven. Arriving in Ireland they spent 10 years in direct provision. 

She had this to say about the direct provision system, “People shouldn’t be made to stand still for years and years. I was in it for 10 years, not knowing what was happening or when my life could start. People need to be able to live their lives. I hope Ireland continues to help people, but the direct-provision system needs to be rethought and possibly removed.”

Growing up Pamela had a wish to study something that would help people. She was also a passionate footballer and lover of sports and education. She says she used school and sports as her escape from the challenges of life in direct provision. 


Pamela is a graduate of medical science degree which she obtained from Galway University. She is also awaiting her masters’ results in clinical chemistry from Trinity College Dublin. 


Pamela is a medical scientist and a part time model. Besides the Miss Ireland title she was also crowned Miss Galway last year. 

Pamela amazed the world last year during the high peaks of Coronavirus pandemic in her work as a frontline worker. During this time Pamela was working at Galway University Hospital where she was involved in monitoring the inflammatory process in patients who had contracted Covid-19. 

Future Plans

Pamela will be representing her country come December in the 70th Miss World festival to be held in Puerto Rico. She hopes to use her newly acquired title to showcase a more diverse Ireland. 




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