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PNG drummer girl crowned 34th Miss Pacific Islands

By Lagi Keresoma.

APIA, SAMOA – 06 FEBRUARY 2023: Twenty four year old Josie Nicholas of Papua New Guinea was crowned the 34th Miss Pacific Islands in a tough and close competition last Friday night at Gym 1, Tuanaimato.

Josie went against four contestants and walked away as the overall winner. She also scooped the Best Talent category with a unique performance on the traditional Papua New Guinea kundu drum.

She got the audience going to the beats of the kundu drum when she switched to modern drums to the beat of a Def Leppard heavy rock song. She was excited that she got a chance to perform on stage let alone a regional stage.

“I only play drums indoors at church and school and to play on stage tonight was so exciting and I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Josie.

She credits her drumming skills to her older brother Edward Nicholas who is the family musician.

Miss PNG

Miss PNG
Unexpected win
Josie was still trying to come to terms with the reality of the pageant after, and she told the media that winning was far from her mind given the tough competition.

“I did not expect to win but I believe in my team and God,” she said.

She acknowledged her chaperone Aunt Molly who has guided and prepared her for the event.

“I have a lot to say about Aunt Molly for giving me the chance to join the pageant, she has done so much and I’m always grateful to her,” she said.

Asked about what she would do first when returning home as the Miss Pacific Islands she said “church”.

“We will attend church to thank God and the community for the support and to celebrate their support and love that brought us this far,” said Josie.

The new Miss Pacific Islands was crowned by Samoa’s Seumanu Nofoifafo Seumanu, who has served the role for three years the pageant had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic border closures and lockdowns.

This year, only five contestants made it and all won an award.

Pageant results

  • Miss Pacific Islands 2003/2004 –  Josie Nicholas (Papua New Guinea).
  • First Runner-up – Heylani Pearl Kurupu (Samoa)
  • Second Runner-up – Kauhani Meaalofa Teisa Fuimaono (American Samoa) 

Special Awards

  • Vodafone People’s Choice – Miss Papua New Guinea
  • Miss Personality – Miss Nauru
  • Miss Photogenic – Miss American Samoa
  • National Tourism Award – Miss Solomon Islands
  • Best Traditional Wear – Miss American Samoa
  • Best Sarong – Miss Samoa
  • Best Talent – Miss Papua New Guinea
  • Best Interview – Miss Solomon Islands.