Born on J’Ouvert morning in 1995, at Medical Associates in St Joseph, Tanika Durity came into the world. The third child of Earlie Durity and Francisca Lezama, she grew up as a typical child in a village setting amongst her extended family members on La Baja Road in St Joseph.
“I’ve always been a very shy child. I stopped breastfeeding at the age of four and quitted pampers at the age of six. I stopped playing with dolls at the age of 13, where before I would lock myself in my nenny’s bedroom and stay there for hours talking to them and creating scenarios like every regular little girl. Maybe that seclusion was a contribution to my shyness,” she said with a chuckle.
As a former student of Lucia’s Private School and Specialist Learning Centre, Tanika explained that although she had a very regular fun primary school life, she has a medical condition, which made her self-conscious about herself.
“I suffer from Urticaria which is sort of an allergic reaction I get from my body overheating from exposure to the sun. Therefore, I take Zyrtec daily. Many mornings during an assembly at primary school, standing in the sun, my entire body would be on fire and I would not say anything because again, I did not want to seem as though I was looking for attention or maybe I feared no one would believe me or think I was weird,” she noted.
Upon completing Secondary Entrance Examinations Tanika blossomed as she entered St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph, where she became involved and came out her shell as she participated in volleyball, Drama Club, Interact Club and Glee Club.
While to everyone Tanika seemed happy, she was dealing with her own personal demons that affected her for most of her teenage years. She said, “Body image has always been a personal struggle . I always felt too skinny. When I was 15, one of my “friends” told me that my face deserved a better body and I believed that for years. It affected me a lot. We cannot allow the ill words of others to affect us or else we will never get to see the true beauty and the potential within ourselves.”
After completing Sixth Form, Tanika went on to pursue a professional certificate in Public Administration from the University of the West Indies. She subsequently started her University of London Law degree, when after successfully completing one year she decided to take some time off to go after her true passions in life–singing. “I’ve always wanted to sing, ever since as a child singing in front of my old, broken, dusty mirror in a bedroom I once shared with my mother and sister. I’ve always wanted to use my voice. ” Tanika passionately remarked.
Standing at a statuesque 5’10’, this beauty bombshell is ready to conquer the world. She recently mustered up the courage and stepped out her box and zone when she challenged herself and decided to attend the recent screenings for the Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2019. Today Tanika is a 10 Top Miss World T&T finalist who also recently won the Top model segment of the pageant. “Everything is happening so quickly, but I’m enjoying every moment of it and I’m ever so grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
She said, “People assume that beauty competitions are useless but I see this as an avenue for young women who aspire to be advocates of all beauty types to aid in the prevention of other women being doubtful of their inner and outer beauty.”
“Growing up life wasn’t easy but I cherish my family, they may not be the perfect cookie cutter type family but I love them regardless and I’m very thankful for them and for the person I have become and still is becoming”
What’s Next for Tanika? The Miss World Crown? Let us eagerly wait and see.
BY| BRIAN MATTHEW