Coog runs for Miss Face of Africa USA
A UH senior is a finalist in the 3rd annual Miss Face of Africa USA pageant held on July 13 in Arlington.
Health senior Fatima Yusuf, who can trace her lineage back to the Hausa tribe of Nigeria where her father is from, will be representing her country in the scholarship pageant.
“I feel like it kind of brings in culture with academics, and you can’t get any better than that,” Yusuf said. “You’re embracing your culture, and what’s more beautiful than that?”
FOA is intended to celebrate African cultural identity, empower young Africans, encourage scholarship and instill confidence while still embracing Western culture.
“I think I have qualities that would be grand to be named Miss Face of Africa because I am a leader within my own community and aspire to inspire those around me,” Yusuf said. “I am a humanitarian and embrace my culture in my everyday life.”
To participate in FOA, candidates must be a spokesperson for a cause and deliver a speech about their platform, have a record of community service, have a connection to their African heritage and must have goals related to the betterment of Africa. An African fashion show representative of each candidate’s country is also a part of FOA.
Yusuf plans to be a spokesperson for Fitness for Africa to bring about change in fitness and well-being. She strives to become a physician so that she may open wellness centers across Africa. Yusuf also has a record of service through the NAACP-UH and the Theta Nu Xi multicultural sorority she is associated with.
“The pageant is really important in my eyes, primarily of the fact that it combines scholarship with culture,” Yusuf said. “It has the feel of a real pageant but also puts a little twist in with community service, cultural attire, scholarship and bringing to light to our organization of choice [platform].”
There are currently 12 finalists in the running for Miss FOA. Other African countries represented in the pageant include Kenya, the Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda and Cameroon.
“(Winning) would be such a huge accomplishment. I would donate some of the proceeds to (Fitness for Africa) and (put) the rest toward school.”