Miss Ireland’s Pamela Uba has left her job in Galway University Hospital as she prepares for Miss World in two weeks’ time.
he 26-year-old is a medical scientist and worked on the frontline throughout the pandemic, however, she said she’s taking a “short break” to focus on her charity work.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Ms Uba said: “I finished up [work in the hospital] this weekend actually, it’s surreal, my life has been trying to balance the two, so it’s great that I will be able to focus on going to Miss World now.
“I’m just taking a short break to focus on my charity work, my philanthropy and then I will go back to work.”
The scientist, who won the competition as Miss Galway, made history by being crowned the first-ever black Miss Ireland.
She moved from South Africa to Ireland when she was seven years old and spent 10 years in Direct Provision.
Ms Uba said winning the competition has been a “whirlwind”.
“It’s been amazing, it’s been such a whirlwind being Miss Ireland,” she said at the Stellar InstStar Awards on Saturday.
“I’ve got to do so many things in such a short amount of time and I’m so excited now for Miss World.”
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The Inaugural Stellar InstStar Awards took place in The Alex in Dublin yesterday evening, and it aimed to celebrate the best in the Irish social media space.
Make-up artist Keilidh Cashell was nominated for the main award of the night ‘InstaStar of the Year’.
She said it was “so exciting” to be recognised for her work, as her career really escalated during the pandemic.
“Tiktok is my platform, I’ve been doing Instagram and Youtube for so long now but it was once I got onto Tiktok- because my content works really well on that- that it all really blew up for me.”
The first award of the evening was ‘Inspirational InstaStar’ which was won by Kate Grant – who said she is the first model with Downs syndrome in Northern Ireland.
The model received a standing ovation as she said she was delighted to accept the award as she “gives a voice to those that don’t have one”.
Other winners of the night included Hilary Young, Aideen Kate Murphy, Roz Purcell, Victoria Adeyinka and Georgie Crawford.
Ms Crawford won the ‘Podcast Insta Star’ award for her podcast The Good Glow.
“I started my podcast sitting at my desk in 98fm so it’s a nice moment, it’s good to celebrate good days and this is a good day,” she said.
“I’m really proud of it and how far we’ve come with it.”
Kevin Twomey and PJ Kirby were also nominated in the podcasting category for I’m Grand Mam.
The duo – who are from Cork – live in London and said it’s so surreal to not only be at an event but to be back in Ireland.
“It’s very exciting, just in general coming back to Ireland for a ceremony like this is so lovely, we’re buzzing,” Mr Twomey said.
“To receive recognition in the public eye is so lovely- who doesn’t like a bit of praise!”
PJ added: “It’s so nice to be nominated because it underscored how many people are listening to the podcast, the popularity of it always amazes us, it takes us by surprise.”
Stylist Aideen Feeley won best-dressed of the evening as she donned a mid-length black velvet dress-which she made herself.
“I only finished making it this morning,” she said. “My dress didn’t come so I thought ‘I need to put something together’.”
The fashionista was nominated in the ‘Rising InstaStar’ category and said it was “so surreal” to be recognised for her work.
Molly Roberts, known as Mollerina on Instagram, was nominated in the same category and said it “means a lot to recognised” for her hard work.
“For some people [blowing up on Instagram] is right time and right place and then for others it’s putting in the work,” she said.
“But even if it is right time and right place, you still have to put yourself out there and it’s a lot of work.
“When I think back to how I’ve been doing this since college, it does mean a lot to be recognised.”