Miss Universe Singapore 2019 winner nails her second shot at crown
Former TNP New Face finalist crowned Miss Universe Singapore 2019
Miss Mohanaprabha is all about grabbing second chances.
And this time, it paid off handsomely.
After cracking the Top 5 of Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2018, she joined the beauty pageant again this year and was crowned the winner last Thursday at the finals held at Zouk.
Miss Mohanaprabha, a finalist at The New Paper New Face 2017, will join more than 80 other delegates from around the world to vie for the title of Miss Universe 2019, which is expected to be held in early December in the US.
The 24-year-old biomedical science student at PSB Academy told The New Paper: "I was pleasantly surprised and I definitely felt like my efforts paid off."
On what gave her the edge this time, Miss Mohana said it might be how she prepared for the Q&A segment - what she calls her "weakness" - as she put in a lot of effort.
She said: "I tried to make it a daily affair - to read the news by buying the newspaper every day, to take extra time to digest and understand the content.
"As I was reading and trying to form my own opinions on the news, I not only became more aware but also interested in wanting to know more at a personal level so as to engage in meaningful conversations with others."
The eventual question she received during the finals was not related to current affairs, but Miss Mohana - who stands at a statuesque 1.76m - nailed it nevertheless.
When asked what is her biggest fear, she replied that it is to lose someone she treasures.
While she admitted that nobody important in her life has died, she urged everyone to "take a moment to spend time with your friends and loved ones because one never knows when is the last time they are going to meet".
"Set aside time to meet them because memories are what last forever," she added.
Her former competitor, MUS 2018 winner Zahra Khanum, told TNP: "Mohana and I are close, and it was a heartwarming moment as I was very happy to pass the crown to a fellow sister.
"She was a lot more confident this year. She knew what she wanted and was very focused on achieving it. I thought she shone during the Q&A because she spoke from the heart.
"She is going to be an amazing Miss Universe Singapore."
It was also a good night for other New Face alumni like Miss Laranya Kumar, 19, and Miss Cheryl Yao, 25, who were named first and second runner-up respectively, as well as Miss Annika Xue Sager, 19, who was awarded the subsidiary title of Global Asian Model Singapore.
Miss Mohana, who said she has faced numerous academic and personal setbacks, hopes her MUS triumph will inspire other young women who do not succeed the first time.
"I'm an example of failure, but I'm also a person who has flourished after facing so many failures," she said.
"My advice is to try, try, try again - but only if you have the passion for it. Otherwise, try something else."