Miss Universe Guyana 2017
25-year old Rafieya Husain was crowned Miss Universe Guyana 2017 during a gala held outside of the country, at York College in Queens, New York City. Reigning Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere was the guest of honor and crowned Husain as the new Guyanese representative in the Miss Universe 2017 finals to be held in November.
Rafieya is not new to the pageant world; she represented Guyana in the Miss World 2014 finals in London where she placed among the Top 11 finalists as well as taking the Beauty with a Purpose Award in a historic quintuple-tie.
Having been a victim herself of domestic violence, Rafieya has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and to educate young people on the early signs of dating violence. In her efforts to improving the lives of those affected by domestic violence, Rafieya has established an outreach centre on the Essequibo Coast in Guyana under the name RIVA. Through this she hopes to carry out her legacy and one day make Guyana safe for women and give them the power to stand up to that abuse and walk away.
Local Guyanese followers complained about the competition being held outside of the country, something that was not allowed by the contract rules but apparently that clause has been eliminated. Several national pageants have organized preliminary rounds in other countries, but the final was always in national soil.