SHE’S been hit by negative comments on her eligibility to contest for Miss Solomon, just a couple of days after her mother’s passing away, already with the leading likes on facebook and an inspiring story to share, Sara Cave known as ‘Miss Szetu Breweries’ did not have to prove herself to be a Solomon Islander.
She is one by heart and blood.
“Simple and normal girl like every other girl.” That’s what she said when I interviewed her.
But spend a little more time with her and you can see personally, there’s more to Sara Cave than meets the eye.
Sara has three siblings and she was born in Honiara, Solomon Islands to a Solomon Islander mother and an Australian father. Although she was raised in Australia, most of her fond memories was in her mother’s village – which she is proud of and willingly share with the world on her YouTube channel and redidit.com page which got thousands of likes.
“I go home and I make movies actually, I like hanging out with my relatives in the village and just have a village experience with home cooked food, doing things the home way,” Sara recalled.
Sara is aware that many hafkas (half white) lost their identity and connection with their homeland because they haven’t gone back there for ages.
However, this is something Sara is willing to hold on to.
According to her sister Althea, Sara is more Solomon Islander than she is, having known her identity and her willingness to keep it and show it through the Miss Solomon Islands Pageant show.
Little did she know she will be bombarded by many critics who hardly know her.
Respecting her mother’s wish and seeing the time fitting with her being in the country, Sara decided to join the Miss Solomon Pageant 2016. This brought people’s attention questioning her eligibility to join, without even knowing the girl, fingers were pointed and remarks were made all around the claim she is not a true Solomon Islander.
This can break someone’s spirit but not Sara’s; this gave her the opportunity to stand out from the rest of the contestants.
With the front cover of Solomon Star paper “Pageant contestant hits back on critics” Sara cleared her side of the story.
“With the criticism, at the end of the day I’m normal. Most of the time, I travel by bus here in Honiara, I travel by ship to my homeland, we’re not any different from anyone we’re the same, just because I’m in the pageant people may think I’m a higher level. But I’m not. I know where I come from,” Sara explains.
Judging by the way she hits back at critics, you can tell this 20 year old is not a quitter and she’s been faced by adversaries before.
Sara’s love for solving equations led her to study Process Engineering at Queensland University of Technology where she has faced gender inequality having being in a male dominated class.
“It’s male dominated, I have groups with all male and I’m the only girl, you may think it’s all equal in Australia but you still feel the inequality because you’re a girl, when I handed in my report they will be like ‘you need to triple check it’ but they don’t do this to the boys,” Sara clarifies.
“And it’s like the pageant too, I get hit by critics but I stand my ground and I know what I’m doing.”
One may think it is all smooth sailing for this cheerful clear-cut young spirit, but people do not know her being in the country at this time was not for the pageant but her mother, Marylyn Donga Cave.
Mrs Cave died of Thyroid cancer just days before Sara decided to join the contest, a decision dedicated to her mother who wants her to participate in the pageant last year.
When I asked those who knew her mother to describe her, they began with a reminiscing laugh and “I don’t know where to begin” look on their faces. Sara – in her usual laughable and talkative ways – smiled and begins.
“My mum is straight up from the village and boarding school, out of the six children she is very intense, with mum you don’t always have to take one path to get the other way but you can take other paths to reach the same place,” she says.
“I used to take B in English she was like ‘you know you live here what do you take B for, you should be taking an A’ it hurts but that’s how she challenges you.”
It is these traits in her mother that made this young woman strong and realistic in her decision making. At one point in her life, Sara was playing Tennis for Australia on a National level but had to choose between Sports and Education and decided to focus on the latter.
“One thing that keeps me going is definitely my mum’s spirit; I know she wants me to keep on going. One time she says ‘Sara if you quit school I will haunt you.”
Sara says with a laugh and adds that her mother’s way to push her and her siblings out of their comfort zone plays a big part in her personality.
“If I win I want to dedicate this to mum, but also for me too because I work hard for it and I’m just humbled to be here and contest in this year’s pageant, I have to inspire myself as well as other young girls.
“It doesn’t matter what platform you choose to make the change, I want to help teach all the young girls in Solo, if you concentrate in school and you work hard, you’ll get there,” she said.
At the end of the day, Sara is a normal girl who wants to keep doing positive things. Win or lose, it is a beautiful sight to see Sara’s team is grooming a future leader despite her skin colour or gender. She is truly a Solomon Islander by heart and blood.
Sara wants to thank Szetu Breweries for sponsoring her in 2016 MSIP and her hardworking team. You can hit ‘Like’ on Miss Szetu Breweries Facebook page.