Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers, despite her short 27 years, already has a remarkable trail of successes behind her – across multiple arenas. A former winner of Miss Universe GB, model and track athlete, she recently qualified as a lawyer before diving into Anguillan politics.
In 2018, Kentish-Rogers was crowned Miss Universe GB, making her the first Black winner of the pageant since it began in 1952. Aware of the scale of this achievement, she told Newsbeat at the time: “Now that I’ve won the pageant, I’ve come to the realisation that I’ve not only won the pageant as Dee-Ann, but as a black woman.”
Kentish-Rogers entered this British beauty competition as a dark-skinned woman with dreadlocks. In response to questions about whether she would consider taking down or straightening her hair for the competition to avoid association with negative connotations attached to having dreadlocks, she refused, saying, “I felt it was very important for me to represent my cultural identity and to represent myself on this platform.” As a result of her strength in this, Kentish-Rogers said that she received several messages after the pageant from others with locs, saying that her win feels like “a win for them”.
Subsequently, Kentish-Rogers qualified as a barrister, before standing for election in Anguilla for the Anguilla Progressive Movement (APM). She defeated Victor Banks, the long-standing political leader of Anguilla United Front (AUF), in the polls for the Valley South constituency and, after the APM won the general election on Monday 29 June, 2020, she became the Honourable Minister of Social Development and Education.