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Miss Africa Idaho 2017
Dera Offakaja

Dera is compassionate, selfless, gentle and kind. She is someone who would go out of her way to help others, even when it is of great inconvenience to her. She believes that a purpose worth living for is that which is greater than you. For only then can untapped possibilities emerge and the riches of the soul be poured out. One virtue she was raised with is that when you’re strong, you ought to bear the challenges of the weak, and where necessary, place their needs above oneself. The last child in a family of eight, Dera was born on a sunny afternoon by 3pm in Onitsha eastern Nigeria. Having her at 45 years, her mother was told it was something unthinkable. Her mother often jokes of how Dera was named; just as Dera was born, after being placed in her mother’s arms, she looked into her eyes and exclaimed “Oderana odego” (whatever God writes must come to pass). Her name Odera, means “God has written it”. Dera’s future ambition is to become a music composer, singer/songwriter. After finishing High School, instead of studying Nursing like she was expected to, Dera decided to choose music. She believes that through music, she can tell a story… a story that can change lives.

The first thing you notice about Dera is her infectious smile, her motherly instincts and her propensity to rush to the aid of others. She is the one that would give her umbrella to a stranger and walk in the rain. Her passion, strength, dependability and compassion make her stand out. But her determination to forge through all the challenges she faced in life to follow her dreams are most memorable. Dera is no stranger to obstacles and challenges, her passion to be a voice for youth empowerment has only grown greater over the years. Those who need a voice can be found in the most obvious places as well as the most unlikely places; sometimes it doesn’t take so much to succor those whose voice lack the strength, will, inspiration and opportunities to attain a life of purpose.

Miss Africa Idaho 2016
Olivia Balemba

Olivia was born in Mwanza Tanzania. She went to primary school in Tanzania and shortly came to the united states to complete her education. Inspired by Dr Mae Jemison, the first black Astronaut, Olivia decided to attend Uof I, double majoring in Applied Physics and Mechanical Engineering. She is highly involved as a community leader and in her spare time, likes to volunteer. 

An advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, Olivia hopes to inspire young women in Idaho and Africa just as her own idol, Dr. Mae Jemison,inspired her.  Olivia would like to encourage young women to enter these fields using a hands-on approach. She has already begun fulfilling this vision through her involvement as a previous Northwest Zone Chairperson for Region 6 of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). 

As Northwest Zone Chairperson, Olivia served as a liaison between members attending 10 universities throughout Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and leadership in the organization. As a representative of NSBE, she advocated for increasing the number of minority students in STEM fields, as well as promoted academic excellence among those already engaged in these fields.

An eternal optimist, Olivia is always engaging and quick to lend a smile bright enough to light a room.

Miss Africa Idaho 2015
Alma Jam

Alma was born in Cameroon West Africa and raised in Pocatello, Idaho. Alma is currently employed at Idaho State University under the TRIO programs as an EOC (Educational Opportunity Centers) Educational Advisor. She would also like to become an author and professor on subjects concerning human trafficking, female objectification and oppression. Her hobbies are traveling, reading, and eating.

Miss Africa Idaho 2014
Davina Hull

Davina was raised in Preston, Idaho and is the middle child of 3. Davina moved to Pocatello in 2007 to attend Idaho State University, where she received her Bachelors in Psychology and later her certificate for Alcohol & Drug Counseling.

In 2011, Davina became the guardian of her younger sister after the unfortunate passings of both of her parents. Davina and her sister currently reside in Pocatello with their two dogs. She currently works for  Compassionate Care Family Services as a substance abuse counselor for Power County & Caribou County Felony Problem Solving Courts. She also works at the ISU Veteran Student Services Center as an addiction specialist & case manger. Hull has also completed an internship through Americorps in Pocatello. Additionally, Davina started two non-profit youth groups to serve within her community, a youth peer mentoring group and a girl’s empowerment group; both have been quite successful and have high attendance. Currently Davina plans to finalize her Masters degree in Social Work and continue to work in the mental health field.

She is the current title holder for Miss Africa Idaho 2014, as well as Miss Black Idaho US Ambassador 2015. Her platform has been Mental Health Awareness, particularly focusing on suicide prevention.