Anthea Zammit: ‘My grandma instilled in me my love for reading and hunger for knowledge’

Miss Universe Malta 2020 Anthea Zammit tells all in our Q&A

Anthea Zammit
Anthea Zammit

In summer, the 26-year-old professional dance teacher and law student was crowned Miss Universe Malta 2020 to go on to represent the island at Miss Universe. She has already represented Malta several times at Eurovision Young Dancers, Miss World, Miss Supranational and also accompanied Christabelle to the Eurovision Song Contest during the performance of Taboo. Anthea is a very athletic person and has a very big love for animals

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I have two cats that I’m frankly quite obsessed with and the first thing I do when I open my eyes is call them to come up for cuddles.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

When I was younger, my grandmother once told me that no matter how bad an experience is or how upset something or somebody makes you feel, stop for a minute and find something positive from that experience. There is always something we can use to learn or to improve. Today, this is something I live by.

What do you never leave the house without?

Today, my face mask! But usually my sunglasses.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Considerate, happy-go-lucky, sports freak…

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Finding myself and being happy with who I am. Accepting myself with all of my good and bad and finally learning how to stand up for myself.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

In winter, a cup of tea and galaxy chocolate, whilst watching a film and hearing the sound of rain outside.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Unfortunately, not everyone’s intentions are always as good as yours. Sometimes people will use you or hurt you for their benefit. I have learnt that this is a part of how we grow into stronger human beings.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever brought?

A Gucci handbag.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wish I knew how much money I’d really need to buy a house! Maybe I would have avoided a few hundred chocolates in the hope of saving up a little bit more.

Who’s your inspiration?

My younger sister. An ex-national team gymnast, with two slip-discs and a cruciate knee injury. Surgeons insisted that if she pursued her training, she would no longer be able to walk. After months of heartbreak, instead of giving up, she started coaching gymnastics in the Special Olympics league. She is an inspiration to me because at the breaking point of her career she chose to coach children with special needs in the field that she loves most and is so passionate about. Her strong willpower and mind are my biggest inspiration.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Definitely finding myself again after having undergone the traumatic experience of being psychologically abused.

If you weren’t a teacher what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t a teacher and law student I would be travelling the world with my backpack, exploring and tasting foods of all sorts. I’m a very big foodie and this has always been a lifelong dream.

Do you believe in God?

Yes, I have great faith in God. I speak to Him daily and I truly feel his presence in my life.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Definitely Gordon Ramsay! Would chat with him about food and how he evolved and grew into this world-known kitchen guru.

What’s your worst habit?

Unfortunately, one I’ve carried with me since I was very young! Always leaving things to the last minute! I try, I really do, and somehow ultimately the end result is always positive, but the constant delay to start is a very bad habit.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I’m not really sure! I’ve been on a healthy eating routine for as long as I can remember now and needless to say this means I cannot really drink alcohol. Knowing my character I would probably dance more, but I’m going to have to pass on this one.

Who would you have play you in a film?

My best friend Michela Galea. She is an actress by profession and also a singer. We are both into the performing arts and she knows every single detail about me and every single thing that has happened in my life for the past five years so I genuinely cannot think of anyone better!

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I truly do not understand how certain people can portray one image but really be something else. The trait I most deplore in others has to be that of being double-faced. I stand by the mantra of never wishing others harm in order to do better myself and these people tend to be the exact opposite.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Live jazz music for sure! It makes everything better.

What is your most treasured material possession?

A medical school book that my grandma had given me when I was very young. She’s always believed that reading was extremely important and my love for reading and constant hunger for knowledge has definitely become instilled within me because of her.

What is your earliest memory?

Playing in the garden with my late grandad. He was making jokes and I remember laughing the entire time.

When did you last cry, and why?

On stage at the Miss Universe Malta crowning. I was so overwhelmed and almost couldn’t believe that something I had worked so hard for was finally coming true.

Who would you most like to meet?

Megan Markle. She was my all-time favourite actress growing up and now definitely someone I look up to for having fought against the traditions and rules of the Royal Family for love. She’s definitely someone I would love to have a lengthy conversation with.

What’s your favourite food?

Impossible to choose one! But crispy aromatic duck and pancakes!

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

I am not one to follow social media too much as I don’t have too much time to sit around and play on my phone. However, I enjoy following ‘mytrio’ on Instagram as I feel that she is such a genuine person and is extremely real.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I would go back in time to meet the teenage version of my grandmother! I hear so many crazy stories from her childhood and she just has such a unique and marvellous character now at 82 that I just can’t imagine what she was like back then. I think you can tell I have a huge soft spot for her!

What book are you reading right now?

‘Belle’ by Lesley Pearse.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I would be invisible so I could taste food from all the different cuisines and then eat it all again twice!

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Serve as a missionary for a year.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

The Chill Hits playlist on Spotify. It’s also my way of finding out that new songs have been released.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Anything from ‘Sweet Caroline’, to Adele. This is really cheesy but when I’m working out, there’s one particular mash-up from ‘the greatest showman’ which somehow helps to run sometimes 15km without getting tired.

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