Nangah Tabah: Beauty queen with brains

When Nangah Tabah was crowned Minnesota’s Cameroonian beauty queen in a beauty contest a couple of years ago, some people believed that she had just the good looks. This past May, however - she asserted herself as a career woman when she got her second degree from Iowa Law School.

Nangah Tabah obtained her first degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in May 2005. Her parents stood by her side on graduation day as she made another milestone in her life by acquiring a Law Degree from Iowa Law School this May.

“I am deeply grateful,” a brimming young and vivacious Nangah told this reporter on graduation day while her parents stood by in solidarity. She added: “I know that I worked hard, but I am also certain that success would not be mine without the support of family, friends and their prayers. This is a moment of exhilaration and humility at the same time.”

Speaking about her first degree in Chemical Engineering, she said: “I received a Bachelor’s Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in May 2005. Following my undergraduate career, I worked for Dow Chemical Company as a Process Engineer for a year, after which I attended Law School at the Iowa University - College of Law School from the fall of 2006 to May 2009.”

“I have received an offer to work for the law firm of Jenner & Block, in its Chicago office. I will practice in the area of Patent Litigation.”

The beauty queen has words of praise for the credentials of Iowa Law School. “The University of Iowa’s College of Law is one of the nation’s top law schools. Beyond its ranking and reputation for excellence, I came to appreciate the warmth of faculty and students. The faculty and staff care. The College is a collegiate and welcoming space within a very competitive profession. I could not have chosen a better place to begin my legal career.”

Asked to give a word of advice to other young ladies who have a desire to build a professional career, she said:

“Three words - go for it. If you have a passion, interest, goal, desire, pursue it. Higher education is an excellent platform for achieving one’s dreams for affecting change, and for empowering oneself and others.

“The importance of higher education is highlighted especially considering the current state of global economic crisis, it empowers one’s competitive edge in a climate where unemployment rates are rising every day. Accompanying the protocol advantage of obtaining a higher education is the deep sense of fulfillment of a worthy accomplishment.”

Nangah Tabah has other talents, a passion and gift of writing poetry. “Poetry remains a thriving part of me. I express poetry in my daily writing, in music and – more recently – in designing and drawing artwork. I will always value poetry as a powerful medium of expression.”

Nangah Tabah has a rich history of volunteer work in the Twin Cities. At the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) she was a darling of all staff and clients as she participated in fund-raising AIDS walks, reached out to educate the community on how to fight the pandemic as she believed that if we do nothing, many lives would be lost through this ‘monster’.

As for the future plans in her private life, she believes in family life. “I am blessed with much love and joy in my life, for which I am deeply grateful. A family in terms of marriage and kids will also be most welcome in future.”

Nangah Tabah is a role model for African immigrants in the Diaspora who wish to empower their lot in a very competitive world that only rewards those who put in their best in their career development.

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