An interview with Miss Campbell by Dumisani Dube
Drag pageantry is a developed fabulous form of female impersonators. It is an art that requires precision and attention to detail. It’s fabulous, it’s fun. Miss Drag SA is a national pageant where beautiful and intelligent queens from across the nation come together to vie for the title. After three successful events, the pageant’s fourth crowning was challenged by the pandemic. However, after two years of ins and outs, on 1st May 2021 a queen was crowned. Drum roll please! All hail to the QUEEN, Miss Campbell from Johannesburg.
Born Jermain Jacobs (not Jackson), Miss Campbell who derives her name from the legendary model Naomi Campbell was raised in Westbury, the first-place people of colour could legally live in the City of Johannesburg. Miss Campbell says with a smile, “I grew up in that circle.”
Having been doing drag since 2015 when she put together her first costume to attend Pride, it was her first experience and it felt good. This first experience was later qualified with influence within the queer community, leading her to her first drag event in 2018. “I dressed as my higher self”, confident Campell says. The higher-self was a rainbow ensemble at Joburg Pride. The reception she received gave her a lot of influence to empower the queer community, bringing them a lot of comfort in particular spaces.
Miss Campbell brags about the support she has received from her family thus far. Something that many would wish for, the support from her mom and dad was amazing throughout her journey preparing to enter Miss Drag SA. However, they nearly didn’t recognise her on stage, the transformation was to the tee, but alas the tattoos sold her out. Hooray there she is, I hear them say. “They were amazed at the talent and art of drag,” she tells me.
Standing tall, I mean really tall is Miss Campbell, a robotics engineer by profession who draws inspiration from Manilla von Teez. She describes Manilla as a legend and is always amazed at her talent when it comes to women impersonation, immaculate when it comes to performance. She relates with RuPaul Charles as a person of colour.
Campbell describes herself as a “pretty big Pride Queen” owing to her appearance and advertising Joburg Pride in collaboration with the event organisers. This experience also doubled as a learning curve for her. Together with Joburg Pride, Queer GALA Archives have taken her on a schooling journey on Queer and Drag culture. “I like to take my drag to educate people as much as I can,” Campbell says.
“We must make sure that we are creating a platform in places where drag is not accessible or is simply perceived as impossible at all, “she says passionately addressing the issue of reaching out to all provinces and places that have never been drag-tapped. In alignment with Miss Drag SA’s vision, Miss Campbell wishes to be a drag Queen with a purpose, creating awareness and giving opportunities to people who are less fortunate. She is planning on creating a foundation under Miss Drag SA umbrella, a foundation that will cater for all LGBTI needs and a Digital Platform for aspiring Drag Queens that can be accessible throughout the country.
Like anyone, she has high hopes and great expectations! Miss Campbell wishes to enter Miss Continental to represent South Africa and she promises to bring it home. I give you Miss Drag SA 2021, Miss Campbell, you are the winner babie!