Rwanda approval ends ugly spat over Africa beauty contest

Miss Africa rep from  Ivory Coast Marchella

Miss Africa rep from Ivory Coast Marchella

From PHYLLIS BIRORI in Kigali, Rwanda and Gift Ndolwane in South Africa
KIGALI, (CAJ News) – MORE than 40 beauty queens from around the continent are to grace the catwalk in Rwanda next month for the second Miss Africa after organizers of the Pan-African event overcame some copycats eager to hijack the concept.
Financial challenges that scuttle preparations for the inaugural edition held in South Africa in 2016 have also been overcome.
The government of Uganda has endorsed the initiative by South African-based ProAct Entertainment, paving way for the pageant to be held in the capital Kigali this year.
Models aged 18-25 years will participate at the contests to be held under the theme, “Africanism”, in line with the objective of women empowerment, education and eradicating poverty in the continent.
Pro-Act Communications Chief Executive, Neo Mashishi, said the number of contestants had doubled a stark contrast to last year when financial setbacks threatened the participation of some contestants from East Africa.
The host country’s flag carrier, Rwanda Air, has stepped in this year as official carrier of all participants.

Miss Africa rep from  Gabon Marilyne

Miss Africa rep from Gabon Marilyne

“We expect more countries, such as Morocco, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burundi, Cameroon, Tunisia, Tanzania, Kenya, Benin, Botswana that didn’t participate in 2016 to field contestants,” Mashishi said in an interview.
“The mission is to become a leading female project that grants young African women access to world limited resources and improve their leaving standard thus tell African stories from a woman’s perspective,” Mashishi said.
He said the winner would be required to advocate the plight facing Africa, such as poverty, malaria, HIV/Aids to the world and request global assistance.
The 2017 Miss Africa will be awarded a bursary to study Business Management, a car and cash prizes yet to be disclosed.
“Miss Africa’s objectives are to empower the winner educationally not just product prizes that will fade with time,” said Mashishi.
The judges’ panel consists of Wezi Muyembe Njovu, who is also the co-Founder of Zambia’s Fashion Week and Joy Macrain who is the Director of the Kenyan Macrain Model Agency.
Others are Sam Adeyemi, the Nigerian events guru, and Angola’s Carlos Goncalves.
Designers to dress the contestants are drawn from Ghana, South Africa and Zambia.

Miss Africa rep from Cameroon Kossinda

Miss Africa rep from Cameroon Kossinda

The East African country has endorsed the hosting of pageant through the Rwanda Development Board.
“Rwanda Development Board, through Rwanda Convention Bureau, is privileged to be associated with Miss Africa and recommends the organizers of this event for any kind of support you (stakeholders) would provide to them to be able to successfully host the event,” read a letter signed by Belise Kariza, the Rwanda Development Board Chief Tourism Officer.
Rebecca Asamoah, a dental hygienist, emerged the inaugural winner of the contests held in Johannesburg last year.
The 24-year-old Miss Ghana 2015 second runner-up beat 11 finalists drawn from an original list of 40 contestants from across the continent at the event staged in Gold Reef City Casino.
Zambian contestant, Michelo Malambo, and South Africa’s Jemimah Kandimiri placed second and third respectively.
The historic pageant endorsed by governments across the continent was held under the theme, “Celebrating African Beauty and Culture.”
The impact made by the edition has made preparations for the second event hectic after copycats sprouted with their own Miss Africa versions.

Miss Africa rep from Nigeria Chioma

Miss Africa rep from Nigeria Chioma

Impersonators emerged in Egypt and Nigeria. Botswana has also been exposed for hijacking Miss Africa.
“They are counterfeit and bent on hijacking Miss Africa and misleading unsuspecting African girls,” Mashishi said.
“We want to unite Africa but they are destroying that vision by crowning another Miss Africa. There’s only one reining Miss Africa and that’s Rebecca Asamoah.”
The endorsement of the original Miss Africa at government level thus settles the dispute, much to the excitement of Mashishi.
“It took organisers of the pageant two years to put together the concept of Miss Africa. The long anticipated second Miss Africa pageant is coming,” he said.
CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=19211

Posted by on Apr 7 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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