In search of beauty, brains

The Miss Malawi beauty contest is back. It was revived in 2016 after a four-year break, following the decision by the country’s two media giants, Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) to take over the running of the contest.  The approach has undergone transformation and now takes a longer route before settling for a beauty queen. Currently, the organising committee has just finished preliminary regional auditions and now the contestants who were successful during the first round go to the regional finals. Our entertainment editor EDITH GONDWE caught up with the chairperson of the organising committee Albert Banda to get more about the process and preparations for the Miss Malawi 2018 beauty contest.

Banda: Malawians should expect to watch hotly contested regional finals

Q

: We have witnessed the end of regional preliminary auditions for Miss Malawi 2018. How did they go?

A

: We are excited that auditions went well in all regions of the country. Worthy noting is the fact that there is stiff competition among the contestants such that Malawians should expect to watch very hotly contested regional finals.  We, therefore, appeal to people to give support to the girls by coming to watch regional finals.

 

Q

: Now that we have finalists for the regional finals, what’s next?

A

: From auditions the next stage is regional finals where the girls will compete for a place in national finals. This is the stage where the girls will be asked serious questions and get to be examined on assertiveness, reasoning, relevance of their answers to questions and how expressive they are. This is in addition to assessing their beauty, catwalk abilities and also how they present themselves in different attires like evening, beach and traditional wear.

 

Q

: What has been lined up for the regional finals and when and where are they taking place?

A

: In the Northern Region, the venue for regional finals is Grand Palace in Mzuzu on December 2, 2017; for Southern Region the date is December 9, 2017 and we will communicate the venue at the end of this week while in the Central Region the place is Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) on January 27, 2017. At these regional contests lucky winners stand a chance to win Itel phones through raffle draws courtesy of Itel Mobile who are the main sponsors.

 

Q

: How are the preparations for the regional finals going on?

A

: This far we are satisfied that preparations are progressing on well. What is more comforting is that this year we will procure a motor vehicle as a grand price for the winner a little bit earlier than was the case last year. You may also wish to know that apart from the car, the crowned Miss Malawi will also go away with a laptop and cell phone. We will be updating these prizes as time goes by. Furthermore, judges are also ready for the show down.

 

Q

: How many girls are we expecting to participate in the regional finals?

A

: So far we have 12 girls for Blantyre in the Southern Region, 10 for Lilongwe in Centre and eight for Mzuzu in the North. This sums up to 30 girls. As earlier mentioned contestants will battle it out for the top spot at the national finals which will take place in April 2018.

 

Q

: There have been concerns in the past where able girls with potential shy away from participating in the beauty contest due to negative perception. Has the situation improved?

A

: When Nation Publications Limited and Zodiak Broadcasting Station applied for the licence to manage Miss Malawi we knew this is one aspect we have to deal with.

We invested a lot of resources carrying stories to reposition Miss Malawi. So far we are happy that the Miss Malawi beauty pageant has positive perceptions from the public based on how we have managed to conduct ourselves as organisers.

We should all remember that when we were taking over management of Miss Malawi our main object was to empower young women for them to play leadership and influential roles to their fellow youth. We have made good progress through Miss Malawi 2017 whose work has been around the theme  ‘managing rapid population growth’. We are always happy that the population growth has become an issue of national importance such that it is attracting the much needed political will it deserves. Research findings indicate that in Malawi girls start bearing children as early as age 15 which is detrimental to development of our country. This is the more reason why we appeal to the corporate world to join in this campaign so that together we can preach the message on the dangers of rapid population growth.

 

Q

: Any last words?

A

: We call upon different organisations to support our girls through Miss Malawi which is a strategic platform that brings together girls to demonstrate not only their beauty but most importantly their brains on how to tackle rapid population growth which is a concern to us all. The country’s resources are under pressure because our population is very high. n

 

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