She finally got it. After failing to win the Miss Deaf Africa in 2018, Chimwemwe Kamkwamba had the last laugh when she won the crown at a glittering ceremony held in Seychelles on Sunday night.
The Malawian beat nine other contestants to claim the crown.
“I doubted I could make it. Then reality came when they called my name as the winner of the contest.
“Oh! I felt like it was a dream, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s all praise to God for this honour,” Kamkwamba said in a WhatsApp interview from Seychelles.
She said this year the competition was tough.
“The competition was high. And I was not sure what was in the minds of the judges but I was confident I was going to take the crown home,” she said.
Kamkwamba said winning the prestigious award will not benefit her alone as she will use the platform to inspire deaf people.
“I am planning to reach out to many deaf people and encourage those that are hopeless and have given up on life because they are deaf,” she said.
For winning the crown, Kamkwamba has earned 1 000 euros (about K820 000) and a return air ticket to Seychelles to do charity work in her capacity as Miss Deaf Africa.
Last year, a girl from Mozambique claimed the crown.
Reacting to the news, Malawi National Association for the Deaf (Manad) executive director Byson Chimenya said they were delighted with the news.
“It is great news to all of us. Her victory will put Malawi on the world map. We are happy that she has won,” he said.
Kamkwamba’s chaperone Florence Banda, who travelled with her to Seychelles, appealed for support in the future, saying every year they struggle to raise money for the country’s representative to travel for the contest.
“It feels great to see this victory. But I want to appeal for sponsorship. We always have a hard time to fly the contestant. But now you see, we have Miss Deaf Africa from Malawi,” she said.
A contestant from Mauritius was crowned first princess while a Zimbabwean representative emerged second princess.
Other countries that participated in the contest were Mozambique, Ethiopia, Namibia, Swaziland, Seychelles and La Reunion.