The Miss World finale returns for the 62nd year on August 18, but Malawi may miss out at the showcase as organisers and sponsors of Miss Malawi contestÂ Â riskÂ breaking the promise they made to reigning queen, Susan Mtegha.
During her coronation in December last year, Mtegha was promised a ticket to the global beauty contest in China. However, organising chairperson Vitu KamangaÂ said this week his firmâ€”Artistic Agencyâ€”is failing to raise K1 million (about $4 000) shortfall for the trip.
“Despite pledges and the zeal from the corporate world before and soon after Mtegha won the Miss Malawi crown, nobody has come forward to ensure she attends the pageant,” said Kamanga on Monday.
Malawi might miss out on Ms World
He said they have only raised about K1 million, almost half of the amount the queen and her chaperone need for the China trip and upkeep in China. The sum comes in fulfilment of a pledge from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
“We are starting all over again to find sponsorship for her trip to China, but many companies say they are not financially stable. We plead with them to come forward and help. If Malawi misses this opportunity, it will be a big shame,” said Kamanga.
All Miss World contestants are expected to be in China on July 18 for a series of events in the run-up to the final. If she fails, Mtegha will join a string of local queens who have failed to participate in the global beauty event since it started .
“It will be very sad if I don’t not go to China due to lack of sponsorship because I have been looking forward to this. It appears Malawians do not take beauty pageants seriously. Elsewhere, these contests empower young women, educate them, provide exposure and employment,” said Mtegha in an interview.
She thanked Miss Malawi organisers for their efforts even though they are yet to pay Miss World registration fees.
By Wednesday, about 100 countries had confirmed participation to the glamorous event. Among them were our neighbours Zambia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Mtegha feels participating in the pageant will be a great achievement not only for her but for the country.
“I’m exercising a lot to keep in shape. I’m practising my walk, posture, speech and articulation,” she said.
Mtegha is supposed to leave for China on July 16, for preparatory events, including a tour of scenic sites in Hong Kong, Sanya and Shanghai.
Nigerian model Agbani Darego is the only African to be crowned Miss World since the contest started in 1955.