Newly-crowned Miss Malawi Cecilia Khofi has called on Malawians to embrace beauty pageants as a platform for empowering the young and the beautiful to exploit their potential.
Khofi noted that Malawians are very sensitive to culture hence beauty contests have been viewed wrongly in the past but says what is crucial is to live within the precepts of what is acceptable, acknowledging the value of the Malawian culture while serving as Miss Malawi.
“But as a nation, we need to embrace beauty pageants as a platform for empowering the young and the beautiful to exploit their potential, to excel in their dreams as they become agents of change for their peers who often have no hope for a better future,” said Khofi in an interview published in The Nation newspaper.
“My role is to make Malawians appreciate beauty pageants promote the girl child to develop her mind and the minds of others and I will endeavour to achieve thisduring my tenure through awareness,” she said.
Khofi said she was inspired by her mother to join the beauty contest.
“With the inspiration I got from my mother, a kind woman who is always willing to help others, I was motivated to join the Miss Malawi beauty pageant. I had desire to help others and be a role model to many young girls who struggle to find someone to look up to,” she said.
The beauty queen said when she informed her parents and family about her intentions to contest in Miss Malawi, they were “very supportive and welcomed the idea.”
She said: “Knowing the potential I have to do great things, they believed in me. They envisaged me becoming the young ambassador of Malawi and a role model to a lot of girls, hence they welcomed the idea and encouraged me to contest.”
Her role as a Miss Malawi is to appeal to society to consider the way population is exploding to the sky.
According to Dr. Jubilee Tizifa, a sociology lecturer at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Miss Malawi will be able to convince her fellow youth on the consequences of overpopulation.
“As a young person, she will be attractive to her age mates and this will work to her advantage. Beauty will attract young people to listen to her,” she is quoted in the paper as saying.
Dr. Chiwoza Bandawe, a psychologist at University of Malawi’s College of Medicine and The Polytechnic asserts that it is a well calculated move to entrust Miss Malawi the responsibility of preaching the gospel of overpopulation to society as most youths will listen to her rather than elderly people.
“Young people tend to listen to each other. They always identify with one another and that’s where the advantage of Miss Malawi lies,” says the psychologist.
“It is this centre of beauty that human beings by their nature, crave to be,” he argues.
Khofi told the paper that she is currently working with the Ministry of Health [MoH] at Blantyre District Health Office [DHO] and that she is also a human rights activist working with several organisations in fighting against gender-based violence and human trafficking,.
She is a graduate of University of Malawi with a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition.
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