Former Miss Malawi UK, 19-year-old university student Rose Mmangisa, was crowned Face of Malawi at the contest’s inaugural glitzy event in London on Saturday night and went home with a Renault Megan convertible car as a grand prize.
Face of Malawi UK is a new beauty pageant for male and female categories and was launched at Stratford Town Hall with 9 contestants – four men and five women – with one male contestant Enock Banda pulling out.
Sangwani Harawa, was judged the runner-up and University of Birmingham nursing student Tamanda Mtumbula, came third in the competition and first among the male contestants which saw Mphatso Mattaka getting the Personality title.
But as Director of the event, MC Chijota announced the judges winner, Mmangisa, the sizeable crowd reacted with mixed feelings; some cheering the beauty queen while others protesting.
“It’s a fix. How could someone who already won a beauty crown be allowed to compete again. This is not fair,” protested Simukonda.
She shouted at the judges who included former Miss Malawi Alexina Phiri, and former TV Malawi presenter Khumbo Kachibekete for being “biased.”
Joining the chorus of accusations were socialite Phyllis Sweetjuice and Mphatso Makwenda – all saying there could be another winner.
But those cheering Rose including fashion designer Dama Phiri, said she was “a deserved winner” and a “perfect Face of Malawi” in UK.
The show started with a spectacular choreographed dance routine, with all the contestants on stage in Malawian traditional costumes .
While beauty remains central to the contest, the men and women taking part were chiefly judged on their talents, the way they presented themselves and pledged involvement in good causes.
Rose , Event Management student at University of Coventry said she was “excited” winning the first ever Face of Malawi UK.
“I stand here overwhelmed by this honour,” she said.
Her mother Beatrice Mmangisa was dancing and singing.
“I am proud of my daughter,” she said.
“When she won the Miss Malawi UK in 2014, I was overjoyed but tonight am very much proud. And she did not get any prize after winning Miss Malawi UK. Tonight we are driving home in a car,” she said.
Rose has a provisional driving licence and gave the keys to the mother who took the car home in Luton.
Beauty Phekani and Sheila Banda Tobie; founders of the contest, told Nyasa Times that while they appreciate that, beauty is still one of the most highly valued characteristics a woman can possess; they decided to involve men to show the beautiful face of Malawi with an objective of charitable works.
They say beauty competitions in these modern days are not only about picking the prettiest girl but it is about so much more than that.
“Pageants have really moved on, it is now about who the girls are inside rather than looking at them just physically. And the boys also have the beauty that they can be ambassadors for Face of Malawi UK,” said Phekani.
She said Face of Malawi UK is evolving to a charity organisation and would use the title holders to carry its activities in Malawi.
The organisers say they were encouraged by the crowd which came to support them event at its launch and indeed they lived up to their promise with VIP tables getting value for their tickets with more food and whisky.
The also lived to their billing for giving out a car as a prize immediately after the show.
Organisers say they want to set standards and live with them.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :