Recently, the birth of a new beauty pageant named Miss Warm Heart of Africa (MWHA) was announced. The most interesting thing that caught the general public’s eye was the battle that ensued among the organisers of Miss Malawi, Artistic Agency and sponsors Mnena Gaming who left and formed MWHA.
The two ended their relationship after they differed on the mode of choosing the winner and also because the sponsors wanted to change the name of the competition, which led to the birth of MWHA. For the past few months, organizers of the newly-born pageant have been conducting auditions in the northern, central and southern regions of the country.
Nyasa Times(NT) caught up with Khonda Chavula (KC) of Mnena Gaming and in this interview, he gives an update ahead of the MWHA finale mid next month. He also speaks about the alleged reports of legal battle between his company and Miss Malawi organizers.
NT: After the auditions in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre, what’s next?
KC: We will tally the votes and the auditioning judges’ scores and come up with the final 24 contestants. We expect to choose at least 24 pageants in total from the three regions. The chosen girls will now compete against each other for the final 15 slots that will parade on the final day. We will hold the event at the Sapitwa Hall (Cresta Hotel) in Lilongwe on the 16th December 2011.
NT: In total, how many girls made it through the auditions? And one of the issues that caught the public eye in the organization of this year’s Miss Malawi, which you’re ‘no longer part of’, was the mode of choosing the winner, what will be the mode for choosing Miss Warm Heart of Africa?
KC: The mode of choosing the winner is that the judges will have 50 percent say and the public will also have 50 percent say tallied through the public. This is happening all over the world now. The BMW costs millions, how much can pageants make by collecting on the door. This was one incentive by Mnena Gaming to bring some revenue to the pageant so that such shows are done professionally and that the office of the chosen queen can manage to reach out to the public by engaging in activities such as visiting the poor and sick, etcetera, which will require finances to be achieved.
NT: Besides the activities that you have mentioned? What else does the Miss Warm Heart of Africa office have on offer to the Malawian public?
KC: Miss Warm Heart of Africa is there to promote tourism. We are there to ensure the public start appreciating the beauty of their own country because charity begins at home. We will ensure that the various aspects of our activities are also showcased outside Malawi, probably on DStv through channels like African Magic, Mzansi and E-TV who we have engaged through MBC [Malawi Broadcasting Corporation] and MultiChoice Malawi. Talks are still on.
NT: Miss Warm Heart of Africa is a ‘break away’ from Miss Malawi, is there any difference between the two or it’s just the name difference?
KC: We have tried to engage the public, they have the chance to participate in the selection process thereby taking this pageant to each and every household and making each Malawian feel part of the process and thereby increase the acceptability of the results of the selection process. We have ensured that all prizes promised have been bought or the commitment to give them has been guaranteed from our esteemed partners like Swift Airlines, Mnena Gaming, Candlex [Limited], just to mention a few. The grand prize of the BMW is already available for viewing on request.
NT: People now are of the view that beauty pageants in Malawi are nothing but just titles, what’s your take on that view?
KC: We prefer not to talk about Miss Malawi to avoid conflicts that may ensue due to misunderstandings but the public can see for itself the differences.
NT: There are reports that Mnena Gaming has threatened to take legal action against Artistic Agency for failing to pay back K1.4 million which they owe you, how true are these reports?
KC: We don’t know where you got the figure of K1.4m and we will not be drawn into the public to comment on that. We are talking to Artistic Agency to ensure that both pageants [are] run successfully and compliment one another.
NT: But is it true that Artistic Agency owes Mnena Gaming money?
KC: Where did you hear that?
NT: It’s in the media and we would want to hear the truth of the matter from you.
KC: No comment.
NT: Thanks for the interview Khonda.
KC: Thank you for giving us audience.
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