The Miss Malawi beauty pageant finals will be held in Mombasa on April 29 at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC ) in Lilongwe, four years since Miss Malawi was crowned, organisers have disclosed.
Two media houses, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and Nation Publications Limited (NPL) revived the Miss Malawi taking over management of the pageant from Events Management Limited.
In the search for the ‘queen’, the organisers have conducted auditions in all the three regions of the country to find crème de la crème to the contest in the finals.
After first auditions in Mzuzu and then Lilongwe, the southern region had its share when Mount Soche Hotel in Blantytre courted glamour, splendour and beauty at t regional finals.
The Miss Malawi audition judges have been respected marketer, Wilkins Mijiga, one time Miss Malawi organiser Tadala Chihana and former beauty queen, Blandina Khondowe.
Director of News and Current Affairs at Zodiak, Teresa Ndanga told Nyasa Times the Blantyre event was one of the best.
“I think people have realised that it’s a serious show, the patronage here is plain evidence,” said Ndanga.
She further added that the Lilongwe finals will be “something that has never been seen before.”
One of the patrons Ronald Chimpalabwazi Amos could not hide his delight.
“This is spectacular, we are really going international on organising beauty pageants, but the space was not enough, Ithink the organisers underrated the magnitude of this event,” said Chimpalabwazi.
The passionate girls who impressed judges in Blantyre for being self-confident and ready to drive this year’s theme which is addressing overpopulation included Nthanda Manduwi, Gladys Kumbatira, Peggy Mwanguku, Cecila Khofi, and Peggy Mwanguku.
Peggy is 22 years old, a primary school teacher. Currently, she is pursuing a diploma in early childhood.
According to The Nation, joining Miss Malawi has always been her dream because she believes role modelling provides a platform for humans to reveal their innermost abilities.
“If I become Miss Malawi I will work with different organisations such as Banja La Mtsogolo, PSI Malawi and Family Planning Association of Malawi (Fpam) to ensure that contraceptives are available in different places and see to it that people know and understand how to use them,” she says.
Twenty-one year old Nthanda is a fourth year social science student at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in Zomba. She is also says into saloon and cosmetics business. She is passionate about charity and is a proud member of the Lion’s Club International.
“I decided to go for Miss Malawi because as a young girl, I always wanted to be somebody people should look to,” she says.
The Miss Malawi contest, she says, gives her the chance to live and fulfil the dream.
“I relate to the theme so much because of my studies in the past four years. I have learnt a lot in books and in the field about how badly we need to control the population in Malawi,” she says.
Pursuing this, she further says, would mean combining her passion in pageantry and population studies.
Vanessa Chiutsi, 21, is studying networking at Techno Brain. She describes herself as open to new experiences and always optimistic.
“I decided to participate in the Miss Malawi Beauty Pageant because as Miss Malawi, I will be a great role model to young girls and make a difference in their lives by teaching them that they too can achieve their dreams and help in curbing population growth,” she says.
She says she would also encourage both boys and girls to stay in school because education comes with informed decisions.
So far, Northern Region has Miwasy Nyirenda, Tadala Uta and Vanessa Mtegha while the Central Region has Yvonne Kamanga, Chikondi Chisalika, Tiyamike Kazima, Alinafe Chalunda and Charity Bauleni Kachitsa as finalists.
NPL chief executive officer Mbumba Banda explains on the importance of the Miss Malawi theme in quoted reported by The Nation: “As we are all aware, the population of Malawi is growing at an alarming rate. According to the 2008 Malawi Population and Housing Census enumerated by the National Statistics Office [NSO], our population was said to be 13.1 million, with an annual growth rate of 2.8 percent and a density of 139 persons per square kilometre.
“In 2014, the figure reached 15.8 million people. At the current growth rate of 2.8 percent, Malawi’s population will have reached 29.6 million in 2033 [according to UNFPA Malawi]. Malawi’s land size remains the same at 118 480 square kilometres that fit 13.1 million people in 2008 and we will have to fit 29.6 million people in 2033.”
She says there are strong linkages between population and development.
“While Malawi’s development agenda centres on the reduction of poverty through sustainable economic growth, the rapid population growth that Malawi is experiencing is a threat to that very cause. Among others, rapid population growth has been known to impact several development areas among them; climate change.
“The scramble for land is growing by the day which is resulting in deforestation. Malawi is actually ranked the first in Southern Africa Development Community [Sadc] deforestation rate, second in Africa and fourth in the world. As the population continues to grow, there will be less and less land reserved for cultivation. Women are, therefore, crucial in the production of food in Malawi,” Banda says.
Malawi government data shows that women constitute three quarters of subsistence farmers in Malawi and in terms of employment opportunities; there will be a scramble for fewer and fewer jobs, while we have extremely high pupil teacher ratio which impact negatively on the quality of education.
“Rapid population growth will have an impact on efforts to reduce this ratio to a manageable size. Uncontrolled population would also impact classroom space, which however little may result in dropout and early marriages for girls among the other sectors,” Banda adds.
The chosen young ladies would, therefore, act as role models for girls to remain in school and avoid early marriages.
They will also encourage fellow youths to access sexual reproductive health services and help in efforts to control continued population growth through, for instance, the spread of all-important messages among young women.
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