New Ms Matofotofo Lilongwe speaks out

An Area 18B resident, Florence Banda, is the new Miss Matofotofo Lilongwe. She won the title on Friday night when she outclassed eight other contestants at a glamorous pageant that took place at Sunbird Capital Hotel.

Nyasa Times(NT) caught up with the 34-year-old Florence Banda (FB) and in this online interview, she states that she might not contest in the forthcoming national event.

Florence Banda: New Miss True African Queen (Matofotofo) Lilongwe

NT: Tell us a bit about yourself
FB: Am single but I have two children. Am the first born, a family of six and am working with Mota-Engil as secretary to the Board Director for Africa.

NT: Let’s go to Friday’s event, what do you think made you win the crown?
FB: I can’t speak on behalf of the judges because I don’t know what criteria they used on choosing the winner but if I may make the claim, I think I was myself at every stage of the parade.

NT: How would you describe the competition?
FB: It was tough. The contestants were just hot.

NT: And how does it feel after beating the other eight contestants?
FB: I feel humbled and overwhelmed as all of those contestants were equally deserving.

NT: Are you ready to face the heat in the Miss Matofotofo Malawi?

FB: Am not ready and it will depend on my availability and my health.

NT: Health? This would prompt us (the public) to question why you decided to contest in the competition you just won. Why did you?
FB: Forget about health. Because of my fluffy body and the weight I thought I was qualified for the competition and my boyfriend and friends encouraged me, and here I am.

NT: So should we say you joined the competition because of your eligibility and encouragements not that you had passion for it and to participate at national level?
FB: At the end of the day it’s about having fun on stage. And representing the true African queen concept. The competition to me comes next. So let’s wait until the national finals and hopefully I will be around to showcase myself.

NT: The ‘True African Queen Concept’ how would you make Malawian women understands and embraces it?
FB: I think through this contest we expose beauty as generic to the way we were born and look than an adopted idea of what’s beautiful. This is just a stepping stone for the future. Thank you for the questions.

NT: And a big thanks to you for taking your time to talk to Nyasa Times. Have a blessed day.

Miss Matofotofo is a contest for women who wear size 40 and above, with no restrictions on age, height and marital status. Matofotofo means big and fluffy in the Ndebele language. The founders of the pageant say their idea is to reclaim the true meaning of beauty from an African perspective.

“This contest bestows confidence in African women so that they are proud of their tradition, proud of the way they look and proud of the traditional African women.”

Miss Matofotofo Malawi was introduced from Zimbabwe in 2010 and before the title goes national, women compete at regional level, mainly in the major cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.

Following the crowning of Miss Matofotofo Lilongwe, the event is expected to take place in the remaining cities where five ladies in each city will be selected to join the top five in last Friday’s contest.

Besides crowning Florence Banda as the new Miss Matofotofo Lilongwe, Leah Banda was crowned the First Princess, Constance Kachoka Second Princess and the Miss Personality went to Violet Gwaligwali.

“A total of fifteen ladies will compete at national level,” disclosed former Miss Matofotofo Lilongwe, who is the reigning Miss Matofotofo Malawi and happens to be sharing both first and last names with the new Matofotofo Florence Banda.

Miss Matofotofo Malawi, who also works for Zodiak Broadcasting Station and was given the mantle to run the competition from this year, described last Friday’s event as “memorable”.

“The Minister of Tourism was the guest of honour, Members of Parliament and some Cabinet Ministers also graced the event,” she said.

As winner of this year’s Miss Matofotofo Lilongwe, Florence went away with a live goat, which is the traditional prize, a night away at any Sunbird hotel, Aloe Vera hampers, saloon vouchers and K30, 000 cash, among other prizes.

The two runners up also had a live goat each, Aloe Vera hampers, salon vouchers and K10,000 each.
Miss Matofotofo Lilongwe was sponsored by Darling Industries, Sunbird Hotels, Eces Print, Intercontinental Graphics designs, Mercantile International, Capital Glass, Andrews Group of Companies, Sunpet Enterprise, Platinum Aura Salon, Aloe Vera and Harmony salons.

Miss Matofotofo Lilongwe 2011: I might not contest at the national level

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