Meet Malawi flag carrier at the Miss Black Africa pageantry, 20-year-old Alexina Phiri —a Birmingham based law student.
The beauty competition is one of UK’s largest ethnic pageant and will take place at the Royal Regency Hall in London on 5 October.
Thirty contestants from 17 African countries including Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cape Verde, Ghana, Congo, South Africa and Senegal will slug it out for the crown.
Phiri, who has been modelling for the past two years, is all geared up for the event.
“I am hoping my ambition, my charisma and my determination to win will help me get the crown. There are a lot of beautiful women participating in this competition but I believe this year belongs to Malawi,” said Phiri in an e-mail interview.
She said her motivation to represent Malawi was to show the other side of the country that has been overshadowed by stories about poverty among other challenges.
“I have always loved taking pictures. From an early age everyone used to say I was such a poser. The opportunity came along when a photographer in Birmingham asked me to model a few items, I thought why not. I love how every image can capture a different story and also how different photo can be achieved with a little change to lighting and angle.
“My motivation to represent Malawi at the Miss Black Africa was the fact that it would be a great platform to promote Malawi.
“People need to know that yes there is poverty in Malawi and yes we are not the richest country on earth but there is a lot that Malawi can offer. For example, Lake Malawi is the ninth largest freshwater lake in the world. With great beach resorts located in Mangochi, Salima, Nkhata Bay, Chiweta in Rumphi and not forgetting the popular Luromo Peninsula in Chilumba,” she explained.
Phiri added by saying: “Malawi is such a beautiful country with a lot to offer. And I love my country. It is important as Malawians that we promote our culture, our cuisine and also our spectacular scenery. If I was to be crowned Miss Black Africa 2013 I would try my best to make sure the whole world knows how amazing Malawi is”.
The model is set to participate in two beauty contests in a space of a week in the UK.
“I will participate in Miss Malawi UK on September 28 before walking the ramp again for Miss Black Africa,” explained Phiri. She has been featured in Fabafriq a magazine in the UK and has taken part in several fashion shows.