Malawian model Amber Chidzalo, who is the reigning Zuri Africa Malawi Queen, is set to represent the country at the Zuri Africa Queen continental showpiece in Kenya.
The model will compete against representatives from 22 other African countries, including Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Somalia, Mozambique and DR Congo at the event slated for December 14.
Chidzalo, 25, will compete for the main continental crown while her first princess Claire Thindwa and second princess Natasha Simakweli will be vying for the Zuri Africa Princess title. The three, who are expected to leave for Kenya on December 6, were crowned during an event held on May 11 this year.
The pageant is a global programme that aims at exposing Africa and its culture to the outside world and the Zuri Africa queens are regarded as ambassadors of culture in their respective countries.
According to local coordinator Madalo Mkuwu, winners will be determined on the basis of speech articulation, cooking skills of local dishes, catwalk and participation in a cultural debate.
“This pageant is very unique in several ways. It is the only beauty competition which considers those who come second and third in their respective local contests. It allows them to win something and get some international experience,” she said.
Mkuwu said the winner of the beauty competition, which is the brainchild of Zimbabwean Ryan Nush, will, among others, receive $3 000 (K2.2 million), a sponsored trip to Germany, a supply of cosmetics, a magazine contract and sign up with one best modelling agent in Kenya.
In an interview, Chidzalo said minus a few logistical issues affecting her preparations, her mind is set for the pageant and she remains confident that the country’s chances to get the crown are high.
She said: “I have an insight of what the demands into the contest are. I have prepared a traditional song, I have come up with a collection of nthano[folktales] which I will recite and I will showcase my skills in preparing traditional dishes too.”
Chidzalo said she is working hard to mobilise resources to meet the cost of attires she intends to hire, her up-keep, a return air ticket and production of a small video documentary showcasing some of the country’s beautiful places.