The possibility of Malawi having a new beauty queen this year hangs in the balance after reigning national pageantry organizers, Artistic Agency (AA), have hinted on pulling-out due to lack of financial resources.
The agency was given the exclusive rights to run Miss Malawi activities 2011, with a prospect of renewing a contractual agreement by way of paying a licence fee to the rights holder; Events Management Limited (EML) for the year 2012.
However, AA has said it does not have money to renew its licence with EML and let alone finish payment for the 2011 licence.
â€œUnless a miracle happens, I donâ€™t see Artistic Agency this year running Miss Malawi. We are highly indebted as we are yet to finish payment for our 2011 licence, part of the K250 000 [about $833] on accommodation for the girls during last yearâ€™s boot camp. With this, we cannot be thinking of raising money for this year. In fact, issues surrounding us owing some organisations money is now a legal matter as lawyers are handling them,â€ said the organisationâ€™s artistic director Vitu Kamanga.
â€œSome of this money was pledged by the corporate world. But later the organisations pulled out their support. It has been a heavy load on our part as organisers because we have been using our own resources towards activities of Miss Malawi. We had planned to hold this yearâ€™s pageant in early or mid December but it will take a miracle for us to do that,â€ added Kamanga.
However, he was noncommittal on how much Artistic Agency owes EML or the cost of a new licence for running Miss Malawi 2012.
One of EML directors Dannie Kamwaza said in a separate interview they cannot say much on Artistic Agencyâ€™s position on Miss Malawi.
â€œArtistic Agency is an independent entity and the relationship it had with us was contractual and specific for the 2011 pageant. It did not extend to the 2012 Pageant. Other entities have run the Miss Malawi Pageant before and we are sure there will be others with the capacity to run the pageant in future. If it fails, then so be it,â€ said Kamwaza.
â€œThe biggest problem with Miss Malawi is resources. Sponsors need to supplement on what organisers have and not solely relying on them. Therefore, we want someone who has resources and not interested in profit to run Miss Malawi. The reigning queen recently went to China for the Miss World but reading between the lines, her trip was marred with lack of resources up to the extent that she got stuck,â€ explained Kamwaza.
He could also not disclose how much Artistic Agency owes EML.
Said Kamwaza: â€œThe matter is beyond us.Â As for the 2012 licence fee, we have not set the level of fees for this year. Should a bonafide entity approach us with the interest to run the pageant, we shall at that time decide on the fees to be paid.â€Â