The battle for Miss Malawi crown begins on Saturday with auditions at Mzuzu Sunbird as organisers say the former queen Blandina Khondowe will be part of the judging panel.
Spokesperson for the event Teresa Temweka Ndanga said the other judges making it to the panel are former organiser of the event Tadala Chihana and marketer Wilkins Mijiga.
The three bring worth of experience to the event as they have been hired to address specific needs of the contest.
“Blandina is a good example of a successful queen who is now working with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. She will use her experience to coach and motivate contestants in the event.
“Tadala has been in the team that put up the last pageant. She understands what beauty pageant is all about. Mijiga is youthful and energetic. He knows what beauty is. We have brought him in to bring the male perspective of beauty,” said Ndanga.
The beauty pageant returns after media houses Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) took over the operating licence to run the event from Events Management Limited.
The previous title holders of the pageant last organised the contest in 2012 where Susan Mtegha was crowned Miss Malawi.
This year, the organisers will first of all hold auditions to scout interested individuals from all corners of the country. After Mzuzu as a hub for participants in the Northern Region, auditions will move to Lilongwe on July 30 and Blantyre on August 28.
Regional finals will take place on November 5 for the North, December 3 (Central Region) and January 28 (Southern Region).
Ndanga said, among other things, the judges will be looking at the contestant’s speaking ability, projection, self-confidence, poise and appearance in evening gown, tight fittings and cultural wear.
Khondowe, who was crowned Miss Malawi in 2002, said the crown gave her a lot of opportunities to travel around the world as a tourism ambassador for the country.
“In my reign, I didn’t have challenges but a lot of opportunities. I travelled a lot and it was because of the initiative and efforts of the organisers and at the time Mr. Bhima was the manager who knew his job very well.
“I was made tourism ambassador where I travelled with officers from the department of tourism at international and domestic fora to promote destination Malawi,” said Kondowe, who was crowned Miss Malawi at age 21.
The return of Miss Malawi, particularly the auditions in Mzuzu, has brought excitement among models in the region.
A student at University of Livingstonia (Unilia) Yewo Gondwe who was crowned Miss O’seasons in Mzuzu said the auditions in the North have given aspiring individuals an opportunity to participate in the national event.
“Usually, interested ladies in the North do not participate in such an event because we are sidelined. Holding the auditions and regional finals here will give us an equal opportunity to advance our career,” said Gondwe who is awaiting her graduation in August.
The reigning Miss Unilia Alinafe Kankhande said the North lags behind in modelling and the auditions are an opening for those willing to take their career further.
“Surely, those to take part in the auditions will benefit whether they are picked or not. They will learn a few tricks on what beauty pageant is all about,” said Kankhande, 22.