The Night of the Long Knives, in June 1934, was not about beauties.
It was about knives, death, tears and darkness. Four million soldiers deemed not loyal to Germany dictator Adolf Hitler were butchered to untimely deaths.
Tonight at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre, just like in 1934, is another long night of tears, though, without knives and deaths.
It will be a glamorous night of parades, of judges with pens and pads, of questions and answers as Miss Malawi 2016 closes its regional editions.
The journey started in Mzuzu where Northern Region settled for its three representatives in the April national finals. Lilongwe came second where Central Region chose its five.
Tonight, Southern Region enters the fray. The stakes are high not just for the country’s populous region to fill the gap of the remaining seven models, but, most importantly, to close the regional phase of the contest with a glamorous bang.
Eight soldiers, loyal to the Miss Malawi crown, will battle it out tonight before three judges—banker Margaret Kubwalo-Chaika, marketer Wilkins Mijiga and event organiser Tadala Chihana.
Like the Night of Long Knives, the three judges have their work cut out, mercilessly though, to scrap off one, just one, from the eight models. It will be a tearful end for the casualty.
However, the contest, after tonight’s show, will be full throttle for it will give a shape of the national finals slated for April.
With Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) on the organising seat, this year’s Miss Malawi pageant has taken off on a high note after its slump years ago.
Spokesperson of the organising team Theresa Ndanga is upbeat with tonight’s show appealing to the audience to be ‘more supportive of the contestants’.
She said, if encouraged, the girls will do their best. This being the first time in years since the event was held, she said, the girls are learning again how to handle themselves before a big audience.
“We hope the general public will be supportive along the journey,” she added. In what is out of norm, Ndanga disclosed that the girls will parade to live music played by the acclaimed Mizu Band. The band’s manager Emmanuel Maliro told The Nation that they are set for tonight.
“We have songs for every event and have lined up a perfect song list for this.
“People should expect a thrilling night because Mizu Band has rehearsed intensively to dish out nothing but the best,” he said.
This year’s Miss Malawi has been hatched with the idea of using modelling as a professional vehicle of managing the country’s soaring population currently estimated at 17 million.
Ndanga, hence, says this is an opportunity for organisations working on population issues to spot talent and brilliant ideas that the girls articulate.
“Overpopulation is a national problem and we hope stakeholders working in this area will join us for the event tonight,” she said.
Indeed, the entire nation need to lock hands with NPL and ZBS on this. n