Tonight marks the climax of the re-branded Miss Malawi 2016/17 project, which endeavours to manage the country’s overpopulation, when only one person, will be declared the country’s beauty queen and the face of a campaign against overpopulation.
The setting is Bingu International Convention Centre’s (Bicc) Banquet Hall in Lilongwe where 14 beautiful and brainy forces from Southern, Central and Northern regions will invade the runway mainly by means of catwalk, confidence and brainpower to outdo each other from 6:30pm.
All contestants will parade in categories of office, swim, evening, traditional and casual wear before the top five qualify for the questions test. Miss Malawi 2011 Susan Mtegha, who is currently pursuing studies overseas, is expected to relinquish the crown through her first princess Maya Msosa.
A grand prize of a Nissan Tiida worth K5 million has been dangled by the organisers of the pageant- Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) to ensure effective engagements and mobility of the would-be Malawi queen in her fight against overpopulation. The first and second princesses will also go away with undisclosed prizes.
The chairperson of Miss Malawi, Albert Banda, said all is set for the grand finale, which has taken the organisers a year to prepare to ensure a majestic comeback of the supreme contest of the land, which was last held five years ago.
He described the pageant as exceptional in the sense that it seeks to turn beauty models into agents of change as far as arresting the country’s overpopulation is concerned.
“Our motto is Beauty with Purpose. Meaning we want to put beauty to the right use to achieve meaningful development in the country. What we are saying is that we want to arrest the country’s overpopulation through the power of beauty and brains. And we know this is possible if we all join hands to help our girls and country realise this dream,” said Banda.
Overpopulation is a critical issue currently hindering Malawi’s social and economic development. In most cases, the phenomenon has a female face where girls and women bear its brunt through uncontrolled child-bearing.
Further research indicates that overpopulation breeds ultra poverty as citizens tend to scramble for scanty available resources such as medical and food provisions. Worse still, overpopulation forces poor and jobless citizens to turn to natural resource such as forests for survival.
“Malawi is currently experiencing the adverse effects of climate change partly because its population has turned to forests for charcoal burning, timber milling and domestic firewood for both economic and energy use. Therefore, if we leave the trend as it is, Malawi will be reduced to a pulp in the near future,” said Banda.
It is against this background that NPL, ZBS and their partners thought of re-branding Miss Malawi to use it as a weapon to manage the country’s overpopulation.
Former Miss Malawi organiser Carver Bhima described the grand finale as a beginning of the crucial mission of the entire project.
“The grand finale is not the end of the pageant, but the beginning of a crucial task. It is time for the would-be Malawi queen and her princesses to prepare for their tasks ahead,” said Bhima.
He urged all partners involved in the Miss Malawi project to render their continued support to the winning team to ensure an effective mission.
“The queens will need support and strong partnership to achieve their goals while in their office. Therefore, let the sponsors and partners continue supporting them. I would also like to challenge the models to dedicate themselves to this noble work. It is their passion and work that will help them to deliver. It’s not a question of getting a car or wearing the Miss Malawi title but making a difference out there,” said Bhima.
Banda also asked government institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to utilise the Miss Malawi office in the fight against overpopulation in the country.
The Miss Malawi grand finale promises thrills and glamour as lots of exciting activities have been lined up. These include raffle draw and live music performances from Lulu, Sangie, The Great Angels Choir and Mizu Band.
The 2016/17 Miss Malawi has been made possible with support from partners such as Family Planning Association of Malawi (Fpam), Glam and Glory, Umodzi Park, Itel Mobile Company, GA Glalee, Makawa Gym, Riverside, Afcon Travel Company, Falcon Insurance Agency, Planet Car Hire and Insight Media.n