17 semi-finalists set first boot camp in Botswana
The boot camp will give the semi-finalists a feel of international fashion stardom as well sprucing up their images as top models. Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia have two representatives each while Burundi, Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe have one each. The semi-finalists are Keamogetse Basima (Botswana), Sandra Bigirimana (Burundi), Selamawit Teshale (Ethiopia), Catherine Heramaans-Yankey and Mirash Davis (Ghana), Doris Anjalo and Getrude Ogada (Kenya), Venantia Otto (Namibia), Haruna Aisha Danjuma and Ishioma Onyebo (Nigeria), Phumelele Mtshali and Melody Zulu (South Africa) and Zuhura Mrisho (Tanzania). Chiposwa Ngoyi and Beatrice Mubanga (Zambia) and Muniirah Namkula (Uganda) are also through to the semi-finals. The 17 were selected after months of continent-wide search for the most striking talent. The talent which model scouts Andiswa Manxiwa and Vicky Cursham found when visiting the 12 countries across Africa was so incredible that they upped the number of semi-finalists to 17, from last year’s 16. There is a second boot camp – new to Nokia Face of Africa this year – where the girls will take to the catwalks at Nokia Cape Town Fashion Week in July to get a taste of competitive modelling. Nokia sales director Mika Niemi said the company was thrilled with the response to this year’s competition. “So many amazing girls have travelled far and wide to take part in the castings across the continent and Nokia is very proud to be associated with a project to put Africa on the world fashion map.” The entry requirements for the new season of Nokia Face of Africa stated that any female between the age of 16-24 (as at August 2006) could enter providing that they were at least 1.74m tall and she has a maximum hip measurement of 36 inches. Further, entrants had to have a current contract with any modeling agency, either locally or internationally. Any young woman from Sub-Saharan Africa who meets the above entry requirements is eligible to enter this year by simply attending a casting session in any of the 12 confirmed host cities. This year, as with last season, the prize of a modeling contract is again on offer for the Nokia Face of Africa 2006. In July last year audiences across the continent tuned in to M-Net and watched as sensational Botswana-born Kaone Kario was named the Nokia Face of Africa 2005, walking away with an international modeling contract and pan-African fame. This is the sixth year that the Face of Africa project is running. Starting in 1998, the project ran for four years before taking a short hiatus. Last year, M-Net and Nokia partnered and the project returned as the Nokia Face of Africa 2005. Previous winners of the title include Oluchi Onweagba (Nigeria), Benvinda Mudenge (Namibi DStv audiences can follow the Nokia Face of Africa scouting team’s search on Studio 53 on M-Net. The first episode will be broadcast on M-Net on July 23, with the final broadcast on August 13.