Local beauty pageants lack government support
Windhoek ‑ Ophelia Emvula, who represented Namibia at Miss Tourism World 2013, says there is need for government to take a lead in supporting the local beauty pageants, especially girls who represent the country at international contests.
Emvula, who took part in the global contest held in Equatorial Guinea on October 12, says the government, including regional councils, need to become part of the beauty pageant events “whether it is being held locally or abroad as it will encourage young females to display their extra-ordinary talents and abilities”.
“One can agree with me that in Namibia beauty pageants are regarded as a private or personal business. Our government does not support such activities, unlike countries such as Swaziland, where the government pays all the expenses for their participants who represent the country at events like Miss Universe.
Here Miss Namibia has to look for her own funds in order to go and represent the country at such events, which is quite challenging, said the Namibian tourism ambassador.
Emvula represented Namibia at Miss Tourism World after she was crowned first princess at Miss National Youth Council (NYC) that was held earlier this year during the National Youth Week at Eenhana in Ohangwena Region.
The 21-year-old legal secretary noted that beauty pageants like Miss Tourism World and Miss Namibia are not only crucial in promoting individual participants, “but they provide people with the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate to the region and the world what we can offer as a nation”.
Emvula was among the 60 beauty queens who competed for the crown, which was won by Beronika Martinez from Venezuela. The event that was held in the capital city Malabo coincided with Equatorial Guinea Independence Day.
The tiny central Africa state attained independence on October 12, 1968, from Spain. Emvula described her experience as a ‘mind-opener’ saying the event accorded her an opportunity to learn from other cultures and exchange ideas and expertise with other young people from different countries.
Apart from Emvula, the reigning Miss Namibia, Paulina Malulu recently returned home from Russia after taking part in the Miss Universe 2013 pageant.
Malulu and other contestants lost to another Venezuelan, Gabriela Isler last Saturday.
In September, Malulu also participated in the Miss World 2013 pageant, a contest won by Megan Young from Philippines. Young won the crown after outpacing 126 other contestants from around the world at the glittering ceremony held at the Bali International Convention Centre in Indonesia.