By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
ANGOLAN BRUNETTE model Neurite Mendes won the inaugural Miss Africa pageant at a colourful ceremony held over the weekend in Nigeria’s tourist resort city of Calabar, Cross River State.
Mendes did her country proud after beating 17 other contestants across Africa to land the crown at a well-attended event at the International Conference Centre.
Miss South Africa was picked as the first princess while Miss Cameroon emerged as the second princess.
This means Mendes will now represent the continent as its green ambassador.
She took home a US$25,000 purse and a brand spanking new – 2016 Ford Escape.
The event was hosted by the Governor of Cross River State – Senator Ben Ayade. It forms part of the annual Calabar Carnival and Festival – a 32-day festival with daily events that climax with the main celebration on December 28.
The Christmas festival and carnival has grown from strength to strength for the last 14 years.
The inaugural pageant was held in light of climate change, which affects everyone.
It was with this resolve and conviction that gave birth to the Miss Africa 2016 pageant themed “Green Economy, a Tool for Sustainable Development”.
The pageant was beamed live in some African countries to draw global attention to issues of climate change and sundry related environmental issues.
The event was graced by several African celebrities likes Kiss Daniel, Nollywood actress Kate Henshaw, television personality Uti Nwachukwu, VJ Adams, IK Osadukowa, musician Victoria Kimani, Dija, Kilo1 and Kunle Ogunrinde, among others.