By Jeoffrey Mukubi
PREVIOUSLY regarded as one of the most sought-after and glamorous events in the country, the Miss Namibia pageant appears to be losing its magic touch.
This comes after several pageant lovers took to various social media sites to express their growing concerns and disappointment about the pageant not living up to their expectations.
Industry experts, fashion designers, photographers and even some models have been worried that the once adored and converted national event is going to the dogs. Although the Miss Namibia Facebook page has 31 169 likes, with the page administrator posting almost every day, the posts get between six and 70 public reactions, which shows the disinterest of the general public.
The Miss Namibia Facebook reviews are shockingly low as they receive an average star rating of 1.8 out of a five star rating system. One member of the public, Rina Hendriks, posted that “Miss Namibia strikes me as a very low-budget pageant. Aside from watered down advertising and little effort, the pageant isn’t really inclusive (geographically).”
The Miss Namibia Winter Bash, which was held at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort this past Saturday evening, saw 30 hopeful models vying for a spot in the top 12.
One of the models, who asked to remain anonymous, said that she was surprised when she found out that the top 30 models have to sell tickets as well and that the model who sells the most tickets automatically advances to the main event. “Why must I sell tickets for an event that I didn’t even get to qualify for?” she asked.
Another member of the public Allan Nedieh Red Nav, who attended the Winter Bash, posted:
“Went to the Winter Bash last night and in truth couldn’t even tell where I was. Not a single banner or poster saying that this was a Miss Namibia event. Really? I felt like a 10-year old was organising a birthday party. Get your sponsorships together and do things properly”.
Some photographers also took to social media to address the fact that the Miss Namibia organisers asked them to sponsor their skills for the pageant. Juan Phillip Viljoen wrote: “Wanting to hire a photographer on a ‘sponsorship basis’ is ridiculous. How can you justify not paying a photographer? You are corporate bullies and literally the reason why artists have to suffer to make a living here. I hope you really think about it and realise how evil this is.”
Vice President of the Fashion Council Kalistu Mukoroli told Confidente that the event is slowly but surely losing its popularity. “Ever since the Michelle McLean days the quality of the pageant has dropped. However there are things that can be done to change that as there are capable Namibians in the fashion and beauty industry that can help shape the pageant and take it to greater heights.”
“We don’t want to see the pageant as someone’s individual brand, but as a Namibian brand. And as the fashion council we are not speaking from a position of hate, but we are speaking in terms of growth that is needed,” he said.
Miss Namibia organiser Connie Maritz did not respond to questions at the time of going to print. The Miss Namibia pageant 2018 is set to take place on 7 July at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015