By OBAJI AKPET, Caalabar
The contestant representing Angola, Neurite Mendes, 23 yesterday emerged winner of the maiden edition of Miss Africa Beauty Pageant held at the Calabar International Convention Centre [CICC], Calabar, Cross River State.
Following the line of victory was 24 year old South African, Refilwe Mthimunye, who came first runner up to take home cash prize of 15,000 US dollar; while Miss Cameroon, Jencey Anwifoje, 25 came second runner to grab 10,000dollar cash.
The event recorded participation from eighteen African countries including Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola.
With the theme ‘Green economy: a tool for sustainable development’ was held as part of the current Cross River Governor Ben Ayade’s climate change campaign drive.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the event, Mendes said she’s head over moon over the prizes she has won and shall not relent her effort in living up to expectation while serving as ambassador of “First of all, I’m a 23 year old girl who just won 25,000 dollars and a brand new car and so that’s something I’m just head over moon. I’m so excited, I’m so blessed.”
Adding that with her winning the crown, Africa is on its way to making history on its campaign on climate change while she seeks to tour the entire Africa to re-educate people on climate change.
Speaking earlier, the governor of Cross River who worried that despite Africa generating little emission, it has continued to bear the brunt of industrialization stating that “We have therefore created a platform that will create a new beginning for the renaissance of Africa.”
Adding that “And so, the platform we have today, we start with a beauty pageant, actually it’s a journey to climate change; the climate change, which is today a big challenge globally.”
High points of the event featured performances from Kiss Daniel, Yemi Sax, Last Prophet, Victoria Kimani, Kwela Tebza, Big Daddy Africa, Real Pee Ajaba among others.
While Ik-Osakioduwa and Juliet Ibrahim emceed the event with VJ Adams anchoring the blue carpet.
Mendes, winner of this year’s edition has since carted home 25,000 US dollars alongside a Forde Escape car, plus she becomes Africa’s climate change ambassador for the year 2016 through 2017.