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K32 million shortfall for Mr and Miss Albinism

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The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has a shortfall of K32 million of the total budget ahead of the first ever Mr and Miss Albinism beauty pageant to be held at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe this coming Saturday.

Apam budgeted for K72 million for the pageant, which will also have a talent show.

Vice chairperson of the organising committee, Lucy Nkhoma, told journalists on Saturday in Lilongwe that the association was set for the show despite some financial hiccups.

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“For now, I can say we are very prepared although not completely 100 percent but we are on it and we are ready to host the event this coming Saturday and the contestants will go into the boot camp on Wednesday,’’ Nkhoma said.

Despite the shortfall, Nkhoma was optimistic that they would manage to find the remaining amount to successfully hold the event.

“Our initial budget is K72 million to help us facilitate the whole event from the beginning to the end including monitoring and evaluation. We have about K35 million that is helping us facilitate the event and so far all auditions have been done,’’ she said.

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Apam has held auditions in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre. The last auditions were held at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre on Friday.

Apam Programmes Lead and Event Organising Committee Focal Person, Peter Kayenda, said there were 20 contestants for the pageant.

He called on people to come in large numbers and be part of the event adding that tickets for the event are selling at K10, 000 regular, K50,000 VIP and K200,000 corporate table of four.

Kayenda said, so far, so 80 tickets had been sold.

The event, however, is expected to clash with the launch of musician Lulu’s album Better in Your Arms being launched at the same venue but in the auditorium.

Zambian musician B1, real name Bruce Simbwalanga, who is trending with his song ‘Kwa George’, is expected to make a special appearance at the event. The Zambian artist is also expected to perform at Lulu’s launch.

Kayenda said on Thursday that they were aware that there are two events at the same venue on the same night although in different halls.

“We know there are two events on the night but the other one is a musical event while ours is a beauty pageant. We have received massive support from people and are looking forward to the day,” he said.

The event is being used as part of awareness about persons with albinism.

Apam has indicated that the winners would go away with, among other prizes, laptops and smartphones.

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