Miss Culture Malawi Malumbo Mtonga is set to represent the country at the Miss Culture International which starts on Sunday through to December 4 but she is sweating to raise money for airfare.
And Wednesday she sounded an SOS that she was looking for sponsors for her air ticket (approximately K500,000) to travel to the pageant that will bring together representatives from 40 countries.
Asked why she had to call for help at the 11th hour, Mtonga said her Miss Culture Malawi management only told her recently that they had failed to get sponsors for her airfare.
“This is just transport and this was meant to be done by Miss Culture Malawi management while food and accommodation would be sorted out in South Africa,” Mtonga said.
Mtonga, who was crowned Miss Culture Malawi in June this year, said she was geared to represent the country and has been in the limelight lately calling for votes to earn a spot in the top 15.
Miss Culture International Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Kljajic said Miss Culture Malawi has been asking for sponsorship from the time Mtonga was crowned.
“I myself have been busy trying to work on sponsorship for Miss Culture International.
The thing is that all country directors were told to raise funds for the tickets of their representatives and we will be providing accommodation, transport and food while they are here.
But I learned this week that Miss Culture Malawi team have gotten no responses for the air ticket,” Lorraine said.
She said other countries have been running around raising funds and that many including Zimbabwe have managed to do so.
“The team in Malawi just needed to do much more to raise funds and get the air ticket. But I have been thrown into the pond to help since Malawi is home and I feel Malawi needs to be represented here,” Lorraine said.
As of Wednesday, Lorraine, said she had managed to raise 3,000 Rand for Mtonga.
“All will be well; if worse comes to the worst I will try as much to use my own resources. The event we held in Malawi, we also didn’t get any sponsorship and I had to dig deeper into my pockets to fund it. This is all because of the passion I have,” Lorraine said.
She said the contestants would undergo different activities starting on Sunday before the grand finale to crown the winner on December 4.
Recently, Miss Culture Malawi Second Princess Murimu Kachitsa participated in the maiden Miss Premium Africa in Nigeria where she missed the crown but managed to claim the Miss Photogenic award.
Lorraine indicated then that Miss Culture Malawi and her first princess would go to other events, having sent the second princess to Miss Premium Africa.
With Miss Culture Malawi going to Miss Culture International, it remains to be seen where the first princess would go.
Lorraine recently announced that the bikini or swim wear category would no longer be on the menu for the Miss Culture Malawi on its parade list ahead of the 2022 registration which closes on December 10.