Unlocking girl’s potential: the story of Miss Blantyre


When discussions of beauty pageants crop up, only negative thoughts flood the minds of some people.

Several girls have failed to participate in beauty pageants or other pageants because of such negative perceptions.

Some quarters have associated women who participate in beauty pageants with loose morals.


But others have braved this and gone all the way to excel in different pageants.

Apart from the Miss Malawi, which, at some point, went into hibernation, the country has witnessed the growth of Miss Blantyre.

The Miss Blantyre has made exponential growth, receiving an overwhelming response although it has a long way to go to win the hearts of many people.


Miss Blantyre Chairperson, Daniel Ngwira, said the pageant was no longer in its infancy but that, rather, it has made a steady progress attracting more ladies.

“More women are willing to contest for Miss Blantyre. We are now an attractive brand. We are growing a lot and we are happy to be among the pageantry setting the standards in the country,” Ngwira said.

That said, Ngwira revealed that the corporate world continues to shun the industry, which is not the case outside the country.

“We know it will take some time but it is high time the corporate world was associated with the pageantry. There is also lack of seriousness among some aspiring ladies and some people still look down on ladies, especially models,” the chairperson said.

But why did Ngwira and team think of creating Miss Blantyre?

“I saw a gap in the industry where pageant organisers needed some bit of marketing training and professional practice. I owe my orientation to Miss Blantyre in particular to Pearson Nkhoma, Jones Kumwenda, Justice Mponda of Top Citizens Events Management and Dorothy Kamoto, whom I found running the pageant,” Ngwira said.

He said this team laid a good foundation and that his dream has been to make it nationally important and appeal to international pageants organised for big cities, adding that he reckons Blantyre among the very best.

Ngwira hailed Blantyre City Council for adding more colour to the Miss Blantyre brand.

“Without their support, the road would not have been smooth. They have engaged us and we are involved in cleaning activities, environment conservation and sanitation programmes,” he said.

Ngwira said the reigning Miss Blantyre, Hannah Mhone, has been on her toes since she assumed office.

“She has been disciplined and exemplary and has helped in inspiring girls to work hard in their studies through visits to different schools in Blantyre. She has also worked with different companies and now she is in the customer service with FMB Bank,” she said.

In Ngwira’s time, the queens that have worn the Miss Blantyre crown include Nerani Nthara, Chisomo Machelo and Mhone.

And, so, today Mhone will be handing over the crown to another queen at an event set to take place at Sunbird Mount Soche.

Sixteen contestants will battle for the crown which will see the winner walking away with a laptop, tablet, smart phone and other prizes.

“It was not easy to select the 16. It was competitive and we thought we should give them all a chance after they made it to the final. Actually, for the 16 to be picked, the score was based on category performance from a total of six categories,” Ngwira said.

He underlined the importance of pageants, saying they are a very key aspect of ecotourism and the hospitality industry.

“We are serious with what we are doing and people have to support us in this. This is a serious economic element for marketers and marketing consumers,” Ngwira said.

Ngwira said they were hoping that Blantyre residents and those from other districts would be part of this year’s event and make it a success.

He said Miss Blantyre was there to unlock girls’ potential, hence this year’s event is running under the theme ‘Unlocking Girls’ Potential’.

“We have seen some pageants dying a natural death but we can all not be one and the same thing. Pageantry is for beauty conscious and intelligent individuals whose wit spills out into their personality and ability to make an impact,” Ngwira said.

He said it was high time people changed their perception of pageants and worked with them in projects that appeal to the youth, who form the majority of the population.

“We see a bright future for Miss Blantyre and, not far from today, we hope to see Miss Blantyre making even more impact and being part of the building blocks of a great city,” Ngwira said.

He said the timing of the event— month of October— was deliberate, as organisers want Blantyre residents to also celebrate the girl-child and mothers.

This year, the event is expected to be spiced up by a performance from Lilongwe-based singer and guitarist Lulu.

Some of the categories that the contestants will parade in are competitive, Zachimalawi, profession, talent, brand exhibition, dinner and non-competitive.

The 16 contestants are Alepha Chimombo, Cynthia Solombo, Dora Mphoka, Elidah Gondwe, Faheema Sayed, Funny Fukula, Grace Banda, Hilda Billiati, Madalitso Mwangala, Madalo Malunga, Margue Chimbayo, Taonga Gondwe, Tryness Sikoti, Upile Sadik, Zuleika Nanguwo and Success Botoman.

Some of the companies that have supported Miss Blantyre include Countrywide Car Hire and Nzika.

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