Kathy Onwu Crowned Miss Africa USA (Photos)

Kathy Onwu was crowned Miss Africa USA at the Fillmore Silver Spring on June 29 before a lively crowd of over 1,200. The competition included 21 constestants from 21 African countries. The Miss Africa USA Pageant began in 2005 as a small state event in Atlanta, Ga. and has blossomed into a phenomenon with hundreds of African young women vying to particpate from accross the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The grand finals offered strong competition among 21 young women each representing a different African nation. In addition to their humanitarian platforms, the young women were judged on their knowledge of current affairs, originality, creativity, stage presence, personal style, beauty, elegance and talent. According to the panel of judges, Onwu scored high marks in all areas and embodied the spirit of the pageant.

Onwu, whose mother died of breast cancer in 2009, is utilizing the Miss Africa USA platform to raise awareness about the importance of primary prevention and education on breast health. “My passion for people, health and education drives me every day to show how important it is to embrace the values of life,” said Onwu.

The 25-year-old registered nurse and her family originally hail from Enugu State, Nigeria. Onwu currently lives in Nashville, Tenn., where she is working on her master’s degree in nursing and planning to become a family practitioner.

“This year’s pageant was our best yet! All of the girls brought spectacular community service initiatives, were well-educated, and handled themselves with elegance and grace,” said a proud Lady Kate Njeuma, founder & CEO of the pageant. “Of course, there can only be one winner and we are so excited for Kathy! She is a delight and a well-rounded young woman. We look forward to working with her as she raises awareness about breast cancer and the need for early detection to help save lives.”

Onwu has already started her own nonprofit organization, Vala Inc., to promote primary prevention in healthcare. During her reign, she will collaborate with other organizations to provide health care screenings and educational materials to women and children in underserved populations in Africa and the United States.

For the 2013-14 year, the Miss Africa USA Pageant has also named political/social activist and writer Marcia L. Dyson as the new chair of the pageant. The honorary chair, Hope Sullivan Masters, will continue to serve as the Chair Emeritus with a philanthropic assemblage of dignitaries, celebrities and international thought leaders.

Photos courtesy Miss Africa USA Pageant and PalavaHut.com

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