Miss Africa USA Pageant at Fillmore Silver Spring (Photos)
The Miss Africa USA Pageant will take place on June 29 at 6 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Rd. The competition includes 25 contestants from 25 African countries. Tickets range from $35 – $113 and may be purchased online at LiveNation or in person at the Fillmore Box Office.
The 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 participate from across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Also, the public can cast their vote for their favorite delegate at the Miss Africa USA website.
The Miss Africa USA Pageant enables African girls in America to shine a spotlight on Africa, tell their stories to the world, inspire one another, build self esteem and feel beautiful inside and out. A new generation of women leaders are being groomed to impact their communities in Africa, the United States and the entire world,” she added,” said Lady Kate Atabong Njeuma, the founder of the pageant.
A citation from the Governor of Maryland will be presented at the June 29th pageant for the work being done to empower young women as leaders and goodwill ambassadors.The 2013 finalists range in age from 19 to 30 and they each represent a different African nation. There are 23 delegates and each has adopted a platform to benefit a community in need in Africa and/or the United States. The humanitarian platforms address a number of topics, including breast cancer awareness, disease prevention, education, famine/hunger, female genital mutilation, maternal mortality, landmine victims, orphans, literacy, sickle cell disease awareness and more.
Some of the finalists have started their own nonprofit organizations to begin addressing these issues. In addition to their humanitarian platforms, the young women will also be judged on the following: knowledge of current affairs, originality, creativity, stage presence, personal style, beauty, elegance and talent. The majority of the finalists are college students or recent graduates pursuing advanced degrees in North America.Ghyslaine “Gigi” Tchouaga is the reigning queen. She is a self-proclaimed Pan-Africanist, who has been raising awareness about the millions of people dying of starvation in Somalia. A native Cameroonian, Queen Gigi is also working to change health care conditions and educating young girls in her native country. In addition to finishing her Public Health Degree at the University of Baltimore, she will continue working on these issues after relinquishing her crown to the new queen on June 29.
African Ambassadors, community leaders, Africans and friends of Africa will attend the pageant. Most notably, Ghana’s first female king, King Peggy; Gina Paige, the founder of AfricanAncestry.com; and Leila Lopes, who was Miss Universe 2011-12, will be in attendance. The pageant is held in association with Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Nigeria and the Embassy of Botswana.