23 year old Neurite Mendes from Angola emerged the winner of the maiden edition of Miss Africa beauty pageant, defeating 17 other contestants.
The event which took place at the prestigious Calabar International Convention Centre in Nigeria was the brain child of Cross River State government, one of the southern states in Nigeria.
18 African countries took part in the event including Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Mendes went home with a Sport Utility Vehicle and a cash prize of 25,000 dollars
Refilwe Mthimunye of South Africa was the first runner-up while Jencey Anwifoje of Cameroon was the second runner-up. They took home prizes of 15,000 and 10,000 dollars respectively.
Following her crowning as the queen, Mendes said she was head the over moon for the ‘huge’ prize and would not relent in her effort to live up to expectation while serving as ambassador of the theme of the event ‘Africa’s Climate Change’.
“First of all, I’m a 23 year old girl who just won 25,000 US dollars and a brand new car and so that’s something I’m just head over moon. I’m so excited, I’m so blessed.”
Professor Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River State stressed the need for Africans to go beyond culture and tourism by deepening their knowledge of science and technology.
Ayade:”This Africa beauty pageant is a journey to climate change which today is a big challenge globally. That is why Cross River State people knowing full well that we hold 58 percent of the entire forest map of Nigeria and by extension Africa, made the choice of the theme which is, “Green economy, a tool for sustainable development” for the world to know that Africa generates less emissions yet bears the brunt of industrialization.”
On hand to entertain the big crowd were Kiss Daniel, Yemi Sax, Last Prophet, Victoria Kimani, Kwela Tebza, Big Daddy Africa, Real Pee Ajaba among others. Ik-Osakioduwa and Juliet Ibrahim emceed the event with VJ Adams anchoring the blue carpet.