Miss Africa Perth pageant marks anniversary


Nadene Lewis, Shiko Kariuki, Kylee Levin, Dara Bamigboye and Mihret Gelaw. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        d454516
Nadene Lewis, Shiko Kariuki, Kylee Levin, Dara Bamigboye and Mihret Gelaw. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        d454516

BEAUTY and culture will come together for the 10th anniversary of Miss Africa Perth on Saturday at the Astor Theatre.

The beauty pageant with a difference will feature 17 women from diverse African countries contesting for the title of Miss Africa Perth.

Organiser and founder of the event, Casta Tungaraza, said it had become an important one on the Perth calendar and was especially poignant given its 10-year anniversary.

“My colleague and co-founder Huguette Nkashama and a team have put the event together and have been preparing the girls,” Dr Tungaraza said. “It will be lovely to hear the girls’ voices, as this year is significant.

“It’s been fantastic working with them these past weeks.”

Participants are invited to showcase their culture, fashion, traditions, music, art and beauty while strengthening community cohesiveness and promoting cultural understanding.

Aimed to instil confidence and pride in young African women, participants become youth ambassadors, fundraise and promote a positive image of Africa.

Dr Tungaraza said the event harnessed the cumulative energies of African girls and created an opportunity for them to promote the beauty of Africa.

“Miss Africa Perth has no doubt helped to put Africans in Australia on the map in a more positive way,” she said.

“I think it gives them a positive event to identify with and for the wider Australian community, it gives them just a snapshot of our diverse cultures and a night of top class entertainment, fashion and beauty.

“But most significantly, we believe that Miss Africa Australia Perth provides mentoring and leadership development support for positive transformation of African girls by encouraging them to be youth ambassadors, and develop effective strategies and tools to get their messages heard, and to be part of the solution to community problems.

“It is a means through which young people can express their ideas, contribute their expertise and collectively participate in the advancement of our society.”

Law graduate Dara Bamigboye will represent Nigeria in Saturday’s pageant.

The 23-year-old said she entered the competition as a way of expanding her knowledge and love for the different African countries as well as to use the platform to raise issues affecting the African community in Australia.

“I decided to take part in the competition as I saw it as a great opportunity to raise awareness to issues facing africans in Australia and issues close to my heart,” Ms Bamigboye said. “One of them is to promote beach safety among Africans as a fellow Africa law student drowned a few months ago; sadly this is a not an uncommon occurrence.”

As well as crowning Miss Africa Perth, the night will include a talent show, music, entertainment from local artists and traditional African dancers from Tanzania.