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Friday, September 18, 20:03:24Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12345[6]7 ]
Subject: Smile Your Way to Fame

Bertha Kang'ong'oi
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Date Posted: 01/10/05 6:38:21am

The Nation (Nairobi)

January 8, 2005
Posted to the web January 7, 2005

Bertha Kang'ong'oi

Unlike in the past, when models were paid a pittance for their efforts, today, the profession has became a major avenue to fame and fortune.

As a result, many youngsters, especially in urban centres, are determined to venture into modelling, even though local beauty pageants seem to have lost their lustre and glory due to poor organisation and a proliferation of such events.

The behind-the-scenes-wars have only compounded the problem, giving the pageants a bad image and the unflattering tag, 'the ugly business of beauty'.

However, the latest pageant in town, known as "The Smile of Africa", promises to change all these negative perceptions of the profession.

"We have done all we can to move away from what has become synonymous with pageants", says Ms Nancy Wettstein, the Principal of Pivot Point Kenya, the organiser of the event and holder of the Miss Universe Kenya pageant.

"Instead of organising heats in six to eight towns only, our team of talent scouts will scour the countryside and towns for participants," she explains.

"We have selected Kenyan scouts from diverse fields including the film modelling, theatre and fashion industries", adds Wettstein.

The selections, which begins on January 17, will be conducted in four stages. Stage one will be the regional auditions featuring no less than 90 participants. At the second stage, the number of participants will be thinned down to 36. This will be followed by the semi-finals, and the finals, scheduled for April 8.

Those selected will be representative of their region in terms of dress, language and culture. They must also have a good grasp of the cultural ways of their people. Fluency in one's mother tongue will be an added advantage.

"We are not only going for beauty and brains but also for a natural looking girl with authentic African features", says Wettstein.

Since the winner of the Smile of Africa will represent Kenya in the Miss Universe 2005 pageant, however, "She must meet the laid down Miss Universe international standards," says Nancy.

This means contests, who must be aged between 18 and 27 years, will have a minimum of secondary education, a charming, pleasant personality and stand at least 5ft 9" tall. Further, they should have good skin, hair and teeth, be resident in Kenya and with a heart for charity and a mature public speaker. However, they should not be ex-beauty queens.

"But every contestant must have a winning smile," says Wettstein.

Relevant Links

East Africa
Arts, Culture and Entertainment

The first set of auditions will be held in Kisumu ( Sunset Hotel), Kisii (Zonic Hotel), Nandi Hills (Kunjo Guest House), Kakamega (Golf Hotel) and Eldoret (Sirikwa Hotel) from January 17 to January 22.

Nation media group is the official media sponsor of the event.

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