Miss Namibia goes virtual

By Rosalia David

MISS Namibia national director Conny Maritz has said that the event organising team is deliberating to host the annual beauty pageant virtually in April.

“We are guided by international pageant directives and as matters currently stand, we envisage hosting a virtual Miss Namibia 2021 crowning event during April this year – but confirmation of the date depends on the progression or regression of the pandemic in Namibia,” she said.

“We are not particularly pressed for time as both the Miss Universe and Miss World 2021 pageants have provisionally been rescheduled for December 2021 and although Miss Namibia entries for 2021 have been open for a couple of months, we have not really commenced with a media drive to invite entries,” she noted.

She further highlighted that Covid-19 has negatively affected the pageant world in general as many international parades were also cancelled last year.

Last year, Maritz announced the cancellation of Miss Namibia 2020 due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic, as you may imagine, impacted severely on the world of pageantry – both here and internationally. We had to postpone the Miss Namibia pageant last year and so, too, did at least two of the largest and most recognised international pageants: the Miss World and Miss Universe organisations,” she added.

Maritz said these postponements were not just the result of travel restrictions but out of concern for the health and safety of the delegates and participants.

“When we, for example, call on semi-finalists to assemble in Windhoek for auditions, training and rehearsals for the crowning event, we bear the responsibility to see to it that their health and welfare are not compromised by these, sometimes very hectic, activities during which social distancing will be very difficult to manage or supervise – a single infection will be one too many, let alone the possibility that one participant may become very ill or, worse, die as a consequence of a transmission during the pageant,” she noted.

She further emphasised the importance of putting Namibians’ health first before anything saying that every participant is someone’s child and a treasured human being and therefore should be protected.

Maritz explained that, after announcing the cancellation of last year’s pageant, the organising team started monitoring the spread of the pandemic in the country while looking for the first possible and responsible opportunity to stage the pageant.

“The situation, in our view, has not improved sufficiently to allow for that. But, what I can add as a matter of interest, Miss Teen Namibia, Schwane Blignaut, will be representing Namibia at the Miss Teen International Pageant in New Delhi, India. This pageant has also been postponed several times but is now scheduled for May this year. For this reason, the closing date for the Miss Teen Namibia Pageant has also been extended.”

Last year, South Africa held its national pageant in October in Cape Town, with a two-hour live broadcast being simulcast on M-Net and Mzansi Magic and televised live on YouTube to audiences around the world.