The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation last week revealed that it has acquired full ownership of the Miss Namibia beauty pageant, up from only a 30% share acquired in 2018.
During the announcement event, held at Droombos, former national director of the pageant Conny Maritz handed over the reins to new Miss Namibia CEO Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, who was the national broadcaster’s chief commercial officer before her new assignment.
“I, for one, cannot be more confident to hand over the reins to NBC – and on a more personal level, the national directorship to Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, who has already demonstrated her organisational skills, abilities and acumen during the most recent pageant,” she said.
Maritz expressed her wish for the Miss Namibia organisation to be taken to an even greater level of prominence, success, social importance and national significance.
She said NBC’s takeover will be good for the Miss Namibia organisation, and the organisation will be good for NBC.
On her part, Karuaihe-Upi promised to carry out her new role with the dignity it deserves.
She then announced the dates for the Miss Teen Namibia and Miss Namibia competitions as 7 and 8 July at its new home, the MTC Dome in Swakopmund.
The CEO also announced a reduction in the entry fees from N$700 to N$400 for the Miss Teen Namibia and from N$850 to N$500 for Miss Namibia.
Furthermore, entry for the competitions has been extended to 12 April.
Also speaking at the event, NBC director general Stanley Similo said it is vital that the broadcaster empowers the girl-child through the pageant to the next level.
“We must give the girl-child space where she must be given the respect she deserves, where she must aspire for things that ordinarily will not be there,” he said.
Another important announcement was the involvement of Debmarine Namibia as the official Platinum sponsor of the Miss Namibia pageant following the handover of N$2.5 million as a pilot sponsorship for 2023 with an option to extent in future.
The diamond-mining company’s CEO Willy Mertens said their investment in the Miss Namibia Pageant is a testament to the commitment to promoting gender equality and uplifting women and girls.
By leveraging the pageant as a platform to promote the initiatives, they hope to make a lasting positive impact on the lives of young girls in Namibia.
“We are proud to support an initiative that aligns our values and goals, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact the Miss Namibia Pageant will have in our country,” he said.
NBC board chairman Lazarus Jacobs then urged young Namibian women to submit their entries on or before the extended closing date to be part of a truly Namibian and national event.
The Miss Namibia organisation is currently undertaking an activation tour, availing entry forms, and hosting meet and greet sessions with the public to spread the message in search of the next Miss Teen Namibia and Miss Namibia.