On November 3, 2007, The Shrine of Africa Inc. delivered once more an outstanding event - the third Annual Miss Africa USA Beauty pageant at the Ashok International Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, co-hosted by the well-known Congolese Super model Nöella Coursaris Musunka (see her interview on page 40) and the Sudanese actor/model Digol Deng, was a wonderful showcase of the African cultural wealth and beauty. A total of Seventeen attractive and talented delegates participated in the event, each representing their respective native African country.
At the end, the 21 year old Miss Nigeria Mfonobong Essiet was crowned 2007 Miss Africa USA by Teizue Gayfor of Liberia, Miss Africa USA 2006-2007. The road to victory was definitely not an easy one. The first round of the competition kicked off with the pageants introducing themselves. The judges observed and rated each pageant for specific characteristics such as Confidence, poise, grace, presence, oratory skills, and their platform.
For the second round, the pageants were each asked to showcase their talent, with judges rating for originality, presentation, entertainment skills, creativity, artistic skill, and cultural expression. Physical beauty and fitness came on the third round, with judges looking at the beauty of the face and body, personal grooming, grace, and elegance. The fourth round displayed African fashion. The top five finalist of the event were then selected by a distinguished panel, comprising of the Executive producer of Project Runaway AFRICA - Ms. Clarissa Aban, the Director of Miss America Queen Pageant of Georgia - Ms. Sonjia Burks, and the President of Greene Investments - Mr. Anthony Greene. With each finalist stepping forward for their onstage interview, the judges graded for confidence, poise, eloquence, knowledge, and charisma. Miss Nigeria Mfonobong Essiet graciously took the title of 2007 Miss AFRICA USA, with Miss Sierra Leone Elizabeth Mbalu Conteh as First Runner Up, and Miss ritrea Yordanos Gidey as Second Runner Up.
About the Miss Africa USA Pageant
The Miss Africa USA Scholarship pageant was conceived and created by Lady Kate Atabong Njeuma. The beautiful woman from Cameroon had a dream and vision of uniting African positively in a productive ways, creating union and cooperation. The Pageant is founded with the idea of advancing the African Cause in the United States, redefining the image of the African woman and providing a better understanding of the African continent and its multicultural wealth. The first pageant took place in 2005 at the Impact Center in Georgia under the title Miss Africa Georgia 2005. Miss Liberia Hariette Ayodele Thomas won the title and became the first Miss Africa Georgia 2005-2006. She was awarded with $1000 scholarship, promotional features, and many other prizes from various sponsors. From that moment, the event captivated the hearts of the public, which demanded more. And more was given to them. Due to the popularity of the event, the Miss AFRICA Georgia team decided to take a step further by making the pageant a National event and opening doors to participants from all around the United States.
On October 2006, over 800 guests showed up in Stone Mountain, GA to witness the African Showcase of beauty, culture, and elegance. Backed by the support of the city of Atlanta, GA Mayor - Shirley Franklin, Lt Governor of the State of Georgia – Mark Taylor, State Senator - Emmanuel Jones, and State Representative – Douglas Dean, the 2006 Miss AFRICA USA Beauty Pageant was a successful hit. 21 contestants from around the United States came to represent several African countries, captivating the public with an image of African never seen before in the U.S. The Liberian Miss Teizue Gayfor from Boston MA wowed the entire audience and the judges by winning the crown and becoming Miss Africa USA 2006-2007. She was awarded with a scholarship of $3000, a trip to Africa, promotional features and many other prizes from various sponsors.
What’s next for the Pageant event? The audience has not been deceived with the previous pageants and will be waiting for more thrills and spectacles. With the current strikes of success, it won’t be long before it becomes a national televised event, with all 53 African countries being represented and much bigger prizes in play. The most important thing is the fact that Africa and African women are being seeing differently in the American public. The delegates are not just beautiful, but extremely intelligent and professional. From nurturing mothers to aspiring lawyers, they come from various professions with one goal, to showcase the cultural riches of the African continent, at the same time, exposing the many challenges facing the African women living in the motherland. Support and participation from the public will help bring these causes to a much higher level; to the eyes of the people governing this country.