CTN : How does the upcoming “Miss Liberia” contest and the eventual participation of Liberia in the “Miss World” Beauty Pageant impact the tourism industry? In other words, how does Liberia benefit?
Hon. Capehart: The “Miss Liberia” Contest and eventual participation in the “Miss World” Beauty Pageant can positively impact the Tourism industry in a way that Liberia gets exposed to the world, thus encouraging tourists to visit the country and when tourists visit the national economy benefits.
CTN: How many contestants are you and the organizers planning to field? And what are the prizes on offer for the winners?
Hon. Capehart: There are going to be ten contestants after the selection process. Some of the prizes are a car for the first runner up, tablets for all contestants and cash prizes, among other gifts.
CTN: Are you going to avoid this thing of representation by county, which some people think smacks of tribalism?
Hon. Capehart: We are not going to avoid representation by county. It is not tribalistic but rather brings together and highlights cultural diversity from each county and allows them to showcase their uniqueness.
CTN: Madam Minister. What are the new innovations that will distinguish this one from the other contests?
Hon. Capehart: There are a number of things that will distinguish this pageant from other pageants. For example the queens will be discussing touristic sites within their counties. The venue will be a privately-owned facility as opposed to public buildings in the past and to borrow from the Pageant Organizers, the event will portray “Everything Liberian”.
CTN: The last contest saw a controversy, so what is being done to have a clean sheet this time around?
Hon. Capehart: You see, every time you hold such major annual events, there are lessons you must learn and prevent hurdles and errors in the future. So, among the things we will be avoiding is the use of Internet and text message voting as part of the decision-making to determine the eventual winner.
CTN: Liberians think this is a money-making engagement. Is it? And why should so much time and money go into it?
Hon. Capehart: I believe that money-making is not the main goal of the organizers because most of the time they hold these events at a loss. People invest time and money into “Miss Liberia” pageant for the love and passion they have for country, as well as the promotion of young ladies to represent their country at the “Miss World” competition. Also the Liberian version of the pageant will help to groom young female Liberians to be self-confident, eloquent, courageous, and competitive in things that they do in life. It is a worthwhile investment in the girls.
CTN: With the kind of fashion that goes into the pageant, how do we infuse a bit of Liberian culture/tradition?
Hon. Capehart: The Liberian culture and tradition are usually infused in the “Miss Liberia” Pageant for the mere fact that the Queens do a lot of African attires. They also do traditional group dance together before the show starts and several other African and Liberia traditional features are drawn into the activities and physical structure of the site.
CTN: The young people. What do you hope can come out of this pageant for them in terms of exposure and intellectual gains?
Hon. Capehart: What I hope for the queens from this year’s Pageant is that they be exposed, highly inclined, outspoken, gain high self-esteem that will enable them to face the world with a brighter mindset for the future and be on par with other Queens around the world.
CTN: Any final word to Liberians, especially the youth, on this year’s pageant.
Hon. Capehart: My final word to Liberians, especially the youth, on this year’s Pageant is that they should be focused, keep their pride and let education be their hallmark in life.