As a nation blessed with naturally beautiful, intelligent and smart ladies, the Miss Liberia pageant has over the years seen similar attributes and qualities that encapsulates and characterizes beauty pageants the world over.
The pageant has allowed the nation’s beauties to contest on the world stage where Ms. Sebah Tubman came fourth in Ms World 1999, the highest placement for any Liberian female so far in the Miss World Beauty Pageant.
However, since the last Ms Liberia pageant held in 2012 which ended in fiasco that forced national government to place an embargo on the hosting of the most prestigious beauty contest, Ms Liberia has faced serious setbacks also mainly due to the advent of the deadly Ebola virus that crippled the country and its economy.
But today the Ms Liberia story is about to take a new turn with Eleven Stripes Incorporated, Liberia’s premiere event management company, partnering with Liberia Enterprise Incorporated, being awarded the franchise to host the foremost national social event - Miss Liberia 2016.
Held under the theme “Beautiful Minds Everything Liberian” the foremost event is expected to showcase Liberia’s great and unique cultural spirit in memory of Liberians lost during the devastating Ebola outbreak of 2014.
The event will celebrate Liberia and its most inspired cultural performers, thinkers, leaders, change makers and community builders.
In a brief description of her group, Bendu Renee Johnson, acting Managing Director of 11 Stripes, told Capitol Times that the group comprises business women and professionals with a vision to promote and market Liberians.
“When we got together, one of our members heard about the Miss Liberia pageant and brought it to our attention so that was our first attempt at marketing and promoting Liberians because it is a prestigious event therefore we went through and survived a strenuous process and finally we won the franchise and everything else was history,” Bendu stated.
With a voice brimming with confidence and pride, Bendu said Liberians should expect a very beautiful event. “We should expect that the stage will always be occupied with some sort of entertainment, informative displays of talents, as well as showcasing the best of Liberian beauties,” she said.
“We expect that the next queen will not only be physically beautiful but also intellectually sound, a young lady with ambition who can be a role model to other young girls.
We expect to have a queen who can represent Liberia both at home and abroad,” Bendu said.
Despite the very high cost associated with hosting the event, Bendu expressed confidence that the event will be held successfully. “We have since joined with others to not only prepare better but also help us get support, especially financial support from the business community. We do have some support but we could still use a lot more support,” she intoned.
Rocky Road to Ms Liberia 2016
“We intended to have the pageant in 2014, but the Ebola virus broke up and stopped everything because the country was in a national emergency situation. And when we started again, the country had already suffered tremendous economic hardship, so getting sponsors was a problem. So that is why we are where we are today. It has taken us a while because we want to really train the girls to not only stage performances but also speak eloquently. We wanted to make sure they are fully prepared before we put them on the stage,” she said.
“We want to honor Liberia after the myth of Ebola. We want to honor by showcasing everything beautiful about Liberia. So the sub theme of the pageant is everything Liberia”, she said.
As it relates to the potpourri of prizes at stake for the winners, Bendu Johnson disclosed, “There are several prizes for the winners including the usual vehicle and other cash prizes for the top three. We have trips to major African cities which will include lodging. We also have scholarships up to a degree level and for the others maybe for a semester or a year, as well as other packages.”