By Dianabasi Effiong
Angola’s Neurite Mendes on Saturday night in Calabar, emerged winner of the maiden Miss Africa 2016 to become the first “Miss Africa Climate Change Ambassador’’.
Miss South Africa, Refilwe Mthimunwe and Miss Cameroon, Jencey Anwifoge, were the first and second runner-ups respectively.
The maiden edition of the beauty pageant with the theme, “Green Economy, a tool for Sustainable Development’’ took place at the Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC) in Cross River.
The new Miss Africa also won a brand new 2016 Ford Escape and a mouth watering $25,000-prize money.
The pageant, sponsored by the Cross River Government, is to produce what the organisers called a “true African Queen’’ who will campaign for issues concerning climate change.
Nollywood stars including Kate Henshaw, Juliet Ibrahim and Uti Nwachukwu were selected as host and judges while 30 beauty queens, representing 30 African countries including Nigeria, competed for the star prize.
On arrival, the Queens spent two nights at the Obudu Mountain Resort and participated in the second Dry Run for the 2016 Carnival Calabar.
The pageant is a new addition, which serves as a prelude and heralds the 32-day annual Calabar festival, flagging off every November 30.
The cost of attending the event included a table for 10 at N200,000, N10,000 for VIP ticket and N2,000 for regular ticket.