Botswana’s Gaseangwe Balopi, 21, has emerged the winner of Miss Africa 2017 hosted by Nigeria’s Cross River Government. Ms Balopi won the contest, in its second year, after the 25 contestants went through the fourth round of appearances in various outfits.
According to Nigerian media sources, the red carpet event started at around 10.45 pm this Wednesday at the Calabar International Convention Centre and carried on until the wee hours of Thursday.
Ms Balopi took home $35,000 and a Ford Edge Sports Utility Vehicle, while her first and second runner-ups walked away with 10, 000 and $5, 000 respectively.
Miss Rwanda, Fiona Naringwa and Miss Luyolo Mngonyama of South Africa were crowned first and second runners-up respectively.
Speaking at the event, Governor Ben Ayade said that the theme of the event ‘Climate Change and Migration’ was chosen to create awareness about the need to protect the environment and caution youths against illegal migration.
“Migration and Climate Change have become burning and global issues today. Our gathering here today is to choose another African queen who will use her office to create awareness on the theme.
Blackness is now a perception, beauty and character in the eyes of the people. The Miss Africa pageant is meant to tell the true story of Africa to the world. How can a continent like Africa that is blessed with abundant natural and human resources be poor? Africans are intellectually sound.
We are not gathered here to pick the most beautiful woman, but rather, we want to pick the true African woman who can use her beauty to change Africa. For us to tell the true African story, we need a face that is appealing. Our theme for this year should caution our youths about the tedious journey through the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert to Europe in search of greener pastures,” Governor Ayade said.
Popular Nigerian music artist, Flavour and South African’s Kwaito music star, Mafikizolo serenaded the 2000+ guests who attended the glitzy event.