Miss Kathy Onwu, who hails from Enugu State in Nigeria, currently resident in Nashville TN, USA, has emerged the Queen of this year’s Miss Africa – USA.
The Miss Africa – USA Pageant grand finale, which took place recently at the Fillmore Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland, attracted very diverse audience from across the African continent, the USA and Canada.
All 1,200 seats of the Performing Art Centre were filled as the audience turned out to see who would emerge champion. 21 African countries took part in the pageant and all fought hard to win the coveted crown.
In the end, first top beauties emerged from Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The other participating countries included; Cameroon, Angola, Ethiopia, Liberia and Kenya.
Kathy Onwu, the winner, is a 25-year-old Registered Nurse, pursuing a Masters Degree to further her career as a family nurse. Her main interest is campaigning to raise awareness about breast cancer, prevention and treatment, as well as promote education and health in Africa and the USA. Breast cancer is fast becoming a cankerworm across the African continent.
The Nigerian is an epitome of what it takes to be an African girl in modern day America. She is now an ambassador for Vanderbilt’s Coalition for Healthy Aging Women’s Division, and she intends to help the organisation by supporting it’s “Simply Pink” breast health workshops that promote the importance of self-breast examinations and early detection. Her passion is helping people live a better, more fulfilling and healthy life.
Onwu told journalists at the close of the event: “Life is too short, so, every day I strive to embrace the values of life.” Her non-profit Vala inc. is founded upon the premise of advocating healthcare and encouraging education. She added, “My desire as Queen is promoting breast health among African women…
“Wy goal is to provide a not for profit women’s clinic in Nigeria that will help underprivileged women and children have access to quick healthcare.”
She will join forces with other organisations sharing her mission and vision in the US to leverage support to help the needy populations in Africa and the USA.
The pearl from Enugu State represented Nigeria very well, debunking negative stereotypes about Nigerians in the USA and around the world.
“Nigeria is a great country with awesome people and great opportunities,” she said. At the end of each presentation, she proudly repeated the slogan; ‘I AM NIGERIA.’
Lady Kate Njeuma, CEO and Founder of Miss Africa – USA Pageant, thanked all sponsors, vendors and media organisations that covered the occasion.
She added; “Congratulations to all the beautiful, brave and savvy delegates who represented their countries and the African continent so well. Special thanks to the Delegation from Cross River State of Nigeria who represented the First Lady of Cross River State and the Calabar Carnival, the Staff of the Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley, especially Linda Aldredge, who facilitated the tour of the State House and Government Building, Dr. Cheryl Hill, who hosted the Miss Africa Delegation. She also thanked the Botswana ambassador Tebelelo Seretse for the warm reception at the Embassy of Botswana in Washington DC,” she noted.
Now in its 8th edition, the Miss Africa – USA Pageant had a panel of 10 distinguished and accomplished ladies and gentlemen who served as judges; one from Botswana, two from Nigeria, one from Zimbabwe and the rest were Americans with a Certified Auditor from Ghana.
“These are men and women of high esteem and reputation. We trust their judgment and appreciate their time and effort to ensure that at the end of the night, we were able to crown a New Queen,” Njeuma said, adding that the pageant had moved from strength to strength.
She admitted her organising committee faced new challenges with each passing year. “As we experience growth, we must also change to enable development and sustainability and expand our capacity. We will be making some changes in the structure of the pageant to help us help the delegates become great leaders through professional development and empowerment as well as provide exposure on national and international levels for all participants to highlight the contribution of women in society,” she stated.
The red carpet, glittering ceremony was hosted by Dr Kimberley Brown, President of the Blackberry Preserve, Talk Show Host, Kaya Chipungu and Miss World First Princess Emma Wareu. The Congo Fest Band provided great entertainment throughout the evening
and accompanied all the entertainers for the night.
The star guest was “King” Peggy from Ghana. She is the first female “king” of a small village in Ghana.