Saturday, August 25, 2012

Malawi at the Miss World

A story of nowhere near the paying ranks it has been.
In 2001, when Malawi sent Elizabeth Pullu to represent its beauty, the hopes were so high. But Pullu came back home empty-handed.
Then, in 2002, when the nation was hoping and counting, Miss Malawi organisers were too broke to fly the country's beauty queen to the Miss World.
2002 went. No participation. Just like that.
Then, came 2003. No participation.
Just like that.
2004? Nothing.
No participation.
Just like that.
Of course, even without sending the country's beauty queen to participate at the world event, Malawi continued to exist. In fact, the country continued to occupy the position it has always held on the world map.
Then, it was the turn of 2005. Malawians thought it would be business as usual. That business of new year-no participation-just like that!
But 2005 had no 'just like that'. 2005 had no 'no participation'. 2005 had no 'business as usual'.
Against all odds and traditions, the country sent that daughter of the soil- Rachel Landson- to represent it.
She boarded a plane. She left, first, through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre and, secondly, through Kamuzu International Airport in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe.
Do not mind the two 'throughs'. Of course, it was one trip. One long trip that started through two local airports. Chileka International Airport and Lilongwe International Airport.
If Landson wanted, she would have gulped all the wine she wanted in the plane. If she wanted, she would have read all the magazines in that plane. If she wanted, she would have eaten all the delicious foods in that plane!
But we do not know what she did- in terms of food and drink; in terms, perhaps, of the times she slept - in that plane. All we know is that whatever she did in that plane is part of a package they call 'travel'. So, she traveled.
But, of course, we know one thing that a plane is like a coffin. Just that, in this coffin, people lock themselves in willingly. Of course, we may blame it on distance. The long distances traveled in this world makes it difficult for us to avoid the plane- the coffin.
The wise, while in this coffin, eat and drink to the brim. They just don't know if tomorrow will ever come.
It tomorrow ends today, they just want to live the full meaning of 'living'.
That must have been Landson's bidding. As she flew on that long journey to represent tiny Malawi.
As fate would have it, Landson brought nothing home.
What? Nothing? No, she brought experience. First hand experience. Just that others have failed to tap from that experience. That is why Malawi is yet to win the Miss World.
Oh, by the way, you could think that Malawians learn. They do not. Because...
In 2006, they did not bother to send a representative. Old habits die hard, we may say.
This world of no-participation, just-like-that is not a productive orb. Malawi must have realised that, and tried to beat that. Because...
In 2007, the, then, Miss Malawi Perth Msiska was chosen to represent Malawi.
So happy was the nation, then.
Only for Malawi to withdraw from the race.
This was followed by that predictable pattern in 2008 and 2009: No participation.
However, as is the country's habit of learning and, then, unlearning again, Ella Kabambe got that opportunity denied to Msiska, and participated at the world stage in 2010.
Of course, she brought nothing but good memories. No prize. No award. No 'well-tried'.
The world is a stingy place to Malawi queens (not the successful Queens; the Malawi National Netball Team. No, those- the Queens of the netball team- are conquerors. Ask the Proteas of South Africa. They have been weeping and gnashing their teeth for decades.If the Proteas win, you know they have cheated. The way they cheated last week Saturday. Poor thieves; Proteas!!!) Surely, the Netball Queens are conquerors! They are the Number One netball team in Africa and fifth in the world. By the way, has this paragraph confused you? If 'Yes', go get a shower right now!!!
Ok, let us look a that business-as-usual business again. Malawi had no representative in 2011. That is no news, others ma say. It is habitual. Granted. But...wait a minute!
In 2012, Malawi sent Susan Mtegha. The Mtegha who will arrive home tomorrow, having missed her flight because she fainted at the airport in China. The days must have been hard on her. Perhaps she has recouped her energies at the Malawi Embassy in China, where is is 'recuperating'..
Of course, Mtegha has not brought the 'Miss World' tittle home.
But, at least, she has managed to win a contest against Miss New Zealand.
Just go and read the New Zealand Herald and you will discover that not all is lost for Mtegha. Ask Miss World New Zealand Director, Desmond Foulger. You will get he story. Foulger's untrue stoty.
Foulger ma as well shout into your ear: Wrestling is calling her (meaning, Mtegha)!!!
Do not take heed of what Foulger will tell you.

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