19 year old Halima Aden is no ordinary teenager. She is a Somali-American who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, migrated to the United States as a child and over the weekend, became the first contestant to ever compete with a hijab and burkini at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.
This lovely muslim girl rocked a navy blue embroidered burkini and a gold colored hijab during the swimsuit portion of the pageant, receiving “big cheers from the crowd” as tweeted by Star Tribune’s Liz Sawyer.
In an interview with CBS Minnesota, she said
“For a really long time I thought being different was a negative thing. But as I grew older, I started to realize we are all born to stand out, nobody is born to blend in. How boring would this world be if everyone was the same?”
She may not have won the crown but she has certainly made a strong statement to many girls who are afraid to embrace their identity because they are different.
Reigning Miss Ireland International Has Big Plans For Zimbabwean Youths
Miss Blessing Mutamba is on the spotlight as the winner of Miss Ireland International contest. In addition to the award, the 23-year-old also won the Best-In-Interview and Miss Photogenic awards held on the side. She pledged to use her new position to lend a hand to youth empowerment programs in Zimbabwe. On February 21, 2019, she paid a visit to the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the UK, Retired Colonel Christian Katsande. The statement released by the embassy following her visit read,
“Ambassador Katsande highly commended and congratulated Miss Mutamba and took the opportunity to exchange views with the newly crowned Miss Ireland International on how she could contribute in promoting tourism, sports, arts, culture and trade and investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.”
The reigning queen was in the company of her mother Mrs. Netty Mutamba. The remaining statement from the embassy read,
“The parties agreed to explore ways to assist working with the sports cluster in fundraising for the Zimbabwe Netball Team scheduled to participate at the World Netball Cup Tournament in Liverpool in July 2019.”
Mutamba’s childhood and career
Miss Mutamba spent her early childhood in Ireland. She went ahead to study Creative Enterprise at Southampton Solent University where she bagged first class honors. She recently bagged a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from the Falmouth University. Apart from chasing a career in pageantry, Mutamba works at the International Stock Exchange as an Assistant Analyst.
Mutaba also featured on the cover of December 2012 edition of GBG Magazine. In 2009, she also made it to the final of the Face of Models United. Among the awards in her archives include Runner up Miss Collegiate Ireland and Miss African Spirit Most Photogenic.
Impacting the life of Zimbabwean Youths
Often times, crowned beauty pageants talk about programs without giving hints on how to achieve them. However, Mutamba says she will lobby entrepreneurship experts, managers, and global companies to support her youth mentorship programs. The aim of the program will be to empower youths to become self-reliant and entrepreneurs. This will also impact positively on the country’s economic recovery efforts. Mutamba thinks pageantry has grown beyond just showing off beautiful clothes. In her words,
“They’re now more about empowering women, giving them a voice and a platform, rather than just walking around in a pretty dress. I have learnt a lot of different things about teamwork, humility, staying humble but more importantly feeling comfortable in myself.”
Rwanda Cracks Down On Skin Bleaching. Guess Which African Country Has The Most Skin Bleachers?
Skin bleaching is a billion-dollar industry in predominantly black countries, but some governments want that to change.
Rwanda is one of them. Pointing to the chemicals’ harmful health effects, the country has begun a crackdown to enforce its ban on bleaching agents, especially hydroquinone and mercury, that are found in cosmetics.
According to the World Health Organization, 61 percent of the dermatological market in India consists of skin lightening products. In Nigeria, 77 percent of women use skin lightening products regularly, and in South Africa 59 percent do so, the health agency found.
“We have been conducting inspections on cosmetics to ensure that they are hydroquinone- and mercury-free,” Simeon Kwizera, a spokesman for the Rwanda Standards Board, said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “We are seizing some cosmetics, inspecting the shops and markets and advising the sellers.”
“It is been implemented by the Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority and the Rwanda Standards Board,” said Simeon Kwizera, “Operations are being conducted by technical people,” he said. “The police is there to oversee only and make sure that all operations are being conducted in a safe way.”
“We are now putting much effort, like educating people, going around and seizing those illegal products,” Francois Uwinkindi, director of the cancer unit at the Ministry of Health, told Reuters news agency. Rwandan police said they seized more than 5,000 banned bleaching products — including lotions, oils, soaps and sprays — from beauty shops across the country last month, according to local media, New Times.
In Rwanda and other countries, people use cosmetics to bleach their skin because they feel that lighter skin is the ideal or indicates higher social status. Dark-skinned people do not necessarily see people like them in billboards, movies, and advertisements, and dark-skinned celebrities sometimes grow more popular after bleaching their skin. This all makes it easier to believe that darker skin is of lesser value or is not considered as beautiful.
In 1983, South Africa banned all but 2 percent hydroquinone creams. In 2015, Ivory Coast banned all skin whitening creams, and in 2016, Ghana began a ban on certain skin whitening products that include hydroquinone. Rwanda instituted its ban in 2013 but had not strictly enforced it until November, when the crackdown began.
To get around these bans, some cosmetics manufacturers, eyeing the opportunities for profit, change the name of the agents in order to sell their products, according to Mr. Kwizera.
“Some manufacturers cheat the customers,” he said, by doing things like creating numerous fake brands. “They forge more than 80 names just to change the name.”
Mr. Kwizera said he believed products with hydroquinone were mainly being smuggled into Rwanda.
The country’s president, Paul Kagame, endorsed the crackdown on Twitter, calling skin bleaching unhealthy.
Quite unhealthy among other things. Includes use of prohibited chemicals. MoH and RNP need to reign this in very quickly…! https://t.co/zRvJRa8Dcq
— Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) November 25, 2018
Miss Algeria 2019 Is Black, Racist Trolls Are Attacking Her But She Won’t Back Down
The newly crowned winner of Miss Algeria beauty pageant has hit back at critics who have hurled racial abuse at her because of her skin color.
“I will not back down because of the people who criticised me,” Khadija Ben Hamou told Algerian news site TSA.
Slurs about her dark skin colour, nose and lips have been made on Facebook and Twitter.
Darker-skinned Algerians face discrimination in the North African state.
Ms Ben Hamou, who comes from the southern Adrar region, said that she was proud of her identity and winning the competition.
“I am honoured that I have achieved my dream, and I am honoured by the state of Adrar where I come from,” she said.
- Explore Africa2 months ago
20 Modern African Women Leaders Who Are Opening New Trails For Women
- Explore Africa2 months ago
There Is A Growing List of African Countries That Allow Dual Citizenship
- Arts & Culture2 months ago
Beyonce Wears Ankara Suit By Nigerian Designer to UTA Artist Space Event
- Celebrities2 months ago
20 Most Influential African Actresses On Instagram
- Fashion2 months ago
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Sheelah Garbrah Gives The Kente Cloth A Stunning Makeover With Her Ohemaa Collection
- Lifestyle3 months ago
Ethiopian Prime Minister and Wife Set An Example With Adoption From Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage
- African Ingenuity2 months ago
2019 Africa Owned Car Brands Manufactured In Africa
- Arts & Culture2 months ago
Davido Just Released A New Remix Of His Song “Fall” With Busta Rhymes