By Hope Nda
Some 30 Cameroonian models are now battling to excel at a skill competition being championed by the Cameroon Youth Assembly. The competition, dubbed Miss Skills Festival, runs until February 19 when the winner will be singled out from 30 beauty queens contesting.
The organiser, Nghateng Annang, says Miss Skills Festival aims to empower young girls and to enable them become masters of their own destinies through skill development and marketing.
“We have a mission to enhance and promote skills development. So we thought it wise that we could empower young girls with skills through a beauty competition because many young people are interested in beauty, pageantry and all the rest,” Annang told The Post during an audition with the models on Wednesday, Jan. 12.
He added: “Young girls have a lot of skills, but they lack branding; they lack marketing. So Miss Skills Festival seeks, not only to empower young ladies with skills, but to help them brand and market their skills, because in as much as skills are important, the business part of the skills is important. So we want to, through these skills, to be able to put food on the table of these young female Cameroonians.”
The Festival started on January 3 with 30 contestants among them 21-year-old Okara Allbright, a model, computer scientist and cyber security analyst, who vowed to do “great things”.
“What really excited me to get into this competition is because I know a lot of people with skills but they don’t know how to go about it; they don’t know how to begin. Somebody is comfortable doing something at home but they cannot share that thing outside, probably because they are shy; they have stage fright – they cannot meet more people… So I think it’s really going to be a good platform for me to get into the audience, remove people with certain skills and bring them into the limelight. I’m very grateful for the Miss Skills Festival… I hope to do great works with everybody,” she said.
Cameroonian music artist, Makon, is the festival’s sponsor. Makon attended Wednesday’s auditioning after which he told The Post the festival is a way of helping young girls become independent and successful.
“I like when the women are being empowered in the society. So that is actually my main aim is to support and push their dreams so that they should be able to do something for themselves and be able to survive and pay their own bills. We need to let our young girls know that women can do the same things that men do, that’s all about the skills festival,” he said.
To some of the contestants, it is a “tough ride” showcasing one’s skills amid tens of other skillful girls.
Nevertheless, Millien Sama, a designer, model and actress participating in the contest, says Miss Skills Festival will help her show others what she has got.