JOHANNESBURG – A dispute has broken out over the Miss Africa pageant with the originator of the beauty contest slamming some individuals for counterfeiting his initiative.
Neo Mashishi, founder of the pageant, disclosed alleged copycats had emerged in Nigeria where they are organising the so-called Miss Africa 2016, running concurrent with the Calabar Festival and Carnival in the Cross River State on December 1-31.
Mashishi’s ProAct Entertainment originated the pageant, which whose inaugural edition was held in Johannesburg, South Africa with the endorsement of governments from the continent.
Mashishi, ProAct Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, dismissed the pageant set for December in the state south of Nigeria as a “counterfeit” bent on hijacking Miss Africa and misleading unsuspecting African girls.
On Monday, he alerted the public to an alleged ploy to hijack the pageant.
“To all our African brothers and sisters, we would like to bring to your attention there are some people who intend to hijack Miss Africa Continent and impeach the first ever Miss Africa Continent Rebecca Asamoah from Ghana,” said Mashishi.
Mashishi said the alleged copycats were working with Cross Rivers State government in Nigeria.
“They are confusing people. They used pictures of our Queen and our Twitter page @missafrica2016,” he denounced.
“Instead of congratulating the newly crowned Miss Africa, they are copying our pageant and recruiting some of our top 12 finalists to participate in their pageant,” added Mashishi.
He dismissed organisers of the pageant in Nigeria as “fake” and urged Africans to be wary of them.
“We want to unite Africa, they are destroying that vision by crowning another Miss Africa. There’s only one Miss Africa Continent Queen that’s Rebecca Asamoah from Ghana,” said a disappointed Mashishi.
Comment could not be obtained from the organsiers of the pageant in Nigeria but they have been quoted in the media as saying 30 women aged 18-25 years, representing 40 African countries across five regions would participate after casting held across the continent.
They claim it will be a “star-studded event showcasing the true sense of African culture and heritage with the climate change theme in perspective.”
Models interviewed by CAJ News Africa dismissed the pageant.
“There is only one and authentic Miss Africa in Africa, which is organised by respected ProAct Entertainment,” said Gelete Tassew of Ethiopia.
Nigeria’s Chioma Iheanacho said, “I’m a Nigerian. I know this one being organised in Cross River State is fake. We Nigerians have a huge problem of not wanting to work with fellow Africans, but this one, must be stopped at all costs,” Iheanacho said.
Hilda Langat of Kenya scorned the pageant set for Nigeria as “dubious.”
“There is only one Miss Africa in Africa,” she said.
Rebecca Nana of Ghana accused the organisers of the Nigerian version of the Miss Africa of being greedy.
“They have hijacked the Miss Africa that was administered in Johannesburg, South Africa,” said Nana.
Companies in Egypt and Botswana have previously been exposed for hijacking Miss Africa.
– CAJ News