ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
MELBA Shakabozha was last Saturday crowned Miss Universe Zambia 2018 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) in Lusaka where Nollywood star Mike Ezuruonye was the co-host.The 23-year-old, who takes over the crown from Isabel Chikoti, will represent the country at the 67th edition of the Miss Universe Pageant to be held in Bangkok, Thailand this December.
A Vodafone brand ambassador and runway fashion model, Melba came-up against 15 other contestants who competed in categories like public service wear, swimwear, evening wear and national costume.
The public service category saw models strutting in different outfits including uniforms for the likes of the Zambia Police, Zambia Army, Zambia National Service (ZNS) and the Immigration.
Anyhow, that seemed to matter little to the models as well as the judges and most members of the audience.
The evening wear had so much to offer with long glittery dresses and a lot of detail being the order of the night.
Melba mesmerised the audience during the national costume category when in a confident strut, she walked on the aisle in a swimwear-like silver outfit with a green and yellow wing decoration on her back.
The jury is still out on whether that was a national costume or not.
The pageant, whose other co-host was Natasha van der Maas, had performances from Kuni and Mampi.
But interest and intrigue was on the winners.
Favourite Louisa Chingangu was the First-Runner-Up while Luwi Kawanda and Jila Makina were tied for Second Princess with Crystal Chipasha scooping the Miss Personality. Idah Chilembo walked away with the Justina Mutale Foundation for Leadership Scholarship Award.
For being the overall winner, Melba walked away with a car, a Master’s Degree Scholarship Overseas and will speak at the 63rd Session UN Headquarters in New York in March 2019.
She also walked away with a Justina Mutale Foundation for Leadership Award Scholarship and K3,000 Bla Beauty Land make up voucher.
Melba, a radiology student, has previously competed in the Miss Zambia World 2014 and 2016 competitions and as international experience having competed at a pageant in China in 2015.
Other contestants who took part in the pageant are Angela Mulenga, Christine Kaluba, Christine Mukenga, Jennifer Jere, Matilda Tonga, Monica Bwalya, Mudenda Munsanje, Mwaba Musonda, Pezo Ellie Lufunda, Queen Mwewa, Sheila Jinselensele and Tulani Adelaide Mwanza.
The Miss Universe Zambia franchise is held by Alice Rowlands who won the same pageant in 2010. A high fashion model based in South Africa, Alice has represented the country internationally on a number of occasions.
ZIO MWALE, Lusaka