Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) is not only concerned with hosting the inaugural Mr and Miss Albinism beauty pageant in Lilongwe this September, but also setting standards.
To prove this, Apam— which wants to use the pageant as a vehicle for fighting against attacks on persons with albinism— has enlisted the services of two judges from Botswana and Zimbabwe.
The two will join locals during the event scheduled for Bingu International Convention Centre on September 7.
APAM Programmes Lead and Event Organizing Committees Focal Person, Peter Kayenda, Monday said Brenda Mudzimu (Miss Albinism Zimbabwe Trust) and Lizzy Maila (Miss Albinism Botswana) will join locals Hazel Warren (former Big Brother housemate) and Tionge Munthali on the panel.
“The Organizing Committee is still holding discussions with three more to seek their input,” Kayenda said ahead of the event to run under the theme ‘We Are Just Like You’.
Some 50 participants are earmarked for the contest and the interest keeps growing.
The number of registered participants has jumped from 11 in the first week to 21 and now 32 this week, Kayenda said.
Out of these, 12 males are earmarked to compete in their category.
“Eventual winners will be Albinism Resilience Ambassadors and will also be work brand ambassadors. Their role will extend to fundraising and championing of disability rights, with special focus on albinism work in the pursuit to promote advancement of Persons with Albinism in Malawi and beyond,” he said.
The judges would, in the participants, look for education, self-confidence, altruism and passion when deciding the eventual winners.
APAM wants to turn the beauty pageant into an annual event.
The budget for the inaugural event is pegged at K72 million and, so far, the private and public sector have supported the initiative.
The country had recorded 146 attacks on persons with albinism, bringing the risk of existential extinction and severe trauma to victims and their families alike