After over two decades of standstill in staging the Miss Gambia Beauty Pageant proper, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTC) has presided over the launching of the event scheduled for 30th December. The event was resurrected by the Biddy’s Promotion, The Gambia Fashion Designers, and the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) who had signed a tripartite Agreement before the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honourable Hamat NK Bah.
Miss Gambia Beauty Pageant has lots of potential as a tourism product, as a cultural event, and also as a mirror for Gambian womanhood and beauty “this is why we need to ensure that only bona fide organizers can be given the franchise to organize it. So the partners are only given a franchise, the brand remains the property of the Gambia government,” noted the Minister.
Despite its importance to the tourism and culture sector, it could not be held due to many different challenges which have the brand fell into disrepute due to scandals associated with it. “This includes but is not limited to, failure, of (past) organizers to honour prize commitments to winners. Secondly, the Miss Gambia Beauty Pageant becomes embroiled in funding difficulties, and organizing the pageant is a capital-intensive venture. And thirdly, it seemed the Miss Gambia Beauty Pageant was like a free for all event which every Tom, Dick, and Harry thought they had ownership of and were shamelessly exploiting or even misusing it,” the Minster highlighted.
Meanwhile, the Minister remembered some of the previous Miss Gambia Beauty Queens which include Elizabeth Renner, Abie Barry, Mirabelle Carayol, and Ndey Jagne, while he disclosed that everyone is looking forward to seeing the contestants in action as soon as possible for the event.
However, the Miss Gambia Beauty Pageant in the destination Gambia has a rich history and tradition dating to 1964 when Elizabeth Renner was judged as the first Miss Gambia to coincide with the Independence celebrations of The Gambia. And from 1964 to 2001, the pageant was held regularly by various entities such as the Meta Youth Club, Banzig Club, and also sometimes, it was organized by individual investors.