19 Oct 2009

I would like to understand a few things about this Miss EA Schengen competition (as there seems to be a lot of Miss competitions popping up with the notion of empowering young women). For anyone who can help, please do share your knowledge. Earlier attempts to speak to Mr. Charles Gadi were futile, as he hung up on me, upon me saying I did not recognise what the company was. Most importantly, we would like to know who is behind the organisation. What is their background? Who is training the girls? What do these individuals do for life? The girls competiting are required not to have "poor behaviour or they will be disqualified". Are the organisers, trainers etc squeaky clean? Will their background impart "beauty, culture and purity" to the girls? Do you really, really know who is working with your daughters and sisters? DO YOU??

So my questions;

1. What kind of organisation is this? Is it an individuals company or an NGO? What is the registration number if anyone knows, and when was it registered. Who is on the board?

2. On the website, the contact is not clear, there is only an e-mail and phone number but no physical address.

3. What kind of health (or any other) insurances are in place for young girls participating in this event?

4. The organisation aims to encourage people to visit East African countries etc. Is this encouraging East Africans in the diaspora to go back to their own countries, or they are targeting Europeans? If so, how is this being marketed to them?

5. One of the entry requirements is; girls must be single and have no children. Why specifically single? Is this a discrimination on young girls who might have boyfriends? Does it make them improper to serve the community?

6. I see there are only 2 sponsors, one travel company and a restaurant. Are they the main sponsors of the event? Do they provide the presents for these young girls? I believe, it is important to have transparency, and it would be encouraging to see the companies put forward what they are actually sponsoring, so that come the time their word will be legally binding (mainly to the participating girls). I would hate to see naive young girls being exploited.

7. Does the company provide psychological support to young girls who might be vulnerable to insults that will no doubt pop in different blogs whereby the individual has decided to market. It is one thing to claim to build confidence in young girls, it is another when individuals elsewhere try and knock young girls' confidence. A proper organisation should have these things in place.

8. On that note, a concerned parent has recently called the organiser, Mr. Gadi in relation to the pictures and more importantly to a "bongoflava" cheap $2 video (NOTE: $2 is a compliment), which consists of lyrics that arent pleasant to a parent, with videos of the young girls pictures flashing. He has been asked to remove them, the singer has been requested to remove them. In reply Mr. Gadi said "Maybe I will do", "I will see what I can do" or "They are 18 years, they can decide what they want". I believe on this note, an organiser creating a reputable organisation, promoting positivity for the girls, shows a lack of understanding and respect to a concerned parent and our beautiful african culture. I believe the organiser has a family, and needs to think like a family man. So if anyone else knows who is running this organisation, it will be wise to share it, so they can be contacted, perhaps they might show sense and discuss as grow ups.

9. It may be neccessary to contact the different ambassadors to understand their involvement in this event, and whether they endorse the carefree nature of dealing with parents as shown by this particular organiser.

10. For parents who have young girls competiting for these events, it is important you ask questions and make sure your children's interests are best served. Where will your girls be staying? How are they funding their travelling costs? Will these costs be recouped regardless of whether they win or lose?

Food For Thought for parents: What do you want your young girls to achieve from this? Is it attention? Fame? Material things? If helping the community, is parading on stage and being viewed as an object what your daughter is about? In terms of modelling, in Europe there are a lot of very genuine modelling companies with clear procedures on how they are run. My word is, ask questions, talk to your friends, advise them and do the right and sensible things for your young daughters and sisters.

Best of Regards,



(Please feel free to contact me in private and in confidence. I am accessible on the e-mail (and my mobile no. is available on request via e-mail), I will be happy to speak out when you do not dare, where neccessary, you can always rely on the rule of law).


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