Ms. Sierra Leone USA Women’s Leadership and Scholarship Pageant 2012
July 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
With most of the Washington, DC area still reeling from last Friday’s killer storm that caused widespread power outages, you had to have some sort of sympathy for the organizers of the 5th Ms. Sierra Leone USA Pageant on Sunday July 1st. The original venue was still without power, so a last-minute change had to be phoned, emailed and tweeted out to patrons and invited guests alike. Event organizer Fuambai Ahmadu and former winner Natasha Beckley had to make do with a smaller atrium at the local county civic center, and switch MCs and judges around in an effort to keep the show on schedule. The scaled-down event ended up featuring only eight ladies representing various regions in Sierra Leone, but in that sweltering atrium – fan cooled because power had to be supplied by generator – that was more than enough to keep the excitement going among patrons. Ms. Freetown, a 21-year-old Virginia Tech mining engineering student named Ruby Johnson, won the whole thing, with strong competition from runners-up Adiatu Bangura, a 20-year-old Biology student at Staten Island College, and Fatmata Barrie, who will be attending the University of Maryland this fall.
The pageant has given out thousands of dollars in scholarships to previous winners, and encourages contestants to start their own non-profits and charities. The biannual event was sponsored by the Wellbody Alliance, Johns Hopkins, University, and NOSLINA (National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America. Wellbody’s Goodwill Ambassador Selita Ebanks was unable to headline the event as planned, but Tiffany Persons of Shine On Sierra Leone, the NGO that initially got Ms. Ebanks involved in health issues in Sierra Leone, was on hand to talk about their activities. Sierra Leone musician Freddy “Shabaka” Cole co-MCeed the event. Check out Afrofusion’s gallery/slide show of photos from the show below. Bless…
- SIERRA LEONE: Women hope for an equal place at decision making tables (moroccotomorrow.org)