Selma spills the beans

It has not been a smooth journey for outgoing Miss Namibia Selma Kamanya as a statement by her revealed injustices she experienced by the pageant organisation during her reign.

28 June 2019 | Art and Entertainment

As she prepares to hand over the crown to the incoming Miss Namibia next month, Selma Kamanya took to social media to convey the challenges she encountered during her tenure, in a lengthy letter.

Among the challenges she raised included emotional abuse, gross mismanagement and lack of cooperation with some of the organisation's stakeholders – namely the social media manager and events manager.

In the statement, Kamanya revealed that she was traumatised when those who were entrusted with her wellbeing as Miss Namibia often shared derogatory remarks and insults with sponsors and their contacts. The statement further pointed out that during her year of reign, her spending of personal funds quadrupled as she learned that as Miss Namibia she had to cover much of the expenses from personal funds. “The impact of this was felt most severely by my parents, who had to sustain me continually.

“Bluntly speaking, there was no real monetary reward or otherwise for becoming an ambassador for Namibia through this platform, despite the many sacrifices one has to make for the benefit of the title,” read the statement.

She revealed that Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), as main sponsor, gave N$300 000 towards the pageant and stated that she only received N$18 000 in cash prizes, broken down as N$10 000 from NDTC, N$4 000 from Standard Bank as well as N$4 000 from Emanya at Etosha. “Of this sum, I only received the first N$8 000 after numerous requests, including by my mother who pleaded for payment. I have since visited sponsors that have informed that they have given cash prizes to the pageant, of which I know nothing about.”

When contacted for a comment on the statement, Kamanya confirmed the authenticity of the statement to tjil. “I won't be commenting on that matter anymore because everything I ever wanted to say was addressed in the letter,” said Kamanya.

Former Miss Namibia 2010 Odile Gertze said during her reign there were a lot of sponsors on board, but there were circumstances that forced her to fork out money from her own pocket to cater to her Miss Namibia needs.

“When it comes to the emotional abuse I also did experience some of the things Selma Kamanya highlighted. I am proud of her for speaking out and I hope this will compel the organisation to do better.

“Being Miss Namibia is an incredible blessing but that blessing comes with a heavy burden,” said Gertze.

Sponsor reacts

NDTC spokesperson Helena Mootseng told tjil that as a partner of the Miss Namibia beauty pageant, NDTC takes note of challenges highlighted by Kamanya and will remain committed to finding solutions with all stakeholders that propel the pageant forward. Mootseng added that the issue of prize money would have been dealt with directly with the pageant as custodian of the Miss Namibia pageant.

“NDTC sponsored an amount of N$300 000 towards the 2018/19 Miss Namibia pageant, primarily for ensuring a successful event would be hosted. The pageant enjoyed the liberty of disbursing the funds addressing priorities outside of NDTC's involvement.

“However for 2019/20 an amount of N$100 000 is allocated as prize money,” said Mootseng.

Attempts to get comment from the pageant's director Connie Maritz proved futile.


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