10 Years in Pageantry

In 2013, I was crowned Miss University of Malawi (formerly known as Chancellor College).

In 2017, I was the first runner up in the Miss Malawi pageant. Anybody who followed the pageant that year knew I brought all the notoriety to that pageant.

In 2017, I also represented Malawi at the World Miss University pageant in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, where I made it to the top 8, and awarded as the best speaker out of 83.

In 2018, I was the official host of the 29th World Miss University pageant in Seoul, South Korea.

If you’re looking at the clock – it’s been about 10 years since I got into pageantry. I have so many stories I could tell, from things that should / could have been. The misogyny I have endured – how I have hard to work 10 times as the next guy to ‘prove’ I am not just some ‘dumb pageant girl’.

I think I’ve actually spent the years after Miss Malawi diverting the attention away from my pageantry past. Anybody who has met me after knows it is not something I mention about myself.

And all factors considered – despite any pain I’ve had to endure (publicly or privately), I’d do it all again.

World Miss University reminds me of why I fell in love with pageantry. It is a pageant close to my heart; holding on to the values I care about – brains and grace. At @wmu_official, there’s little to no focus on physical (natural) attributes of beauty, but more what we are, and what we make of what we have. You see this in the myriad of awards that recognise 20+ of the attendees in their varying areas of strength and unique ability.

@nthandamanduwi

The 31st World Miss University. Glad to have played my part as a judge at the pageant In Seoul, South Korea. 💕

♬ original sound – Nthanda Manduwi 🇲🇼

I think of pageantry as an artistic form of expression – from mastering the catwalk, learning about style / fashion, understanding etiquette, perfecting poise, to sharpening speaking / presentation skills. These are all skills I am grateful to have attained from pageantry, and without a doubt know they propel me as now an entrepreneur in media.

Before the 2022 World Miss University pageant final night, the African girls came to my room to decompress and pray. They said they were happy to have a black judge on the panel, and when they prayed with me, they said they hope at least one of them wins an award.

Malawi was crowned as Miss Africa, Zimbabwe was awarded as Miss Popularity, while Kenya was awarded as Miss Peace. So glad to know I was able to contribute to this, and pivot some girls’ lives in a better direction, whatever that direction may come to be.

I think I fell in love with pageantry again this week, and it was such an honor to have served as a judge this year at the 31st @wmu_official (2022). 🤍

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All my love,

Ntha

Connect with me on social media. Let’s stay in touch.

Learn more about my journey in Digital Media in Malawi here.

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