COURTESY: THE INQUIRER
It appears as though there is controversy over the actual winner of the Miss Liberia title, as those who served as judges during the entire process have distanced themselves from the winner who was announced by the organizers of the pageant early Sunday morning.
One of the judges, Representative Munah Pelham who spoke to this paper on Sunday via mobile phone confirmed that the results announced by organizers of the 2011/2012 Miss Liberia Beauty Pageant was not the decision of the judges.
According to Representative Pelham, the queen representing Lofa County, Miss Leeda Knowlden who was announced by the organizers was not qualified to wear the crown according to their scores. She stated that based on their separate scores, the title should have been given to Miss Montserrado County.
However, “The Revolution,” 2011/2012 Ms. Liberia Pageant which featured 11 beautiful young ladies representing ‘class and brains’ has finally ended with Ms. Leeda Knowlden from Lofa County walking away with a brand new maroon Hyundi offered by Cellcom GSM. Cellcom is the proud titled sponsor of the event that was decorated with fashion and pageantry of the young beauties.
Sinoe County emerged as first runner-up followed by Grand Cape Mount and Montserrado Counties.
These young girls performed very well which helped the judges to award them those positions. Apparently, they have won for themselves jobs with Cellcom as promised.
Initially there were 15 candidates but following months of training and audition, only 11 young girls emerged as contestants to the grand finals. The contestants hail from Montserrado, Lofa, Sinoe, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, River Gee, Bomi, Nimba, Maryland and Margibi Counties.
On April 14, 2012 at the Executive Pavilion, the organizers and judges declared Ms. Knowlden as the successful winner due to the number obtained through the votes cast online. Ms. L performed fairly well as compared to her other mates especially Sinoe and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
Apart from the online votes cast in her favor, Ms. Liberia also demonstrated a brilliant talent exhibiting her body flexibility during her traditional dance which according to her is done by the Mandingoes in Lofa County.
Two of the judges were taken from Nigeria while District # Representative and model Munah Pelham also joined in selecting the best Ms. who emerged as Ms. Liberia. Rep. Pelham encouraged the girls who lost to continue adding, “I envy you with passion. I dreamt that I would have worn the crown but I did not win.”
While, Dr. Weeks, representing the proud sponsor of the pageant, Cellcom, said it was special moment for the Corporation and that it had left them with no regrets because they believe in the selection of a Miss to represent Liberia.
The pageant was graced by the presence of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who did not make any official statement while almost all of her cabinet and junior cabinet ministers were present at the event. Information Minister Lewis Brown thanked the organizers and sponsors expressing that it was ‘truly a revolution.’
Minister Brown said the pageant proved that it was not only concerned with inner beauty but exposed the utter beauties of the young Liberian women and urged the ladies to remain a true representation of the Liberian culture and people even if they lose.
He said the pageant’s sponsor has set a new standard for the Ms. Liberia event in the country. Meanwhile, one of Nigeria’s popular actors, Desmond Elliott served as co-master of ceremony while ‘Klint The Drunk’ thrilled the audience with his action of comedy.
The ladies displayed their beauties wearing short pants, African attires, swimming suits covered with a piece of cloth and African evening wear. Their class was demonstrated by the performances in their talents and their brains were engaged during a brief interview with the masters- of- ceremony.