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Miss university Africa postponed once again

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Lerato Matheka

MASERU — The Miss University Africa (MUA) 2012 beauty pageant has been postponed once again, this time indefinitely.
The troubled pageant, which was scheduled for the Gambia, was initially pencilled for January 25 but was postponed to May 10.
Tlali Tlali, who coordinates local participants, said a new date for the competition was still to be announced.
Salako Adebowale, who was co-ordinating the pageant, claimed that the competition was being postponed because they had failed to secure a direct flight to the Gambia.
In a letter dated May 7 and addressed to all national association presidents, Adebowale said because there were no direct flights delegates would have “to sleep at the airport for two days to get a connecting flight to Gambia as the flight to Gambia goes three times a week”.
“While we want to hold this pageant, we will not subject the contestants to stress by sleeping at the airport in a foreign country for up to two or three days,” Adebowole said.
“This is bad for our organisation’s image as well. We are in the final stages of planning with two international airlines to have all delegates transited to Gambia upon arrival in Senegal or Nigeria.
“This will save them the stress of sleeping at the airport for days.”
He also cited the political instability in neighbouring Guinea Bissau.
Adebowole said this has “caused some very serious concern which has also affected other celebrations in that country”.
Speaking to XpressPeople on Friday, Tlali said the delays were psychologically affecting delegates and their preparations for the competition.
He said while it is understandable that the pageant had to be postponed because of the instability in Guinea Bissau, it was unfair on the girls who have prepared and were enthusiastic about competing.
“The first postponement was good for all the girls because it gave them more time for preparations but after two months of excitement, they have to wait again indefinitely.
“I think it’s a bit unfair,” Tlali said.
Rorisang Molefe, 19, who is representing Lesotho at the MUA, expressed frustration over the delays.
Molefe said when the organisers postponed the pageant the first time they should have ensured that there would be flights reaching Gambia on time.
She said it was unfair that they were being told of the postponement just a few days before leaving.
“This is very frustrating,” Molefe said.
The 1.78-metre Molefe was set to become the eighth and youngest participant to represent Lesotho at an international contest.
“I had to put my school preparations on hold this month knowing that I have a crown to collect from Gambia for my country but now I can’t wait to go and get this over and done with,” she added.
Tlali said the organisers of the pageant had indicated that they were still finalising details on which airport delegates would use.

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