By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK As you read this article the reigning Miss Namibia, Anna Nashandi, is well on her way to Los Angeles, USA, where she will participate in the 2006 Miss Universe Pageant. Shortly before her departure on Wednesday Nashandi was busy fitting on the stylish gowns she will be wearing at the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant on July 23rd. “Thanks to my organisers I have packed everything I need for the pageant. One suitcase is just full of gowns while the other one contains only shoes,” said a rather ecstatic beauty queen at a farewell function hosted in her honour this week. Her national costume, sponsored by Nakara, is made from cream leather and the green and brown coloured sash material which mid-ways the gown ideally represents the well-known Namibian plant of the desert – the welwitschia. To top it off the gown is decorated with a variety of accessorised beads not only around the chiffon drape, but also beaded bangles that signify the cycle of life in Namibia. “While this costume symbolically shows the harshness of the desert, it also brings out the naturalness of the beautiful country like Namibia,” said designer Brigitte Davidow, adding that spectators should use their own imagination and fantasy when looking at Miss Namibia in this elegant body-fitting gown. At the same occasion, Miss Namibia also marvelled off the country’s National Gift, which was designed by Herma & Herrle Jewellers in the capital. This unique gift crafted locally that will be auctioned off on July 16 is made from gold that symbolises the attractive dunes of the Namibian desert. “We have used porcupine quills with pink and red tourmaline which comes from north of Usakos. It’s a typical Namibian piece,” said local jewellery designer Andreas Herrle. The reason why porcupine quills were used was because of the global wildlife conservationists who are primarily against using ivory products that mostly derive from poached animals. It is hoped that this National Gift will at the same time market Namibia to the outside world. As for the evening wear, Miss Namibia was dressed in a glittering long golden dress with chiffon frills. By the looks of things Miss Namibia is confident and proud to represent her country at the Miss Universe Pageant. “I am looking forward and will do the best for my country,” she said with a smile as she availed herself to journalists to take pictures of the different costumes. At the farewell function she was accompanied by her mother Ambassador Monica Nashandi and close cousin Netumbo who both believed that Miss Namibia will confidently do Namibia proud at the Miss Universe event. “She’s not only a beautiful person physically, but beautiful in her mind and she will always be my favourite person in the whole world,” said cousin Netumbo who all this time was her ‘campaign manager’ by encouraging her in taking part in the local and international beauty pageants. The 2006 Miss Universe final, featuring approximately 100 beauties will take place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angles in California on Sunday July 23. Apart from Namibia the other African countries represented at the global showcase are Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritius, South Africa and Zambia. The winner will receive a cash prize, jewellery, a car and a lucrative modelling contract.
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