By Francis Tsawayo WINDHOEK THE Agriculture Bank of Namibia (Agribank) and Petronam came to Miss Namibia Anna Nashandi’s rescue when they donated N$40 000 for her to participate in the Miss World Beauty Pageant. In recent weeks it transpired that Nashandi did not have a sponsorship to participate in the global beauty pageant that takes place in Poland. Prior to the handover, the Chairman of Team Namibia and CEO of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tarah Shaanika said it only came to his attention through the media that the reigning Miss Namibia was facing difficulties in raising the franchise fee set at N$40 000 to compete in the prestigious pageant. Shaanika said this prompted him as the chairman of Team Namibia to assist in the fund-raising campaign as it’s also an obligation of Team Namibia to market Namibian people and not only products. Handing over the cheque of $N10 000 was the CEO of Agribank Leonard Ipumbu who said that the gesture was about Namibia as a whole and that the pageant was not about beauty alone but about representation of the country and its people at the event. “I believe that given a chance Anna will deliver because she is very articulate,” Ipumbu said. Also handing over a cheque of N$30 000 was the Chairman of the Board of Petronam, Naeman Amwala, who said that he was sure that Anna would do very well at the pageant, describing Namibia as a country of champions, which was exemplified with the recent victory of Paulus ‘Hitman’ Moses that Namibia can take on the world. Beauty Queen Nashandi said it was really overwhelming to receive such support at short notice and that she felt like the luckiest girl in Namibia. She is grateful for all the support she has received and promised to give her best, noting that “there is no better place to come from other than Namibia when faced with such a challenge”. The director of the Miss Namibia Pageant Connie Maritz earlier informed the media about the difficulties the issue of fund-raising had raised, adding that there was always a lot of friction when it came to attending international pageants. This year the situation was not helped by two major sponsors pulling out and the fact that the date for the Miss World Pageant that is usually held every December was changed to September, leaving very little time for preparations. Maritz also revealed that there are 15 international pageants that Anna could attend but highlighted Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss International, which she described as international platforms where Namibia could showcase its beauty if funds are available.
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