By Petronella Sibeene
Elegant 21-year-old Marelize Robberts from Windhoek was on Saturday night crowned Miss Namibia 2008 at a glittering beauty ceremony.
The first princess is 19-year-old Leani Roux and Kimera Markowitz-Karuuombe was voted second princess.
Robberts who beat other nine contestants was awarded a Toyota Yaris car to use for one year, together with fuel, a safari at Etosha, a cellphone, a weekend at the Windhoek Country Club Resort & Casino, a camera, a return ticket to either Frankfurt or London, four return tickets to Cape Town or Johannesburg and six domestic flights, among other prizes.
Robberts succeeded Marichen Luiperth who took the title last year.
It all started at 20h30 on Saturday night when the host, Miss Namibia 1991 and Miss Universe 1992 Michelle McLean welcomed the crowd to the Miss
Namibia Pageant 2008.
Without wasting much time, one by one and dressed by Pambili, the 10 finalists cat-walked the stage.
There was indeed glamour, fashion, beauty and intelligence at the pageant that attracted hundreds of people.
It was also a memorable event punctuated with fashion and powerful rhythms from Carlo Louw, one of the top 10 finalists in idols 2007 and The Dogg, Kwaito master and Namibian Artist of the Year 2007.
As the beauties modeled on stage over and over again, the poise and spunk,
but in a quiet unassuming way, could be noticed in Robberts.
The parade of the ladies was a sight to behold as they brought out some fine costumes to awe the crowd. Jacques Jansen van Vuuren, Chakira Claasen, Patricia Mtambalika and Maria Caley – all Namibian designers – dressed them.
The host then introduced the nine judges who faced the daunting task of selecting the winner from the 10 contestants, as the competition was a closely contested affair.
And then came the time that saw the contestants featuring a series of beautifully designed diamond jewellery that reflected the mystery, romance and magic of Namibia’s precious stones.
As they walked off the stage, the entertainment by Louw paved the way for the swimsuit contest, which had some men hollering like excited schoolboys. And who could blame them? These young misses know how to take care of themselves.
By then, the audience was totally enthralled by the sheer beauty and confident strutting of the queens.
The beauty in the girls was further enhanced when they dressed in mermaid-style evening gowns by Paul van Zyl and Lulu Belle, well known South African-based designers.
After showcasing the work of the two designers, Chuma Siboleka (21) was announced as Miss Personality while Marelize Robberts was picked as Miss Photogenic and Geraldine Goosen scooped the Public Choice award.
One of the highlights at the event was the announcing of “Women of Excellence” awards. These are women who have excelled in making meaningful contributions to specific communities in need of support.
The two winning institutions were Monitronics Success College and Okahandja Home Based Care Centre. These will receive N$25 000 each from Standard Bank Namibia in support of their projects.
Still dressed in their evening gowns whose colour combination, material, design and the fitting showed off their slender bodies, the top five finalists were announced. They were Marelize Robberts, leani Roux, Kimera Markowitz-Karuuombe, Chuma Siboleka and Geraldine Goosen.
It was then time to showcase their calibre – one of the biggest attributes of the contest. The judges handed over their question papers to McLean and the top five one by one went through their answers. Simple as the questions sounded, adrenaline was busy at work as the contestants tried their level best to answer the posed questions.
Questions asked included: Is the Miss Namibia beauty pageant relevant? How do you explain to a tourist where Namibia is? What do you think corporate companies could do to alleviate poverty in the country? If you were to be crowned Miss Namibia, what charity work would you engage in and why?
What three wishes do you have for Namibia?
The five handled their questions fairly well, so it was up to the judges.
The Dogg took the stage by storm with his hit “Can you feel it” as the judges started working on the final results.
Carla Louw then entertained the crowd with two songs.
By 22h20, McLean announced that the judges had made their final decision.
Kimera Markowitz-Karuuombe was announced as second princess and Leani Roux as first.
The annual event ended with a final announcement that Marelize Robberts is Miss Namibia 2008.