Twenty-year-old Lizelle Esterhuizen, from Windhoek, was crowned Miss Namibia 2016, much to the murmurs of discontent from one section of the crowd that gathered at the Windhoek Country Club on Saturday evening.
This was because the crowd favourite, 23-year-old Maila Kalipi from Oranjemund, dissapointed in the final rounds. Kalipi had the crowd cheering with each of her appearances on stage, yet she did not walk away with any prize despite being in the top five.
The 21-year-old Andeline Wieland, from Swakopmund, was crowned first princess while the 20-year-old beauty from Gobabis, Varaakuani Hambira, was crowned second princess.
There were six new awards to this year’s tightly contested pageant. Esterhuizen was also handed the ‘athletics’ and ‘health and fitness’ awards.
The ‘top model’ award went to 23-year-old Lorna Mabuku from Katima Mulilo, while the beautiful Danielle Farrel from Rosh Pinah won the ‘public speaking’ award and the title of ‘Miss Photogenic.’
The ‘talent’ and ‘general knowledge’ award was bestowed on Wieland.
Nicole Scott, another beautiful girl from Windhoek, won the title of ‘Miss Congeniality’ and the ‘public’s choice’ title went to Michelle Boucher from Swakopmund.
The 12 finalists opened the show with a performance in sportswear. They also paraded in swimwear, cocktail wear, floral dresses and evening gowns.
George Longane took the crowd down memory lane with some old school tunes while award-winning songstress Ann Singer performed one of her hit tracks ‘Diminengepo’.
However, the esteemed event was not all about crowning and entertainment but also about recognising the efforts of three women for their charitable community efforts in their respective communities. The Miss Namibia beauty peagant recognised Dr Christina Swart-Opperman for her aids orphan foundation, and Ebenecia Tjiveta of Onyose Trust and Johanna Hauwanga of Helping Hands who walked away with the Standard Bank Women of Excellence awards.