Windhoek – Namibian model with albinism Eva Ndatipo has her eyes set on the Miss Hope International pageant scheduled for Cape Town later this month.
The 24-year-old Ndatipo made a name for herself as the first woman with albinism to participate in and be crowned as first runner-up and Miss Personality at the Miss Youth 2015, organised by the National Youth Council of Namibia.
Ndatipo, who considers herself a brand ambassador for people living with albinism in Namibia, says the Miss Hope International pageant, which take place on November 26, could be her big break on the international modeling scene.
Miss Hope international is a charity-based pageant. It went international last year after years of operating as a national event in South Africa. Prizes up for grabs include a modeling contract and a scholarship to study any course at an institution of higher learning.
“This will be my first international pageant and it will motivate me to push my career because it is not easy for an albino person to succeed,” says Ndatipo, who needs funds to travel to Cape Town.
She has managed to raise N$2 000 and still needs an additional N$6 000 to cover her traveling and accommodation costs.
Ndatipo points out that people with albinism are often stigmatised to the extent that many lose faith in themselves. “Taking part in Miss Hope International will encourage more people to have faith in themselves, regardless of their circumstances. And, it will also motivate other people to take part in the pageant, even if they are plus-size models,” says Ndatipo.
The director of Miss Hope International Namibia, Zelnadia de Waal, says Ndatipo stood out as being smart. “Eva is a brilliant girl,” adds de Waal, explaining that Ndatipo is confident, despite the stigma that people with albinism go through.
“It makes her stand out. People with albinism are still disadvantaged and she can be an ambassador for children with albinism,” says de Waal.
Leah Miskia of La Mode Fashions, who last year used Ndatipo as a model for her fashion show, has no doubts that Ndatipo has potential in the modeling industry.
“I like the fact that she has embraced her albinism. She can really make a difference and help people with albinism. She’s an amazing model. I would definitely work with her again,” says Misika.
Ndatipo has been involved in a number of community activities, which include raising funds for the less fortunate in society, as well as encouraging learners with albinism at the School for Visually Impaired to embrace their condition and to do their best to reach their goals.