The reigning Miss Namibia, Nadja Breytenbach, will not participate in any international pageant this year. The national Miss Namibia pageant aims to celebrate beauty with a charitable cause. The title-holder initiates her drive to bring charity to the less-privileged, to promote deserving social causes, to serve as an example of purposeful living by the young, and to bring honour and pride to our nation as a representative of goodwill, being an ambassador for the country.
Breytenbach was crowned Miss Namibia in 2019 and represented Namibia at the Miss Universe pageant in the same year. Julita-Kitwe Mbangula was her first runner-up, while Johanna Swartbooi was the second runner-up.
Conny Maritz, the managing director of the pageant, says the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the world of pageantry severely – both locally and internationally and announced to cancel the Miss Namibia 2020 edition due to the pandemic outbreak in the country. “We had to postpone the Miss Namibia pageant last year, and so did two of the largest and most recognised international pageants, the Miss World and Miss Universe Organisations.” Conny further added, “These postponements are not just the result of travel restrictions, but they happened mainly out of concern for the health and safety of the delegates and participants.”
The cancellation means Nadja Breytenbach and Miss Teen Namibia 2019, Schwane Blignaut, will continue to engage in public commitments and represent the pageants’ sponsors. Meanwhile the organization monitored the situation of the pandemic and opened their entries for Miss Namibia 2021.
“We have been looking for the first possible opportunity. The situation in our view has not improved sufficiently to allow for that. We are not particularly pressed for time as both the Miss Universe and Miss World 2021 pageants have provisionally been rescheduled for December 2021,” Conny stated.
She says they are guided by international pageant directives and as matters currently stand, they envisage to host a virtual Miss Namibia 2021 crowning event in April this year.
“When we, for example, call on semi-finalists to assemble in Windhoek for auditions, training and rehearsals for the crowning event, we bear the responsibility to see to it that their health and welfare are not compromised. A single infection would be one too many,” she says. Maritz says Blignaut will be representing Namibia at the Miss Teen International Pageant in New Delhi, in India.
“This pageant has also been postponed several times and is now scheduled for May. For this reason the closing date for the Miss Teen Namibia Pageant has also been extended,” Maritz says.
Breytenbach says: “I think many people do not know how much time, effort and money it cost to compete in international pageants. I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity competing in Miss Universe in 2019, and it was an amazing experience for me. There I was surrounded by the most beautiful and intelligent women from all over the world. I learned so much from each of them. It was such an uplifting, inspiring and motivational environment. I, however, think the best of all for me was the fact that I made friends for a lifetime,” Breytenbach says.