A hearing-impaired beauty queen will be crowned next week Friday at the Boipuso Hall at the first ever Miss VIP Pageant, the contestants of which are deaf women.
Monicah Malejane, one of the event managers, told Sunday Standard that there is no representation for the deaf at events where normally a beauty queen from a mainstream pageant would be invited.
“They have organisational bodies that represent them but not popular personalities,” she said.
Miss VIP (Deaf) pageant, (yes, the VIP stands for Very Important People), is intended to be a self-esteem enhancer for deaf women, says Malejane.
“It will prove that deaf people can do everything that we can. However, their challenge is communicating.”
She added that this is their opportunity to spotlight a beauty who has a hearing impairment.
Malejane volunteers as a counsellor at Lifeline, alongside her partner, Lizzy Maila. She says that amongst themselves they wondered what they could do and decided on a pageant for deaf women, which they are organising through their event management company, Davila Investments.
“We set out to organise a charity pageant; the beneficiary was meant to be the Association for the Deaf. However, we are currently running at a loss, and using money from our own pockets,” Malejane said.
She also added that for transparency, Davila Investments will make an effort to account for the resources that sponsors have availed to them.
The thirteen women who will contest for the crown were selected with the help of the Association of the Deaf, because the winner will work closely with the association. They are aged between 21 and 32.
“We decided to go against using the conventional age restriction because deaf teenagers might not have fully developed in their communication skills and we are looking for an individual who has been exposed, to be capable of being an adequate representative for the deaf community,” Malejane said.
Entertainment on the night will include poetry and music provided by South African-based Vebrok, an R’n’B and house vocalist who will also be volunteering by doing the contestants’ makeup.
“I also lead them onto the stage in one of their parades,” said Vebrok, adding that the ladies also exhibit an amazing sense of rhythm.
“They came up with amazing dance choreography that I helped polish up,” she says.
Miss VIP (Deaf) tickets are on sale for P250 per head and discounted with P50 when 5 tickets are bought.
Malejane says that the presentation of the event is being given treatment fit for a corporate event.
“A three course meal and entertainment will also be provided.”