New “Miss Africa Crown” Facebook Page Under Construction

MISS AFRICA BANNER facebbok coverSince Miss Africa Crown (MAC) was established in 2010, the event has grown from strength to strength. Although there have been several set-backs, the MAC Board can report that organizing the event has been a very challenging task. Currently, MAC is in the process of restructuring with several changes in strategy also planned.

To secure its position in the industry, the words “Miss Africa Crown” have now been registered in Sweden as a Trademark. The consequence of this registration is that all fake Facebook pages that have been carrying the name of Miss Africa Crown have been cleaned up for purposes of avoiding confusion about who is in charge of MAC. A clean-up of fraudulent websites purporting to represent MAC is also planned. Many imposter websites have popped up, claiming to represent MAC in order to cash in on the MAC name. The Board is addressing the problem. In the meantime, all official information will be communicated via MAC’s Facebook page.

Many fans who have been to MAC functions have rightfully been questioning the whereabouts of photos and videos taken since 2010. The answer is that the MAC Board did not have full control of the Facebook page because the responsibility of running the page was left to a third party which has since quit. The problem has been that the admin has been uploading and deleting media material at will and without consultation. At one point, the MAC Board actually lost control of the Facebook page when the admin became rebellious. For this reason, it has become necessary to reconstruct the page which will be updated regularly to keep fans abreast with latest developments.

Just like in any new entity, MAC has had its share of internal problems. Last year, a Swedish company that was contracted to help organize the event failed to pay its dues to some workers who had contributed hugely in making the MAC 2012 Finals a success. Although some workers were later paid half of their dues after pressure from the MAC Board, some workers like the chief videographer has not yet been paid. The DJs, who entertained the crowd the whole night, have only been paid less than half of their dues. Workers who helped with cat-walk training have also not been paid. In fact, even getting presents to winners became a big problem because the company claimed that it made losses during the event. The MAC Board has since fallen out with the Swedish company thus the need for restructuring.

The new strategy of the MAC Board is to partner with African organizations and individuals interested in various organizational aspects of the event. This is because experience has shown that the event entails different structural components which might require out-sourcing to increase standards, multiply interest in the event and to “Africanize” it. For example, the event is fundamentally a beauty pageant but with time, the MAC Board has discovered that the element of African fashion and modelling could also be incorporated into the event to add value and expand the general scope of activities. The MAC Board cannot handle all the mentioned aspects without partnering with professionals in the fields. It is for this reason that expanding the operational base of the event has become necessary.

Different components
Secondly, Miss Africa Crown has always been mixed up with the music industry. Numerous Artists have always lined up to perform at MAC functions and this scenario has, with time, created an opportunity for MAC to work with interested artists. Experience in the last three years has shown that this kind of joint work is very complex because the music industry is as different from the beauty industry as the sun is to the moon. There can be no MAC without DJs running the show and here, Sound of Blackness has done a fantastic job. To address the challenges, the MAC Board will have to collaborate with stake holders in the music industry as partners and not just hired workers.

Another aspect is the “business connection”. As MAC evolved into a brand, prompting its registration in Sweden as a Trademark, a litany of business interests also moved close for mutual benefit. This is a situation that the MAC Board had not prepared for. The event was started by a group of Africans who were simply interested in promoting African beauty in Scandinavia. The initiative came out of concerns that young African girls seeking to make careers in the beauty, modelling and fashion industries were being frustrated by established mainstream companies.

Because of the vacuum that was clearly observable, the initiative takers believed that something could be done to fill the vacuum and MAC was born. In short, the founders of MAC did not view it as a conduit for making money but an opportunity for filling a vacuum. Gladly, MAC has evolved into a potential business entity and for this reason, the Board may have to expand its base of operations to accommodate the new entrants.

Another connection which can be cited is the abrupt emergence of unexpected talent that could be connected to the event. Since MAC was established, a whole group of professionals have emerged to fit into the mix. The most notable are MCs, African dancers, make-up artists, salonists, cat-walkers, security home Boys, media personalities, photographers, fashion designers, decorators and event planners who have all shown interest in contributing their skills as part of the MAC bandwagon. Given the diversity of the different components that could be brought to work together, the necessity to partner with interested parties has become paramount. To address the new challenges, MAC has no option but to re-strategize.

Another idea that has been born since MAC was set up is to establish the event in Africa. This is a long-term perspective based on collaborating with stake holders in different countries to organize the event in different African capitals with Grand Finals taking place in Sweden or Africa. Such a project could be huge and cannot be pulled without collaborating with other forces.

For the MAC Board, the sky is the limit and the Board encourages interested parties to get in touch for a discussion of what is possible. In the meantime, the MAC Board would like to thank all fans who have been supporting the event and everybody who has contributed in building MAC into a visible brand. Through its Facebook page, the Board will continue to update the public about developments as they occur.

Okoth Osewe
Media and Information Desk
Miss Africa Crown

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