IT’S THE time of the year again when ladies from all over the world converge to celebrate beauty – with a purpose. The Miss World 2013 kicked off in Bali, Indonesia last week, with more than 120 ladies vying for the coveted blue crown.

As we inch closer to the finale, allow me to give my thoughts on the legit contenders and potential surprise-givers of this year’s competition. This is the first of five parts of my Miss World Watchlist series, which basically is a list of the girls I am keeping an eye out as the pageant progresses.

We start of with the region that gave us the lovely and eloquent Atong Demach of South Sudan — AFRICA.

Legit COntenders

Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire, Aissata Dia When she was 14, she said she would change the world, and this might just happen now that this stunning girl is representing Ivory Coast in Miss World. Her inclusion in the Beach Fashion Top 33 initially caught me by surprise, but when I saw her photo, my doubts faded instantly. The way she wore that sarong fits her modelesque figure very well. It won’t be a surprise if this girl takes it all. Have you seen her introduction video? Her eyes show so much sincerity and genuine love for what she is doing.


Ghana, Carranzar Naa Okailey Three reasons why this girl might become the continental queen of Africa this year. First, being in the Top 11 of Beach Fashion means she is an early favorite in the competition. Why? That bring us to the second reason. She is just innately gorgeous. I have to say she is one of the best ebony beauties in the competition and when she smiles, she just commands attention. Lastly, she is a contender for Beauty with a Purpose. The national health scheme in Ghana, done in partnership with the Miss World Organization, was able to register more than 600 children.

South Africa

South Africa, Marilyn Ramos It can’t be denied that this girl is gorgeous. But the early favorite from Africa seems to be taking the slow road. Marilyn is nowhere to be found in both Beach Fashion and Sports initial lists, but she shouldn’t be counted out just yet as there are upcoming challenge events. She’s a potential placer in Beauty with a Purpose given her background as ambassadress for Elandela Rhino Survivor Trust for the protection of Rhinos as well as Cotlands, a baby home.


Ethiopia, Genet Tsegay Tsesfay Girl with a megawatt smile, Genet is highly involved in environmental protection and green development mainly because she is an architecture student. That voluptous body plus her towering height placed her in the Top 33 of Beach Fashion.

Namibia, Paulina Malulu Paulina is a pageant veteran. Placing in the Top 15 of last year’s Miss International surely gives her an advantage over the other girls. She could ace the interview rounds, given that she was her country’s representative at the National Youth Council, also speaking at the Youth Forum at the Annual African Union Summit.

Cameroon, Denise Valerie Ayena Denise is her country’s first ever representative in Miss World. She’s a renowned Cameroonian model so expect her to bring her A-game in the Top Model event. At 180cm, she surely will get noticed.


These girls may be at hit-and-miss at times but they should’n’t loose hope as there are still challenge events to come. Don’t count them out just yet.

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