The Managing Director of the Miss Namibia Joint Venture Conny Maritz has rejected claims by incumbent Miss Namibia Selma Kamanya that she was emotionally and financially abused during her reign.
In a statement issued today Maritz said “we have said it before and say again that if anyone enters the Miss Namibia competition in the expectation that it will only be a life of glitter and glamour and that she will be cuddled in adulation, extravagant luxury or riches and use her title to seek personal wealth, she is sadly mistaken and should not bother at all.”
She also said Selma never shared her experience with the organisers and think Selma was influenced to deliberately use social media as a platform to cast doubt on the organisation.
“The organization provides only what it consider as reasonable and necessary for Namibia’s delegate to proudly represent Namibia as a goodwill ambassador at international pageants. It has made it clear to all contestants from Namibia at international pageants that if they wish to acquire dresses, jewellery and accessories beyond that provided, they will have to raise or obtain funds to finance it themselves. It is expressly provided in the contract that she and her parents had signed.”
Maritz also emphasised that extravagant expectations and “poor little rich girl” attitudes run counter to the ethos of the Miss Namibia Organisation and that the organisation stands for “Beauty for Charitable Purposes”.
According to Maritz they expect that those who bear the crown will use their status, beauty, talents and personality in constructive processes of to engage the youth, the elderly, the sickly and the disadvantaged in society in programmes of social upliftment, poverty alleviation, and continued education.
This is despite a cue of former Miss Namibia winders lining up to share their experience that was nothing short of abuse and exploitation.
Selma had the tongues wagging on Sunday when she posted on Facebook that after her crowing she received very little to no support from the institution of Miss Namibia Beauty Pageant.
Selma who’s experienced is backed by at least three other former Miss Namibia winners, also said her personal expenditure quadrupled as she then learnt that as Miss Namibia she had to cover much of the expenses from personal funds.
She said her parents ended up forking money out to sustain her activities including financing her wardrobe as ambassador for Namibia on international platforms such as Miss World.
This claims were corroborated by three other former Miss Namibia winners.
The 2018 Miss Namibia Sune Januarie said on Facebook “we are being criticized by the people like we have won thousands. We are constantly asked to handle charity projects when we are charity cases.”
Miss Namibia 2016, Lizelle Esterhuizen described her experience as “emotional and financial abuse.
According to her, she only received N$10 000 from her cash prize, which she used to apply for Miss Universe, adding that she had been spending more than N$300 000 out of her own pocket while bearing the title of Miss Namibia.
While Miss Namibia for 2010, Odile Gertze’s day-to-day needs were taken care of during her reign, she found some similarities between her experience and that of Selma.