Miss Namibia crowned

Luiperd beat nine other contestants to walk off with N$60 000 in cash and other prizes such as the use of a Toyota Yaris for the year of her reign, a return ticket to Frankfurt or London for participation in international pageant, 4 tickets to either Cape Town or Johannesburg, six domestic flights for official appearances, a gold designer neck piece among many others.

A clear favourite from the onset, Luiperd impressed the judges with her charm and good looks.

The judges looked for a good all rounder. Someone attractive with a great outgoing personality. But most of all, they were in search of a well-spoken person who is also in the know regarding current events. An exceptional ambassador for the country that can represent Namibia at an international level. They were looking for a young woman who could project eloquence, youthfulness, patriotism for her country, intelligence and beauty from within, said one of the judges on the panel.

Since the birth of the Miss Namibia idea in 1980, this year's beauty pageant was special as it was considered a celebration and therefore held under the theme 'Women in Celebration".

Within a few minutes after an audience of over 500 people was settled, the 10 finalists cat-walked the stage in various fashion outfits by local and South African designers like Wilmien Chamberlan, Gavin Rajah, Namibian Young Designers, Swimwear JBS and Design Gallery featuring Hip Hop among others.

The blue, red and yellow lights highlighted the well-designed attires of the 10 beauties as they smiled to the audience's applause and ululation.

Performances by G3 and Vm6 Entertainment bands as well as well-known musician Brandon October made the evening a pleasurable one and to be remembered.

As the show progressed, time came for the selection of the top five while eliminating others who had made it to the top ten in the search for Miss Namibia.

Sade Gawanas, Christa Englebrecht, Marichen Luiperd, Lorencia Endjala and Sonja van der Merwe emerged as the top five.

It was time to test the intelligence and know how of the top five. The judges posed their questions to contestants and one by one they answered to the best of their knowledge.

The best moment arrived to announce the winners.

The 19-year-old Sade Gawanas who also took the title of Miss Personality was announced as the second princes while 24-year-old Christa Engelbrecht, who scooped the title of Public Choice at the event, was chosen as the first princess.

At about 22h30, Luiperd emerged as Miss Namibia 2007.

Dressed in a silky orange and yellow evening gown, Luiperd from Swakopmund received the crown from Anna Nashandi.

With disbelief on her face, she once again cat-walked the stage holding a bunch of congratulatory flowers in her right hand while the left hand held a crown on her head.

As Miss Namibia, Luiperd will take up the patronage of charities dealing with the plight of the country's thousands of homeless children and HIV positive babies. She has also listed women's upliftment, particularly concerning rural women, and unemployment among the youths as another cause she hopes to look into.

This is in line with what the judges were searching for-not only beauty but a young woman with charitable purpose, someone goal-oriented and able to address the plight of the less-privileged Namibians in society.

The 1,73 metre tall Luiperd loves music, reading and going to the gym. She had previously taken part in a number of beauty pageants and is fluent in English, Damara/Nama, Afrikaans and German.

The nine judges at the event were Manager of Corporate Communications: Air Namibia, Elison Hijarunguru, Namibia Sales Centre Manager: Legacy Hotels and Resorts International, Daphne Martin, Manager of Sponsorships and Events: Namibia Breweries Limited Caroline Guriras, Philip Ellis of Ellis & Partners Legal Practitioners, Miss Namibia 1993/1994 Barbara Kahatjipara, Managing Director of Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Tobie Aupindi, Managing Director of Total Namibia, Mntu Nduvane, Managing Director of Aromatics Wellbeing Centre and Starlite Wholesale Prepaids Gail Joubert, and Gavin Rajah, an acclaimed International South African designer. ?

Miss Namibia 2007 was sponsored by Air Namibia, Total, Pepsi, Aromatics Wellbeing Centre, Hertz Car Rental, Pupkewitz Toyota, Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino, One Africa Television and Namibia Wildlife Resorts, to mention but a few.

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