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By: Justicia Shipena

Miss Namibia Chelsi Shikongo says that Namibians scrutinizing her decision to raise funds to represent Namibia at the upcoming Miss Universe have not contributed to her.

Shikongo launched a GoFundMe account last month towards the international pageant, which is slated for 12 December.

Shikongo said it is so easy for Namibians to say that it is not her responsibility to raise funds, but they have not been helping.

“There have been individuals and corporate and sponsors of the Miss Namibia organization that has been helping. If there is anyone who wants to help, please help but don’t make it seem like it’s not okay to ask for help,” said Shikongo.

She stated that she is not doing anything wrong and that the rising fund is not impacting her ability to do well at the competition.

“I am struggling. Why can’t I, as a titleholder, ask for funds? My responsibility as Miss Namibia is to work for charity, and even if it was not me raising money for myself at the end of the day, I still have to raise money because I work for charity.”

Thus far the Shikongo has raised U$95 from her targeted U$14 000 on the GoFundMe.

Shikongo expressed her disappointment in Namibians acting as if pageantry is not expensive.

“It is costly to go to an international pageant, and we have to look at how much it costs to fly to Israel as well as accommodation,” she explained.

She said everything needs to be thought of, including what she needs to get to Israel.

“This is about me getting there and excelling and not having to think about not having anything that I am supposed to have.”

“And that is what I am doing. I am just making sure that I am confidently okay when I am there, and I don’t have to think about not having anything.”

Speaking to The Villager on Wednesday, Shikongo said her raising fund is not impacting her because she cannot do well at the competition.

“But it is impacting me now because I do need all the help that I can get,” she cried.

According to her, the whole of Namibia knew that she needed funds.

“This is just another platform I am using to raise funds to go to Miss Universe. So, I am just trying to raise enough money not to ask for money again when the time comes for me to leave.”

Shikongo said pageantry in Namibia is still growing and understands why it is difficult for Namibians to support it.

“And this is okay because the creative industry as a whole is still getting there, and that is something that we all know,” she said.

She further said one should remember that pageantry creates opportunities for young women all over the world.

“We have an international ambassador, which is Shanique Rabe, who won Miss Supranational, and look what that is doing to her career and all the future Namibians who want to participate in pageantry because it does create opportunity for young women. And I think that is what we should focus on.”

She stated that Namibians need to understand that they support young women to go for their dreams and achieve their goals.

Justicia Shipena

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