The preliminary competition for Miss Universe 2021 took place on December 10, with 80 beauty queens vying for the prestigious Mouawad Power of Unity crown and the title of Miss Universe.
The Miss Universe 2021 hopefuls entered the stage first in swimwear, then in evening gowns, and lastly in national costumes.
Nigeria’s Maristella Okpala donned a blue glittery cut-out gown with a high side slit for the evening gown competition.
For her national costume, she wore the “Mmanwa,” inspired by a famous traditional masquerade of the southeastern Nigeria tribe.
Here’s the story behind the costume as told by Maristella:
This beautiful creation is inspired by a famous traditional masquerade of the southeastern tribe of Nigeria called “Mmanwa”. It is made of African Beed’s, stones, crafts.
Mmanwa is a female masquerade costume that’s designed for ceremonial and festive purposes to celebrate the rich Nigerian cultural heritage paying closer attention to the strength women possess. The 3ft tribal mask with the colourful ancient back cape With Mmanwa’s Face boldly crested on the mask and
It represents the beautiful Mmanwa who fought tirelessly to stop girl child mutilation and child slavery while the colourful patterns and embellishments portray the African dashiki which offers a visual appeal and forms meant to invoke the ancestral spirits.
I picked this particular costume because I see a self-reflection of my cause in this Mmanwa who protects children and women against any form of abuse.
Finally, this costume pays attention to the strong will of women in attaining whatever height they want to attain, no matter the challenges faced while reaching their desired goals.
Check out gorgeous photos of the 2021 Miss Universe African contestants:
Latela Mswane – Miss Universe South Africa
Roshanara Ebrahim – Miss Universe Kenya
Michèle-Ange Minkata – Miss Universe Cameroon
Silvia Naa Morkor Commodore – Miss Universe Ghana
Chelsi Shikongo – Miss Universe Namibia
Martina Mituy Avomo – Miss Universe Equatorial Guinea
Anne Murielle Ravina – Miss Universe Mauritius
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