Miss Universe Zambia national franchise director Alice Musukwa says she is disappointed that the government doesn’t support the modeling sector, which many poor young women consider their last hope for legitimate survival.
And Musukwa says President Edgar Lungu should not tell donors to “leave Zambia with its poverty” because he will personally not suffer when cooperating partners pull out.
Meanwhile, Musukwa says Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo must apologize to Zambians living in the diaspora for mocking them in a manner not befitting of a leader.
Last month, Musukwa launched a campaign to raise US $10,000 Miss Universe Pageant fee so that Zambia’s 2019 winner, Didia Mukwala, could participate.
Despite getting support from the First Lady’s office, Minister of Tourism Ronald Chitotela, her Facebook fans, among others, Musukwa only raised K59,858, which meant Mukwala could not participate at the just ended Miss Universe pageant.
To appease Mukwala, Musukwa took her to the United States so that she could interact with Miss Universe pageant officials and watch her counterparts from other countries compete.
After South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi emerged victorious, exciting black women around the world, Muvi TV announced this on their Facebook page but went further to allege that Mukwala did not compete because she arrived late in the US.
Vexed by Muvi TV’s allegations, Musukwa went on Facebook live and cleared the misconception as well as poured out her frustrations over lack of support from government.
“I have approached Tasila Lungu more than five times, [I told her] I want to work with you because I know if Tasila just writes a letter, people will help. I said I want to work with you so we can help these young women. I have written to her so many times but whenever she gets my number, she stops picking my calls. It’s okay, I am not the President’s daughter but all I want is help. I have written letters to the President, to the First Lady, for the First Lady, I went as far as calling her personal line, I don’t know how many times, the only money I got was $2,000 out of $10,000. So if the First Lady can only give $2,000, where can common Alice get $8,000 from? I should go and do prostitution just so I should bring someone to come and represent your country? I got K10,000 from honorable Chitotela, yes, I am grateful but when you give me K10,000 out of K140,000, where will I get the rest? I should engage in prostitution to boost our tourism sector?” Musukwa asked.
“There are women suffering every single day in Zambia, it hurts me because I was one of those women. And it is not everyone that is strong…your government could not pay $10,000. They said there is no budget for pageants…I told Didia, the same money that has been raised, I will take you to go and watch Miss Universe because I know how it feels to be a young woman with a big dream shattered because no one believes in it.”
Musukwa said Tunzi won because she had the full support of her country.
“Today I want the President to tell me, does he know about pageants? He talks about fashion, how is fashion presented to the world? Today Miss SA has won, I am happy for her. We are all happy for her because she is a black girl. She won because she has support. It has nothing to do with how she looks. When you have support, you have confidence and when you have confidence, everything that is imperfect about you will never be seen because you know you have support. Do you know why she has won? She came here with full support from her country. She flew business class sponsored by SA airline. Her national costume was done by the greatest designer in SA, all sponsored. Her country paid for her licence. But where are you? You are quiet, you want to make a national problem Alice’s problem,” she said.
And Musukwa says President Lungu should not tell donors to “leave Zambia with its poverty” because he would personally not suffer when cooperating partners pull out.
“What is $10,000 for a country? And you want to say ‘leave us in our poverty’, are you sure? Already, we are suffering, we are in poverty so what poverty do you want us to live us in? You want to say ‘no, let them go we don’t want their aid’, do you understand that Zambia has a lot of people suffering from AIDS? And they need hier help, if you don’t need their help, they need their help. Uncle, you are not suffering. We are suffering. If we couldn’t raise $10,000 to send a girl to Miss Universe, we are suffering, we are in poverty. Speak for yourself, don’t speak for the whole country if you are not sure of what is going on out there,” she said.
Meanwhile, Musukwa condemned Lusambo for mocking Zambians living in the diaspora.
“Back in the days we never used to have criminals that would break into people’s cars. Nowadays, everyone wants to steal because the economy is bad, the country is not okay and to even have a minister come and mock those who are living outside Zambia saying that all they do is clean toilets, you need to be ashamed. In fact, you need to apologize. As a leader, we expect you to put up a statement to say ‘come back home, there is so much for you here, we have cleaned up the mess’, and not to mock them! You don’t do that. What kind of a leader are you? You are so self centered. Just because things are good for you, it doesn’t mean they are good for everybody. People are struggling in Zambia,” said Musukwa, who also said she had been requested to pay over $5,000 as a deposit for next year’s Miss Universe pageant or Zambia’s license would be revoked.