By Heather Lawrence | h.lawrence@mycityjournals.com

If you’re looking for a great way to be entertained, support your community and stay safe at home, check out the online Miss Africa Utah 2020 pageant. The non-profit event helps diverse Utah residents with African ties get scholarships and support their community causes. 

For its tenth-year celebration, pageant organizer Gloria Mensah had planned a big celebration. When it became obvious they couldn’t have an in-person event, Mensah and her team created a week-long virtual one. 

“This way more people can enjoy it because each part of the pageant is divided and broadcast on a separate night. The broadcasts will be August 11 – 15, with the winner announced in a live event on the final day,” Mensah said. 

The Miss Africa Utah pageant showcases single young women in Utah with roots in Africa. Mensah herself is from Nigeria. From all the entries, one is selected to represent each country. Events include typical pageant requirements such as a platform or cause and a talent performance. There is also a cultural dress and traditions segment. 

“In a way this is a good thing, because since the show will be broadcast, family and friends from all over the world will be able to watch and support their young woman. It makes it much more accessible.

“We’re hoping that donations on our website will make up for what we’ll lose in ticket sales, all of which goes to support the contestants and their causes. The donations make a big difference,” Mensah said. 

“The reigning queen from 2019 is Fatoumatta Barrow, who lives in Salt Lake City. She was born in The Gambia, lived in Saudi Arabia, and is working towards a nursing degree at the U. She’s a natural leader and passionate about education,” Mensah said. 

Many of the contestants have first-person experience as refugees and have overcome severe hardships. To learn more, watch this year’s events or donate to the scholarship funds, visit www.missafricautah.com.  

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