“When the third place [winner] was announced, I felt a warm feeling and peace that I have made it to the top two so I can make it to be first. My heart felt at peace which is normally not the case in such situations as people get very nervous. The feeling of being crowned the winner was just overwhelming!!! It is then when I felt nervous and different feelings and thoughts went through my head within a short period of time! It was the realisation that this is indeed REAL and I have done it! I have made it in life.”
A mother of three who is from Zambia, Ms Chikamba defeated eight fellow competitors who, like her, live in the UK, but are of African heritage.
The competition is the brainchild of former beauty pageant contestant Yanela Ntlauzana, who hails from South Africa.
Yanela shares with SheHUB.tv why she created the pageant in 2019, which has a mandate that women must be over the age of 30 to enter.
“We as women come in all shapes and sizes and I felt there was no platform highlighting women similar to me: the typical mom, a career woman.
“The older we become, we have so much more to share. We have life experiences and there should be platforms for that. We should be able to show who we are and not be apologetic.”
She continues: “We are not looking for polished women but relatable women from across the United Kingdom. Those who look like magazine models are not relatable.”
This year’s nine competitors represented South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Mauritius and Zambia.
Leah, who also lives in Manchester, shares what inspired her to enter the Miss/Mrs Africa UK competition.
“I have always loved fashion and one of my hobbies is to dress up and take pictures!! When Yanela attended an event I was speaking at and gave us information about the pageant, I decided I was going to do this as it is something I love to do anyway! The icing on the cake was the fact that this pageant was for the over 30s which was very comforting knowing I will be amongst other older women.”
When asked how she intends to use her new title in the upcoming year, Leah tells SheHUB.tv: “My plan is to extend further my passion for women’s empowerment. I will take this further by working towards seeking women’s viewpoints and accepting these. This will then help me to support them to raise their status through coaching, mentoring, awareness and motivational speaking.
“During the competition, I advocated for a charity I founded called Angels of Hope for Women. We support and empower women so that they are better placed to make good decisions that takes them to where they want to be in life. I believe that when you educate a woman, you educate the whole community.”
Leah adds one of the favourite aspects of the competition was meeting and interacting with fellow contestants.
“I enjoyed networking with other women. We have been meeting online throughout the journey and finally to meet in person was so good and these women are just phenomenal!”
Contemplating entering the 2023 Miss/Mrs Africa UK?
Leah offers this advice: “Go for it! Believe in yourself and take the step to get to where you want to be in life. When you are passionate about something, you need to take the first step out of your comfort zone in order to achieve it!”
Interested in becoming a contestant for the 2023 Miss/Mrs Africa UK competition? Visit www.africaukpageants.co.uk.