The Jewels of Africa

Hsieh.ASAFashionShowThe African Student Association held their third annual Miss Africa PSU pageant titled, “The Jewels of Africa” Wednesday evening in Heritage Hall.  The Miss African PSU pageant is an opportunity to educate the Penn State community about the beauty of Africa through women who represent its diverse countries.

The contestants were Estella Tabot as Miss Cameroon, Daratu Derga as Miss Ethiopia, Denise Dagadu as Miss Ghana, Faith Laurence as Miss Ivory Coast, Jaywloh Taplah as Miss Liberia, Samantha Nkanta as Miss Nigeria and Claudia Oronto-Pratt as Miss Sierra Leone.


The first segment of the pageant was traditional wear, where the contestants showcased their country’s custom attire.  The attire included embellished head wraps and gowns made of dazzling fabrics.  During this time, the contestants introduced themselves and spoke about their future aspirations.  Many strived to create or contribute resources to improve the current condition their countries.


During swimwear, the women showed their best physical attributes in a flattering two-piece bikini.  The jewels shimmered and shined as they proudly represented their homeland under the spotlight.

In the third segment titled, “Awareness,” the women spoke about their country’s struggles such as illiteracy rates, lack of purified water and infant mortality, while voicing improvement methods to bring change and awareness.

The Miss PSU pageant featured several sporadic events that engaged and interacted with the audience, including a dance contest and even a short segment of Mr. Africa PSU.


Once the crowd was rejuvenated with energy, the contestants followed up by performing in the talent portion of the segment.  The jewels stole the attention of the audience with singing, dancing and spoken word.  Miss Liberia took the competition to new heights by presenting her original designs of women’s wear and bow ties in a fashion show.

In the last segment before the crowning of Miss Africa PSU 2013, the jewels glistened in stunning formal wear accompanied by handsome escorts.  During this time, contestants chose a question, which alluded to their final speech.

After a warm farewell speech from Miss Africa PSU 2012, Daiyon Kpou as Miss Liberia and 10 anticipating minutes of tallying from judges, Oronto-Pratt as Miss Sierra Leone was crowned Miss Africa PSU 2013 and Nkanta as Miss Nigeria, runner-up.


The jewels put on a great show and continued to shine in their own light.

Photos by Jonathan Hsieh


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