Social and political analyst, and lecturer, Paul A. Conteh, assesses the just concluded Miss Sierra Leone 2018 Beauty Pageant, and how education and tourism impacts the entertainment industry and development in the country.
A case for event management, academic enhancement & tourism investment
Fans from different spheres of life converged @ Bintumani Hotel over the weekend. Their mission was to celebrate the crowning of Miss Sierra Leone 2018. The organizers of this event gave their best to offer guests a great entertainment experience. In what happened to be a good evening, the various actors have several areas they need to watch, learn, and make an improvement.
The organizers of Miss Sierra Leone 2018 did their best with the scarce resources, time, and personnel available at their disposal. They secured the prestigious Bintumani Hotel, attracted several sponsors, and ensured the security of attendees was a guarantee. They assembled contestants from every region in the country. This was the work of productive patriotic persons.
However, there were aspects in event management that they need to improve on. The organizers dropped the ball in ensuring fans in the VIP section had what they paid for. This led to continuous grumbling from that section of the audience during the show. In addition, the hosts for the occasion were unable to get the crowd engaged for the most part. They never weaved the requisite chemistry to get the crowd involved. Additional concerns were raised on the audition process, program timing, preparation of participants, and the knowledge of judges on beauty pageantry.
The contest exposed major flaws in our education system. The contestants struggled to stamp their authority during the public speaking session of the program. They gave the crowd an unconvincing performance in the way they each introduced themselves, and answered questions posed by the judges.
The contestants’ performance on the night was a broader reflection of the missing components in Sierra Leone’s academic environment. Our education system in Sierra Leone has neglected public speaking, critical thinking, creative practical arts, and ethical standards from its pedagogical design. This should be a major cause for concern.
Tourism is an area policy-makers need to prioritize. The best of Sierra Leone music, dance, and designs were exhibited. The energy displayed on stage by Sierra Leonean rapper, Yung Sal, was enough to rock the crowd. He portrayed the best part of our entertainment industry. The drummers and dancers did their best for the show to be a celebration of our cultural heritage. The various contestants were dressed by Sierra Leonean designers and designing houses. The crowd showed their gratitude to each of the acts with a round of applause after every public presentation.
Sadly, Sierra Leoneans do not own the major corporations and businesses that sponsored the contest. An Asian-based company in Sierra Leone offered the star prize for the winner of Miss Sierra Leone 2018. The leading sponsoring bodies were not developed around Sierra Leonean led resources and initiatives.
Miss Sierra Leone 2018 was a great night. The organizers, contestants and hosts can be proud of what was accomplished on that faithful evening. However, there are areas we can learn from as country for continuous national growth and development. For future – the organizers should ensure they work on the details for an event of such magnitude. They need to efficiently prepare the contestants, provide fans with the required services, and invite hosts who can keep the crowd engaged.
Our educational system should go back to its roots. The various institutions should intensify teaching in Creative Practical Arts, English Language & Public Presentation. These courses can improve public speaking, stage composure, and self-confidence of our youths. We should be proud of our music, drama, dance, and design. We can take the challenge a step further by encouraging Sierra Leonean corporations and businesses to take leading role in future events.
Miss Sierra Leone 2018 was a moment of movie and magic. There was clearly a case for an improvement in event management, academic enhancement and local-led tourism investment, especially around program sponsorship. These are areas our newly crowned queen, Sarah Tucker, can help – serve as an advocate.