Jamaica may loose its first home-grown international pageant to Africa, after 6 years. This is yet another event which where organisers have been critical of the Jamaica Tourist Board’s support despite the level of international attraction garnered.
Montego Bay businessman Lachu Ramchandani, as franchise holder/founder of the annual Miss Global International Contest, has stated that the 2013 staging will be in Africa.
Ramchandani, who founded the pageant in 2006, says he chose Nigeria, after having received a ‘lot of offers from various countries’. “What I particularly like about the Nigeria offer is that the proceeds will be going to a children’s charity.”
“While Nigeria would like to become the permanent home of this pageant, we are seriously looking at offers from other countries,” said Ramchandani, who has had a long and distinguished history of involvement in local pageants.
Among the countries which have been bidding to stage the popular Miss Global Contest are Botswana, Portugal, Zimbabwe, The Bahamas and the United States of America. “The United States would like to stage 2014, and that is something we are looking at,” said Ramchandani.
The contest was first staged under the name the Miss Commonwealth Pageant. Later, because of interest shown by non-Commonwealth countries like the United States, the name was changed.
According to Ramchandani, who has had a hand in pageants such as the Miss St James, Miss Montego Bay, Miss Middlesex and the prestigious Miss Jamaica World, the idea of Miss Global was to “have the world coming to Jamaica instead of always having our girls going off to other countries”.
“In addition to having our girls participating in an international pageant on home soil, I also saw it as a way of bringing tourism, as these events generally attract a lot of international media attention,” said Ramchandani, who brought commercial life to the once exclusive Ironshore area of Montego Bay, with the construction of the Blue Diamond Shopping Centre 21 years ago.
However, while the pageant has been relatively successful, with participants from as many as 39 countries in 2011, Ramchandani said the Jamaica Tourist board has only been giving token support. Ramchandani, sees the idea of taking the event out of Jamaica as a way of adding a new challenge to his creative drive. But this is not the first time that the Miss Global will be staged outside of Jamaica.
In 2008, Ramchandani leased the franchise to a promoter, who took the event to London. However, he was not satisfied with the outcome and, as a consequence, he reclaimed the event.
“For the event in Nigeria, recruitment will be done by Ramchandani, who says he will be producing the show with his Weston Haughton led technical team from Jamaica.