GROOTFONTEIN-based relief teacher and self-taught cook Magdalena Haingura (25) has added modelling to her impressive list of achievements, after winning the Miss Eco-Tourism World Influencer 2022 title in Durban, South Africa, recently.
To top it off, Haingura was also selected as the national director of the pageant in Namibia. Haingura will be responsible for promoting tourism in the country, as well as advocating the protection of the environment, tree planting and recycling.
“I can use my title to approach fellow Namibian models as an advocate of pageant training as a career,” says Haingura, who believes this field in Namibia still needs to grow to the level of countries like South Africa.
Haingura has been running voluntary pageant training and teenage mentorship programmes in the Kavango East region, which saw her winning the Miss Rundu Town 2015 pageant and the Miss Republic of Namibia first princess title in 2018.
Reflecting on her journey to the Miss Eco-Tourism World pageant, Haingura says sourcing funds to attend the pageant was challenging as one must pay all costs, including flights and take care of other details in order to represent one’s country well.
“It was tough looking for sponsors and because of how modelling is taken lightly in our country, I had no external sponsors.”
Her role as director of the Namibian branch of the pageant includes finding suitable candidates to represent Namibia at the Miss Eco-Tourism World and Miss Teen Eco-Tourism World next year.
“I plan on travelling the country to audition and register models. The selected candidates will walk away with cash prizes and a return ticket to represent Namibia in South Africa next year, as well as free training and mentorship.
“I want to create impact in the pageant industry so that we will all realise that if taken seriously, modelling can be the next industry tackling youth unemployment and curbing alcohol and drug abuse.”
To raise funds for her programmes, Haingura started a pizzeria at Grootfontein. She also plans to create public awareness for the recently established Eco Hearts Foundation, founded by the Miss Teen and Teen Eco-Tourism World 2022 candidates.