By Feima Sesay
Orange Sierra Leone has awarded the star and consolation prizes to winners of the just-concluded Miss ‘Makit Uman’ Beauty Pageant.
The handing-over ceremony took place at the Orange Sierra Leone Head Office, Hill Station in Freetown.
Speaking to guests at the handing-over ceremony, the Product Communications Officer – Orange Sierra Leone, Martha Sumaila said the contest started way back in May this year, adding that the company decided to involve women in the market as part of their company empowerment scheme.
She further said that women in the Market should be given priority to be thrilled because they are part of the society and must be recognized in their strive to ensure inclusiveness.
Sumaila added that as a company they always make it very clear that women are very critical in the development of any society, and that they should not be left alone. She said as a company, they targeted women in the various markets across Freetown, Waterloo and its environs.
She further stated that when Orange started the show, there were many difficulties to organize the women in the various markets. She said through their convincing power, women finally trusted the process, adding that through the company’s ability and team work the ‘Miss Makit Uman’ pageant is successful.
She revealed that the company spent over Le 300 million which is now Le300,000 in the new currency.
She said twelve (12) market women were able to participate in the pageant. The second runner-up Seray Janneh from Sewa Ground Market received Le21,000 in the new currency, while the first runner-up Kadiatu Kargbo from Lumley Market received Le31,000 and the winner Fatu Kamara from Aberdeen Market bagged Le51,000 in the new currency.
Martha Sumaila informed her audience that as part of Orange Sierra Leone efforts to fulfill their commitment, each of the other contestants bagged Le6,000 each while the various markets that participated received Le5,000 each. She pointed out that the company has also pledged to undertake projects for the wining market and will soon embark on making the pavement in the market and as will also provide tap water for the market women.
Chairlady of Aberdeen Market, Mariatu Kargbo expressed her thanks and appreciation to Orange Sierra Leone for organizing such a wonderful and interactive beauty pageant. She described Orange Sierra Leone as a company that cares for women in the market place, adding that this pageant has showcased them locally and internationally. She further said that they were initially skeptical and doubtful when the whole process started adding that through the perseverance of the management of Orange, they were able to respond and participate successfully.
She appealed to the company to continue in this direction so as to help increase awareness of women in deprived markets to feel belonged in the society.
Isha Mansaray from Bombay Market also expressed her gratitude to Orange Sierra Leone for the privilege accorded them. She went further to note that women in the market have not been recognized over the years, adding that now that Orange Sierra Leone has committed to helping women through social activities and economically, they will be left with no option but to work harder with Orange Sierra Leone.
She appealed to Orange management to further expand their goodwill gesture to more markets across Sierra Leone so that women can feel belonged in the society.
The winner of the Beauty Pageant ‘Miss Makit Uman’ Fatu Kamara who bagged Le51,000 expressed her thanks to the management of Orange Sierra Leone. She said: ‘I never dreamed of this day in my life. I was sick when I was called upon to go for the contest. I had my doubts but today I am a winner with a laudable star prize. Thank you Orange management’.
She appealed to her fellow contestants who were not fortunate to win to keep up the momentum, adding that with Orange Sierra Leone all things are possible.
“Orange Sierra Leone is a trusted company, and I implore every Sierra Leonean to have an Orange SIM card as many opportunities will definitely come your way someday,” Fatu Kamara asserted.
Kamara concluded by saying that Orange Sierra Leone is a woman- friendly company that has stood the test of time for so many years in Sierra Leone and that the company has a track record of empowering vulnerable women and the less privileged in the country.
Mohamed Kallon from the Marketing Department, Orange Sierra Leone chaired the ceremony.